"In fascinating contrast to "Vaillon", Defaix’s "Côte de Lechet" is a master class in mineral precision. This remarkably steep site (a 45% gradient) with very poor soil produces a wine that Danny describes as embodying "the real, true mineral expression of Chablis." Freshly blasted chalk dominates the nose, with notes of lemon, honey, and fresh herbs lurking underneath; still, this is a wine of minerality first and foremost. The family owns a 3.5-hectare parcel of 45-year-old vines in this distinctive cru, most of which are planted within a parcel known as the Clos des Moines."
Varietal Composition: 100% Chardonnay
Appellation: Chablis Premier Cru AOC
92 Points - Wine Advocate
"Bottled in February 2021 (no, that isn't a typo), Defaix's 2009 Chablis 1er Cru Côte de Léchet wafts from the glass with aromas of honeycomb, golden orchard fruit, apricot, spices and dried white flowers. Medium to full-bodied, broad and satiny, it's a lively, saline wine that concludes with a delicately nutty finish.
On my most recent visit to the Defaix winery, I tasted with Paul-Etienne Defaix, the 15th generation of the family to perpetuate the domaine. Demand for the wines is high. The estate's 2010 premiers crus were bottled this year, with plans to release them once the 2009s, reviewed here, are sold out. While I knew Defaix practiced very long élevage, I confess I hadn't quite realized just how long, but a tour of the winery revealed tank after tank, full of Chablis patiently awaiting its moment in the limelight. Since my last visit, 2007 and 2008 have both come and gone, but I tried examples of both and found much to admire. The 2009s, on first encounter, are richer and more developed in style, as is to be expected of that warmer, more giving vintage." -WK, 7/21/22