Petit Chablis, Jean-Paul & Benoit Droin 2018

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This is what you call a heritage producer. There have been Droins making wines in Chablis since 1620 and the reins of the operation are now in the hands of the 14th generation of the family. Benoît Droin has brought a modern aesthetic to the domaine, reducing yields to improve fruit quality and easing back on new oak treatment to allow each wine to expresses its terroir. They are firmly amongst the top echelons of Chablis producers. 

This is a Petit Chablis that punches way above its weight, partly thanks to the grapes, which originate from two parcels of vines above an esteemed Grand Cru vineyard. The vines are on a mix of Portlandian clay and limestone, which is found above the layer of Kimmeridgian clay. The Portlandian clay creates a wine which is generous and easy to drink when young.

It’s fermented and aged for eight months entirely in stainless steel, bringing stone fruit aromas to the fore. The mouthfeel is ever so slightly creamy but the finish is wonderfully fresh and flinty. This is a versatile food wine, great with fish or white meats, and of course oysters. If you like your Chablis fresh, drink within five years. Or hold onto it for another five years and watch it get richer and more complex.