Lillian Duplessis at work (Courtesy of Selection Massale)

The Quiet Elegance of Duplessis' Chablis

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We talk a lot about organic and biodynamic agriculture on this web site. These are practices we believe in, and not just because they are less damaging to the earth and to our bodies. Growing wine is about communicating the personality of a particular place. Conventional farming does not silence a vineyard but it can certaintly muffle its voice. (Think about speaking while wearing a mask). Organic farming takes the mask off so that you can hear the vineyard clearly and biodynamics can help tune it to exist in harmony with the world surrounding it. The trade-off is that this type of farming requires more work, as one must forego the easy chemical fixes used to fight pests or disease and the tougher the climate, the harder this becomes. Nowhere has this been more historically difficult than Chablis.

The village of Chablis and its vineyards sit just below the 48th Parallel. That's just about the same as Xinjiang, Ontario or Seattle. For growing grapes, it's pretty far north. As a result, cold weather and humidity have always been problems. Historically, producers in Chablis (and Burgundy in general) have been resistant to organic farming, as disease pressure is higher in this cold and wet climate. But over the past twenty years, a few estates have really led the charge and they include many of the most sought-after names in the village - Dauvissat, De Moor, Pattes Loup, Moreau-Naudet. Count Lillian Duplessis firmly in this group. 

Lillian has been in charge of his family estate since 1999, spent ten years making adjustments in the vineyards and has been certified organic since 2013. While the viticulture is progressive, the winemaking is decidedly old-school - the fruit is pressed gently, fermented in steel and aged in a combination of steel and old oak. The wine sees plenty of time on the lees without much stirring and is bottled with only a small sulfur addition.

The result is old-school Chablis, with plenty of acidity, delicate white and yellow fruit and that exposed minerality that can only come from these rocky slopes. These are firm and angular wines that feel as though they could cut glass, simutaneously refreshing and serious. Lillian has a tendency to hold his wines back for longer than other producers. The 2018 vintage was particularly successful in Chablis, producing wines that feel full but also intensely mineral. There is a great deal of pleasure to be had in 2018 for early drinking, as well as plenty of reward down the road. Sam Ehrlich

 

**This is a pre-arrival offer. The wines will be available for pick-up or delivery Wednesday 8/3**

Duplessis, Gérard 2018 Chablis

With 9 hectares of vines covering 5 various premier and grand cru sites, Lillian Duplessis crafts some of the most pure and compelling Chablis we have had the pleasure of tasting. All of the vines are planted in Kimmeridgian limestone giving the wines that classic, crunchy minerality for which the region is known.

  • white
  • 17 in stock
  • $41.99

  • Organic

Duplessis, Gérard 2018 Chablis 1er Cru Montmains

Lillian Duplessis considers this site as having the greatest potential within his lineup of Premier Cru vineyards. Montmains sits on the left bank of the Seine River, running parallel to several other outstanding 1er Cru sites, including Forets, Butteaux and Vaillons (as well as the heavyweight village cru Les Pargues).

  • white
  • 8 in stock
  • $59.99

  • Organic
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Duplessis, Gérard 2018 Chablis 1er Cru Vaugiraut

Vaugiraut is on the left bank of the Serein, south of the village of Chablis and the Grand Cru vineyards above it on the right bank of the river. The south facing amphitheater is protected from winds and exposed to the warmth of the late afternoon sun, both of which assist in ripening. This bottling from Duplessis is unique among their Premier Crus in that it sees no oak: the elevage is entirely in stainless steel.

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $51.99

  • Organic

Duplessis, Gérard 2018 Chablis 1er Cru Fourchaume

Located just north of the line of grand crus, abutting Les Preuses and Bougros, on the right bank of the Serein river, Fourchaume has a southwest exposure and tends to produce richer expressions of Chablis.

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $59.99

  • Organic

Duplessis, Gérard 2016 Chablis 1er Cru Montmains - Long Elevage

Lillian Duplessis considers this site as having the greatest aging potential within his lineup of Premier Cru vineyards. As a result, he keeps a small amount of this wines in barrel for an extra year and releases it later. Very limited!

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $59.99

  • Organic