2011 Jean-Paul et Benoit Droin Chablis 1er Cru "Vaillons" (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1114686 91-93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2011 Chablis Vaillons takes hold of the palate and never lets up. It boasts gorgeous persistence in an understated style that is hugely appealing. The 20% oak is very nicely integrated. Today, it appears to be more subdued than 2010, but it is very pretty just the same. The Vaillons saw 20% oak. Anticipated maturity: 2013+. Once again, my tasting with Benoit Droin was one of the highlights of my trip to Chablis.Vintage 2011 was characterized by an early, easy and even flowering, which resulted in a generous crop... Droin doesn’t seem to get a lot of attention in the press, but in my opinion, this is one of the very finest producers in Chablis. I have also had great luck with older bottles, as these are typically wines that age beautifully.  (8/ 2012)

90-92 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

 (from 6 different climats that saw 15% of new and one year old wood). A completely different aromatic profile is present here with notes of floral and spice plus background hints of lemon zest. There is good volume and bright acidity to the relatively refined and solidly well-concentrated flavors, all wrapped in a delicious and impressively complex citrus-infused finish that offers fine length. This is very forward and should drink well immediately.  (9/ 2012)

89-91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Pale yellow with a green tinge. Vibrant aromas of crystallized lime peel and mint. Juicy and vibrant in the mouth, with excellent cut to its lemon and lime flavors. Very fresh, dense, persistent wine with a piquant finish that perks up the salivary glands.  (7/ 2012)

K&L Notes

Since the year 1620, fourteen generations of the Droin family have passed their winemaking tradition on to the next. Since 1999, all vinification has taken place at a modern wine facility built below the Grand Cru vineyards in Chablis, where they hold more than 4 hectares of vines. Grape clusers are handled very gently before pressing and the wine is matured in vats and neutral oak before bottling almost exactly one year after harvest.

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Varietal:

Chardonnay

- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Chablis

- The region north of the Cote d'Or, famous for its steely dry white wines made from Chardonnay. There are 7 Grands Crus vineyards, and numerous Premier Crus. Unfortunately, the name has been borrowed and badly abused by producers of inferior white wines in the US as well as in Australia. True French Chablis is a delicate, stony, crisp Chardonnay, bearing no resemblance to the anonymous plonk so labeled here.
Alcohol Content (%): 13