Domaine Vincent Dampt Chablis Vaillons Premier Cru 2019
Brilliant, pale and golden in color. The Vaillons is full-bodied, rich and balanced. The fruit has a pleasant minerality. Pairs well with fried scallops, warm oysters with melted shallots, and bass filet.
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The Dampt family has a long and illustrious tradition of winemaking in Chablis, with Daniel Dampt and his grandfather Jean Defaix both owning highly regarded estates in the region. Daniel’s son, Vincent, grew up in this world of Chardonnay and decided to follow in the family’s tradition by enrolling himself in wine school at the young age of 14.
After graduating, he trained for a short time in the Jura before gaining a position at none other than Domaine Leflaive in Puligny-Montrachet. In 2002, after finishing his training at Leflaive, Vincent began working with his father as winemaker for the family’s estate. After two years, he inherited a few small plots of vineyards, enabling him to create his own domaine. With full control over aspect of farming and winemaking, Vincent truly came into his own as a top tier producer in Chablis with wines that speak of precision and elegance.
Vincent’s Chablis vineyards are exquisitely situated on the left bank of the Serein river, on the famous Kimmeridgian marl; a mixture of clay, chalk and marine fossils. For his village and premier cru wines, Vincent vinifies exclusively in tank to preserve every bit of the classic Chablis cut and minerality. With his micro-production Grand Crus, he ferments and ages the wines in older barrels. The fruit for these wines comes from prime parcels in Valmur and Les Clos, showing every bit the majestic qualities that have made these vineyards legendary. With his minimalist approach in the cellar, Chablis rarely is able to express itself with such clarity.
The source of the most racy, light and tactile, yet uniquely complex Chardonnay, Chablis, while considered part of Burgundy, actually reaches far past the most northern stretch of the Côte d’Or proper. Its vineyards cover hillsides surrounding the small village of Chablis about 100 miles north of Dijon, making it actually closer to Champagne than to Burgundy. Champagne and Chablis have a unique soil type in common called Kimmeridgian, which isn’t found anywhere else in the world except southern England. A 180 million year-old geologic formation of decomposed clay and limestone, containing tiny fossilized oyster shells, spans from the Dorset village of Kimmeridge in southern England all the way down through Champagne, and to the soils of Chablis. This soil type produces wines full of structure, austerity, minerality, salinity and finesse.
Chablis Grands Crus vineyards are all located at ideal elevations and exposition on the acclaimed Kimmeridgian soil, an ancient clay-limestone soil that lends intensity and finesse to its wines. The vineyards outside of Grands Crus are Premiers Crus, and outlying from those is Petit Chablis. Chablis Grand Cru, as well as most Premier Cru Chablis, can age for many years.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.