Said to be the oldest domaine in Chablis, tracing its origins back to 1610, it is now run by Daniel-Etienne Defaix, 14th generation of the Defaix family. He took over from his father in 1978 and started making wine “as my grandfather had done”. This involved keeping the wine in tank for a protracted period and putting it through a monthly bâtonnage, a practice he retains to this day. “My grandfather’s generation used to keep the wine for so long in order to protect themselves against frost, to ensure they would always have wine to sell,” he explains. Nowadays, this approach is unique in Chablis, and the extended ageing before release gives the wines a lovely evolved character that adds complexity to their freshness.
Les Lys' is at the top of Vaillons and was once owned by the French Crown. It has stunning concentration laced with bright acidity and superb length. The vineyards are on Kimmeridgian marl soils and are north facing so the grapes undergo a slow ripening process accumulating delicate aromatic flavours.
Deep gold in colour with a beautifully evolved and earthy character on the nose, waxy with a hint of butter. Good depth and texture on the palate with great acid that gives the wine superb length.
• Size: 750ml
• Vintage: 2004
• ABV: 13%
• Origin: Chablis / Burgundy / France
• Grapes: Chardonnay