Gerard Duplessis Chablis 1er Cru Vaillons 2019


The 2019 Vaillons is currently enjoying its passage in the wood. Clear pale and bright. This is very classical, and has not picked up the wood until perhaps filling out the finish, though it hasn’t become too fleshy. Gives extra structure and length when well handled, as this is. 91-93 points – Jasper Morris

1.5 hect across 4 parcels. Minots, Chatains, Epinottes and Vaillons. Average age of 60 years old. All parcels vinified separately then blended before bottling. Across the 1er Cru’s this wine is often seemingly the most ‘exotic’, perhaps not in terms of weight but aromatics. Pressed straight into tank, no pre-ferment racking or settling, wild fermentation, malo finished in tank and left on lees for 6 months. Then transferred to barrel, 10% new, total elevage of 12 to 18 months, vintage dependant.


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Producer Profile

When Laurent Tribut married Marie-Clotilde Dauvissat he joined one of Chablis’ most famous winemaking families. René Dauvissat, Marie’s father, gave the couple parcels of excellent sited Chablis AC and 1er Cru to establish Domaine Tribut (Dauvissat).

The small Domaine now has 7 hectares of vineyards. The Chablis AC is predominantly situated on Kimmeridgian soils adjacent to the Dauvissat vineyards. Laurent, a humble and good-natured vigneron, prefers the vineyards to be farmed as naturally as possible with a minimum of treatments and organic philosophies. Harvesting is always done by hand.

In the early days Laurent made his wines at his in-laws, the Dauvissat cellars, so naturally his own wines have been strongly influenced by these legendary examples. The wines are fermented exclusively en cuve (in tank) and racked into barrel for aging. Laurent typically only buys new oak if he needs to replace old barrels, some of which are 50 years old. With his retirement in 2019 Laurent’s children Solange, Adeline and Gabriel have now taken the helm, each specialising in different aspects of the business.

The Tribut Chablis’ share many stylistic similarities with their famous relatives. The wines offer immediate appeal with a rich texture and lovely lemony fruit notes, white spice and vibrant underlying minerality; yet are deeply concentrated with dense though not heavy structures, that age and develop into very complex wines. Compared to Dauvissat they have a little extra generosity, especially when young. In a lot of ways, they share more in common with the classic White Burgundy appellations of the Côte de Beaune than Chablis. Old bottles never disappoint.

The international press and Burgundy-philes are starting to wake up to this important producer despite the absence of Grand Cru in the range. Many believe their Premier Crus to be better than the average quality level of Grand Crus anyway.

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