Libations

2008 Domaine Bernard Defaix Chablis 1er Cru Côte de Léchet Reserve

December 20 2011 - 8:26 AM

I picked up this bottle a while back and had it sit on the wine rack, followed by an extended time in my refrigerator.  I finally decided to pair it with some mildly curried pierogi that I had made.

Domaine Bernard Defaix has nineteen acres on the slopes of the Burgundian village of Milly and on the banks of the Serein River, from which this bottle is sourced.  The Domaine, like many in Burgundy, has seven different wines from Chablis alone, all of which are 100 percent Chardonnay, typical of the region.

 This wine had a limestone nose, with a noticeably pale straw color.  There were flavors of lemon and  lime, with hints of flint and a solid expression of its stony terroir on the palate.   Acidity was very high, and almost a bit tight, as this wine could benefit from a few years on the rack.  Being from Chablis, many wines typically do not have any oak and are a bit more delicate.  According to the winemaker's website, there was an "almost invisible wood treatment" used on the 2008, though I had trouble detecting it.

What I love about white Burgundy wines in general is that they seldom are overextracted, and they have a nice backbone of acidity and pair great with food.   Chardonnay from New World countries, in particular, almost routinely fails to impress me with viscous golden color, strong gooseberry notes, flabiness,  sweetness.  Using oak as a masking technique to hide poor quality wine is often met with dubious results.

The winemaker recommends opening it in 2014, and I did find it a bit tight, but at its price this ageworthy wine offers value.  If there are any bottles left they can be procured for $23.99 at Howard's Wine Cellar.

–Brian Ziegler

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