Sebastien Dauvissat
Photo Credit: Stephen Tanzer
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The hot 2005 growing season favored a good sortie [i.e., the formation of the bunches] in 2006, which resulted in big clusters in which the grapes did not touch each other and thus were less likely to rot during humid conditions in August and mid-September. In fact, Dauvissat told me that the conditions in 2006 were perfect and that his fruit was virtually rot-free. He began harvesting on September 18 and finished five days later, with village fruit in the 12%-12.5% range and the crus between 12.5% and 13%. "The degrees skyrocketed during the first half of September," said Dauvissat, who told me that, for the second consecutive year, he did not chaptalize. Interestingly, Dauvissat finds the 2005s more open now than the '06s, not what one would expect from a hot year like '05. (Rosenthal Wine Merchant, Pine Plains, NY)

2006 Caves Jean et Sebastien Dauvissat Chablis

Pale color. Cool aromas of lemon, mint and fresh herbs. At once supple and firm on the palate, with citrus and mint flavors joined by a steely quality. A very fresh style; finishes with a hint of bitter grapefruit peel. This hardly seems like a 2006.


2006 Caves Jean et Sebastien Dauvissat Chablis Montmains

Reticent aromas of wet stone, menthol, lemon and grapefruit; austere and classic. Then juicy, brisk and on the lean side, with a faint hard edge to the fruit. Persistent, slightly metallic finish. Again, I would never have picked this blind as coming from the 2006 vintage.


2006 Caves Jean et Sebastien Dauvissat Chablis Vaillons

(these vines are 35 to 40 years old) Pale yellow. Expressive aromas of lemon and white flowers. Suppler and sweeter in the mouth than the Montmains but still classic Chablis, offering flavors of citrus fruits, minerals and flowers. This juicy wine boasts more texture and density than the Montmains but maintains a light touch. Finishes with a note of grapefruit peel that avoids coming off as hard or dry.


2006 Caves Jean et Sebastien Dauvissat Chablis Sechet

Sexy aromas of lime and quinine, with a pronounced minerality. Much less open than the Vaillons despite boasting a rather fat texture and unusual richness for this cuvee from this cellar. The citrus and powdered stone flavors are uncompromisingly dry without being hard or tart, and the finish is surprisingly pliant and expressive.


2006 Caves Jean et Sebastien Dauvissat Chablis Vaillons Vieilles Vignes

(done in a combination of tank and barriques Pale color. Ripe lemon and grapefruit aromas complemented by subtle oak spice, with a whiff of pineapple emerging with air. In a rich, ripe and broad style; not yet complex but the lemon and spice flavors are deep and persistent. The long finish features a hint of sucrosite from the wine's wood component. I like the way the oak element is used here.


2006 Caves Jean et Sebastien Dauvissat Chablis Les Preuses

Initially reticent nose showed candied citrus peel, minerals, spices, toast and rose petal with air. Supple and quite floral in the mouth, with the fattest and silkiest texture of these 2006s. Also the longest and finest-grained today. More minerally than usual for this wine at this early stage of its evolution-and Dauvissat agrees, saying that this is his most mineral and floral Preuses since 2002. "But then this is a minerally year," he told me. "My Preuses generally takes longer to show its minerality, and it's often so agreeable and flattering early that people drink it too young." A superb showing.


2005 Caves Jean et Sebastien Dauvissat Chablis

(bottled in March of '07) Peach, apple, vanilla and wet stone on the slightly resiny nose, with hints of oatmeal and marzipan. Rich and ripe but with surprising acidity framing the pineapple and peach flavors. Finishes with good length and a repeating resiny suggestion. Could use a bit more verve on the back.


2005 Caves Jean et Sebastien Dauvissat Chablis Montmains

Pale yellow. Classic aromas of hay, minerals and wet stone. Intensely flavored but with an almost medicinal impression of austerity. Rather bracing metallic and liquid stone flavors are quite dry and tight. Finishes with sneaky length but this uncompromising premier cru really calls for five years of cellaring.


2005 Caves Jean et Sebastien Dauvissat Chablis Vaillons

(not yet bottled) Very pale yellow. Pure, clean aromas of grapefruit pith, mint, powdered stone and quinine. Pure, juicy and precise but youthfully reserved, with bracing citrus flavors and a subtle rising finish. Intense and classic. This is developing nicely.


2005 Caves Jean et Sebastien Dauvissat Chablis Sechet

Nose dominated by a spicy, almost peppery character. Hints of apple and toasted bread in the mouth show only moderate intensity. Not quite hard but a bit austere owing to its modest depth. Like the village wine, this shows a faint resiny quality on the aftertaste. I get a sense of limited phenolic maturity here. Dauvissat notes that these relatively young vines (actually, about 20 years old) may have been more affected by heat than his other crus in '05.


2005 Caves Jean et Sebastien Dauvissat Chablis Vaillons Vieilles Vignes

Ripe crystallized lemon and quinine on the nose, with barely a trace of oak influence showing. Sweet, supple and rich, with a pliant flavor of lemon candy. With its harmonious acidity, I find this fresher than the young '06, not to mention more complex. Finishes ripe and long.


2005 Caves Jean et Sebastien Dauvissat Chablis Les Preuses

Bracing lemon peel currently a bit overshadowed by spicy oak. Rich, spicy and deep but rather austere, even a bit hard today, with somewhat medicinal flavors of wet stone and menthol dominating. There's plenty of stuffing here but today this is dry and backward-and very tough to taste. The '06 version seems to be more classic, not to mention more accessible today.

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