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Chablis, anyone? - Featuring Domaine de L'Enclos and more!

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It could be the warm weather, maybe it's just the fact that one of our favorite Chablis just landed! Either way, in celebration of mineral-driven Chardonnay in general and the Domaine de L'Enclos Chablis specifically, here's a little offering after a bit of a dry spell in the city. While we do have a small amount of Premier and Grand Cru expressions from L'Enclos, along with some Chablis from new-to-the-US Clément Lavallée, and the quietly-doing-their-thing Jean Goulley et Fils, our highlight is the 2022 village Chablis from L'Enclos. One of our favorite Chablis vintage after vintage, this a wine that is still remarkably well priced ($31.99!) for how sheerly precise and spot-on it is, truly a value and if you couldn't hear this coming, it's worth getting a case! As is generally the case with Chablis, supplies are limited.

Domaine de L'Enclos

We personally look forward to tasting with the Romaind and Damian Bouchard each year in France, not only for the opportunity to sample wines from some of Chablis' finest sites side by side, but also because the brothers themselves are always glowing and ready to describe the exposition and soils of each parcel and how that influences the final wines. We have learned a lot from them, and also been blown away by their lineup every year!

In their own words: "We perpetuate with gratitude the know-how of our ancestors Amand and Cléophas Tremblay, our grandparents Gabrielle and André Tremblay and our parents Joëlle and Pascal Bouchard, who have planted, cultivated and finally passed on these vineyards for nearly a hundred years. Our desire: To express each of these terroirs with simple, respectful and unpretentious practices, both in the vineyard and in the cellar." - Romain and Damian Bouchard

Damian and Romain Bouchard

Romain and Damian made wine for years at their family estate, Domaine Pascal Bouchard, then sold the family name and winery midway through the previous decade and retained just shy of thirty hectares of prime vineyard land to create Domaine de L'Enclos. They established a new winery in an old château in the middle of town and promptly set about getting organic certification for the estate.

"Domaine de l'Enclos is 29 hectares of organically farmed vines (Ecocert certification) on the 4 levels of the Chablis designation and notably on some of the most beautiful terroirs of the vineyards.

Most of our work is done in the vineyards. We are 19 people all year round (the triple during the harvest) to take the greatest care of our vineyard to extract the best from it : respectful Poussard pruning, organic fertilizers, disbudding, careful trellising, leaf removal, manual harvesting on all our vintages. We attach great importance to the life of our soils which we maintain by shallow plowing and plantings in the rows. To preventively protect our vines from diseases, we only use products of natural origin, copper, sulfur and plant preparations. The domaine is fully certified in organic agriculture. We vinify in our new gravity-fed cellar. The grapes are harvested at full maturity (no chaptalization), sorted on a vibrating table, pneumatically pressed and the juice flows by gravity into stainless steel tanks installed in an underground cellar where the temperatures are controlled. The vinification is done without any input, no sulfur, with indigenous yeasts. The maturation of our wines in tanks and barrels can last up to 18 months on the lees. The wines are neither fined nor cold treated. Only a light filtration and a moderate addition of sulphur (SO2) is done before bottling. 

In summary: living soils, healthy and ripe grapes, simple and natural practices, few interventions, monitoring and patience.

Domaine Clément Lavallée

Clément Lavallée is not new to Chablis, as his family has been making wine in the region for some time, but his wines (and estate) are new to us!

Clement (r) with sister, Caroline

After spending several years working at domaines throughout France, first in Burgundy, including at Armand Heitz, then in Beaujolais, Bordeaux, and the Rhone Valley (not to mention Australia too!), Clément returned to Chablis and started his own project after spending a year at his family's estate in 2018. With only 1.6 hectares, he bottled his first vintage in 2019, and has since expanded to around 5 hectares total.

Clément's parcels are mostly in Chablis, with some in Cotes d’Auxerre, and Saint-Bris as well (though we only have his Chablis on offer today). Influenced by his experiences with farming and winemaking, he did away with chemicals and pesticides in his vineyards, and is in process of obtaining organic certification. In the cellar, fermentations are natural, and sulfur use is minimal. Aging for the Chablis and Chablis 45 is in stainless steel.

Domaine Jean Goulley et Fils

The wines of Domaine Jean Goulley et Fils are much like their extremely charming and low budget 90s website, sans artifice!

Philippe Goulley

Organic since 1991, with roots in Chablis for generations, Jean and his son Philippe, who currently runs the domaine, have been quietly producing honest wines from some noteworthy parcels (sorry no crus from Goulley today!), along with a really impressive and textbook village Chablis and Petit Chablis.

We are featuring their Petit Chablis today because we just love a great bottle of Chardonnay for under $30, especially when it says Chablis on the bottle!

No Longer Available

Domaine de l'Enclos 2021 Chablis 1er Cru Fourchaume

From the L'Enclos website: "The L'Enclos 1er Cru "Fourchaume" is from three neighboring plots facing west, planted in the 60s, 80s and 90s in the heart of the historic Fourchaume hillside in the commune of La Chapelle-Vaupelteigne. The wine is elegant, ample and persistent." - We tasted the 2021 Fourchaume in January of '23 and it was singing. Perhaps thanks to the freshness of the vintage, it was open and ready, with classic stone fruits and the faintest hint of fresh mint. The winemakers indicate that it can be aged for a few years, but this 2021 might be the exception as it's very charming already. But a wine that good would only be better with 1-3 years, if you have the space to age a few.  -

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $54.99

  • Organic

Domaine de l'Enclos 2021 Chablis Grand Cru Vaudésir

Vaudesir is a Grand Cru site that sits high on the hill between Preuses and Grenouilles, facing due south. At its apex this site produces among the most electric of Chablis, the ripeness from its aspect contrasted with the freshness of the cool drying wind from the combe just above. There is a a beautiful limestone core, and notes of lemon and white peach. Tasted in late January of 2023, it was already very impressive, though a little tight and clearly deserving of a few years in bottle.

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $79.99

  • Organic

Domaine de l'Enclos 2022 Chablis

From the Bouchard bros, a fabulous textbook Chablis even from such a hot vintage! Lovely minerality and yellow apple/citrus aromas on the nose. The palate bursts with juicy lemonade with a chalky undercurrent. An elegant finish clocking in at 12.5%, truly excellent! Giselle Hamburg

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $31.99

Lavallee, Clement 2021 Chablis

From about 4 hectares in Chablis on clay and limestone soils in Courgis, south-west of Chablis and not far from the Bourgogne Chitry appellation. Farming is organic, and fermentation with wild yeasts. Fermentation and aging are in stainless steel, with almost a year of lees aging, and no malolactic fermentation. This is in many ways the wine that Clement has introduced himself with. It shows leanness and cut, but also a hint of density and fantastic length. -EL

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $54.99

  • Organic

Lavallee, Clement 2020 Chablis 45°

The special cuvee 45 is named for the angle, located on the steepest part of the slope in Courgis where most of Clement's vines are. Fermentaion and aging is in stainless steel, with one year of lees aging. Though we love our 2021 Burgundies at CSW, whites from the 2020 vintage were consistently very good, and this bottling from Clement is no exception. Let it open up for 30-60 minutes and you'll see why!  -EL 

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $64.99

  • Organic

Goulley 2019 Petit Chablis

Since 1991 the Domaine Jean Goulley has turned to organic farming for their approximately 30 year old vines in Petit Chablis planted on limestone terroir. As they say on their website, there's nothing 'Petit' about this Chablis! (I just had to include that). All puns aside, this is idyllic, mineral-driven Chardonnay from parcels north of Chablis. It delivers freshness, but without too much of a snap. The acid carries through, but doesn't dominate, making this a wine that pairs perfectly with a wide variety of foods, including but certainly not limited to fish and poultry.  -EL

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $27.99

  • Organic