Daniel-Etienne Defaix Sale

5% off any 6-11 in-stock Daniel-Etienne Defaix wines
10% off any 12 or more in-stock Daniel-Etienne Defaix wines
Sale ends Wednesday April 3rd at 9AM PST

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The wines featured below are all wines included in the sale.

Not all of us can afford Raveneau. Hell, not many of us can even find it if we wanted to! But that doesn’t mean we have to compromise, because savvy drinkers like us are well informed on the delicacy of Defaix’s Chablis. Daniel-Etienne Defaix has vineyard holdings in some of the top premier cru sites across the region and his wines are utterly unique in the fact that he ages them in bottle until they’ve reached total perfection. Aged chablis is like nothing else you’ve tasted before and Defaix’s are the purest expression of Chardonnay without the masking influence of oak. We’ve got multiple bottlings available today that are worth gobbling up!

Producer Background

The Defaix line is one of the oldest wine-producing families in Chablis, possessing thirty hectares of vineyards, predominantly situated in premier and grand cru locations. However, Danny, the proprietor, selects only the finest parcels each year to designate as cru-level, opting to classify the remaining ones as villages. He ages these cru-level wines in tanks for eight to ten years, allowing for a slow natural settling process that obviates the need for filtration.

Defaix’s unique approach goes beyond lengthy aging. He exclusively relies on indigenous yeasts in his fermentations—a rare approach which results in fermentations lasting between three and six weeks, in contrast to the four-to-six days typically required with commercial varieties. Malolactic fermentation, occurring in a very cold cellar, occasionally extends over two years. Defaix favors prolonged contact with lees, primarily through gentle stirring during the initial two years and sporadically thereafter. Moreover, Defaix prioritizes patience over common practices like fining or filtration, allowing ample time for the lees to settle naturally. The result is a chardonnay expression that offers richness from lees contact rather oak, pronounced minerality and complexity from native yeast and long elevage, and precise expression of the oyster shell terroir of Chablis.

Available Defaix Wines:

Domaine Daniel-Etienne Defaix Les Lys, Chablis Premier Cru 2010 750ml $59 special, 11 bottles available
Producer Notes: “Les Lys is a tiny five-hectare cru of which Defaix owns three and a half hectares, all in a southeast-facing section called Clos du Roi—effectively a monopole of the domaine. Its poor soils of pure Kimmeridgian limestone produce perhaps the most complete and distinctive wine in Defaix’s cellar. Combining some of the power of the “Vaillon” with the chalky intensity of the “Côte de Lechet,” it ratchets up the aromatic complexity of the previous two, yet comes across as pure and harmonious. The palate offers ample richness, yet a sense of tension keeps it from feeling opulent, and the chiseled finish offers a strong sensation of dry extract.”

Domaine Daniel-Etienne Defaix Lechet, Chablis Premier Cru 2010 750ml $59 special, 12 bottles available
Importer Notes: 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.

Domaine Daniel-Etienne Defaix Vaillon, Chablis Premier Cru 2010 750ml $59 special, 8 bottles available
Producer Notes: “Grapes are planted in a steeply sloped (28 degrees) hill in the original parcel of Vaillon with a southeast exposure. The soil here is particularly influenced by iron deposits which yields a wine of fruit and spice and great density. The Vaillons is influenced by notes of soubois and, although lacking the elegance of its two companion 1er Crus, it is often the most generous wine of the domaine. The average age of the vines is 45 years.”

Domaine Daniel-Etienne Defaix Vielles Vignes Chablis 2020 750ml $39 special, 30 bottles available
Winemaker Notes: “This cuvée is sourced from vines the age of which is between 45 and 70 years. A wine of exceptional concentration for a village level appellation, this wine is always a true expression of the kimmeridgian soils that make Chablis so distinctive. Aged for thirty months before release, Defaix’s old vines Chablis is richly dense with a classic pierre a fusil bouquet and long mineral-infused finish.”

Per usual, until 9AM PST on Wednesday we’ll have these wines on discount for you and I’d recommend placing an order early before they get gobbled up.

DEFAIX CHABLIS LECHET 2010 $59.00 12 Link
DEFAIX CHABLIS LES LYS 2010 $59.00 11 Link