Lilian pouring a tasting in his cellar. Photo by Sophie Barrett.

Lilian Duplessis - The New Generation of Chablis!

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Organic farming and natural winemaking are not the first things to come to mind when thinking of Chablis. Industrial farming is commonplace, with chemical pesticides and mechanical harvesting in the vines and lab yeasts and other winemaking tricks in the cellar. There are, however, a few producers working against the norm, farming with respect for the earth and employing traditional methods in the cellar. Lilian Duplessis not only farms organically (certified as of the 2013 vintage), he continuously succeeds in making some of the most profound, energetic, and simply delicious wines that Chablis can offer.

Chablis is a region well-known for its unique Kimmeridgian soils. Light gray in color (almost white, in fact) and limestone based, the soils formed around 150 million years ago. These soils are rich with Exogyra virgule – tiny oyster fossils from when the region was underwater, which give a sharp, mineral aspect to these famed wines.

Les Clos parcel at the Duplessis estate. Photo by Guilhaume Gerard.

Lilian is the second generation of vignerons to farm 9 hectares of old vines planted by his father, Gérard, and produces wines from the Village level as well as some of the most prestigious Premier and Grand Cru vineyard sites. His philosophy for working in harmony with the earth translates to how he works in the cellar: native yeast fermentations, long lees aging in stainless steel tank followed by a six-to-eighteen month (depending on the vintage) elévage in neutral oak barrels before being bottled with a minimal addition of sulfur.

These are powerful wines that are built for aging (with a couple of exceptions), and will reward patient cellaring. We look forward to seeing Lilian’s progression in coming years! Tim Gagnon

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Duplessis, Gérard 2013 Chablis

With 9 hectares of vines covering 5 various premier and grand cru sites, Lillian Duplessis crafts the most pure and compelling Chablis I 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.This wine shows baked pear and pineapple with a touch of honeysuckle and lime zest on the nose and is deeply mineral and focused on the palate. Pair this with lobster and melted butter, grilled scallops, or oysters! Tim Gagnon

  • Out of Stock
  • white
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  • $26.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Duplessis, Gérard 2012 Chablis 1er Cru Vaillon

Vaillons, which translates to Little Valley, is located on the left bank of the Serein River. Upon tasting, this is notably Lilian’s most open and floral wine. Rather exotic on the nose with wildflower, ripe cantaloupe, and cucumber with sumptuous layers reminiscent of toasted wheat and crème brûlée. Quite voluptuous on the palate yet possessing a stern minerality, giving it grace and balance. This would be perfect for drinking now or for short-term aging. Tim Gagnon

  • Out of Stock
  • white
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  • $41.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Duplessis, Gérard 2012 Chablis 1er Cru Montmain

The Montmains vineyard lies on the left bank of the Serein River; its name means medium-sized mountain, referring to the elevation of the vines in relation to the two taller peaks surrounding them. A bit more restrained on the nose with telling notes of fresh cream, mango flesh, coconut meat, and enticing herbal characteristics. The palate packs a mineral punch with a racy acidity and delicate smoky notes which last onto a seemingly never-ending and stony finish. This will do very well with age! Tim Gagnon

  • Out of Stock
  • white
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  • $41.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Duplessis, Gérard 2012 Chablis 1er Cru Montée de Tonnerre

This Premier Cru is located along an ancient road connecting the Roman cities of Auxerre and Tonnerre, and the name refers to a point at which the road climbs up the slope to the plateau where Tonnerre sits.  Recently tasted, this wine is perhaps the most subdued of Duplessis’ Premier Cru wines, and begs to be laid down for five to ten years, or even longer. The nose shows chalky fruit redolent of pear and apricot that mingles with a distinct cheese rind aroma, which is rather compelling. Cool minerals on the palate and incredible focus hint at the long life ahead of this wine. Tim Gagnon

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  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $29.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Duplessis, Gérard 2012 Chablis 1er Cru Fourchaume

The vines within Fourchaume are planted high on the slopes of the right bank of the Serein River. This is one of Lilian’s top Premier Cru parcels with a favorable southern aspect. This, along with Montée de Tonnerre, is arguably his most serious and restrained Premier Cru wine. On the nose it is a touch floral and flinty, while being robust and full-bodied on the palate. Buy a few and squirrel them away, as it will reward patient cellaring. Tim Gagnon 

  • Out of Stock
  • white
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  • $41.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Duplessis, Gérard 2011 Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos

This wine hails from Duplessis’ only Grand Cru vineyard. With a documented history of vines being planted before the year 1267, Les Clos is the largest of the Grand Cru vineyards within Chablis, with 25 hectares of vines. 2011 was a cooler, higher-yielding vintage, which hearkens back to classic Chablis vintages that were common before the onset of global warming. Purple wildflower, orange blossom, lavender, thyme, and passion fruit on the nose, yet incredibly poised and restrained on the palate with a deep minerality, gentle salinity, and a lingering acidity. Quite graceful now, but could use 10 years to really open up. Tim Gagnon

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  • white
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  • $64.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Duplessis, Gérard 2012 Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos

2012 was a stark contrast to 2011. The weather was markedly harsh that year in many parts of France, with hail and rain punctuating the harvest season, resulting in incredibly low yields; however the wines made from this troublesome year are proving to be serious and delicious. This wine is very powerful with heady floral aromas when young, but it will benefit from a decade of aging. Tim Gagnon

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $67.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur