DOMAINE BERNARD DEFAIX 17, rue du Château, Milly - 89800 Chablis - Tel. +33.386 42 77 45 - Fax : +33.386 42 40 28 - Mail : contact@bernard-defaix.com page in English page en Français
DOMAINE BERNARD DEFAIX 17, rue du Château, Milly - 89800 Chablis - Tel. +33.386 42 77 45 - Fax : +33.386 42 40 28 - Mail :contact@bernard-defaix.com

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GUIDE HACHETTE DES VINS 2018

Chablis 1er cru Les Lys 2015* : A combined tank and barrel ageing for this cuvée, well balanced. The nose appeals with its mineral fineness. A promise of liveliness in the mouth ? A promise kept, the palate is tonic, tinged with terroir, rounded with greedy flavours of ripe fruit.
Chablis 1er cru Fourchaume 2015* : A wine full of fineness with a fresh and lemony nose extended by a vibrant mouth, on the citrus, supported by a well melted wood.
Chablis Grand Cru Vaudesir 2014* : A small quantity however a great quality with this Vaudésir proposed by the wine merchant, a grand cru aged in barrel for sixteen months. Intense and mineral, the nose shows a great fineness. The mouth seems full, dense, rich, supported by a fine acidity and a discreet wood. The final is slightly spicy.

THE GUIDE RVF OF THE BEST WINES FROM FRANCE 2018

Sylvain and Didier manage the family domain in Milly, whose vineyard is situated on the left bank of the Serein river. Their premiers crus, a little less known than those on the right bank, reserve beautiful surprises in the hot years – especially on the terroir of Côte de Lechet.  Thanks to skilful vinifications and to ageing on the fine lees in tank, the wines gain more fat and are protected against oxidation.  Bottom of the range wines are outstandingly good value for money.
The wines on vintage 2015 : not much expressive, the cuvée Vieilles Vignes (15/20) doesn’t lack fatness nor ripe fruit. With its ripe and lemony notes, Les Lys (15/20) is early and greedy. Languid, slightly lush, Vaillons (15/20) has kept  a fine freshness and a pleasant bitterness on the finale. Provided with a good volume, Côte de Lechet (15.5/20)  shows ripe and powerful. Much volume and saline intensity in Bougros (15.5/20), which partially opens up : its wood will have to melt away in order to let the wine express itself fully. The richness of the vintage brings slightly exotic notes (vanilla, plantain) to the aromas of the dense and generous grand cru Vaudésir (16.5/20). Its sweet length makes it already approachable, however its real complexity will come with age.
Favourite of the year
Chablis premier cru Côte de Lechet Réserve 2015 (16/20) : Slightly warm, this selection of old vines (60 years’ old) offers a real fineness and lots of complexity, with a tonic acidity and a length dotted with fine bitterness. It is indoubtedly positioned on top of the premiers crus.

BOURGOGNE AUJOURD'HUI - July/August 2017 - Special vintage 2016

Chablis premier cru Vaillons – 17,5 : Precise nose of yellow orchard fruit and spices. The mouth is concentrated, ample with a good tension on the final.
Chablis Grand Cru Vaudésir  - 17,5 : Solar nose of ripe citrus fruit and candied orange. Nice energy in the mouth, with depth, a dense substance and a tonic final.
Chablis Grand Cru Bougros  - 17 : Rich nose, a real concentration of ripe fruit. The mouth is full, ample, just like the 2016 vintage. A saline final.
Chablis premier cru Fourchaume – 16,5 : A fruity and spiced nose, with a woody note. The maturing is still noticeable in the mouth, however this is a fine wine, refined.
Chablis premier cru Côte de Lechet  - 16 : Slightly acid notes on the nose avec a nice wood. The mouth is supple and clean, with a fine saline final.

LA REVUE DU VIN DE FRANCE- June 2017 - Special Vintage 2016

Chablis Grand Cru Bougros 16,5 – 17,5/20: A discreet wood supports a pure substance, sharp, firm. Shining, with a bright fruit, it lingers in a tight finale.
Chablis Grand Cru Vaudésir 15,5 – 16,5/20: Some grilled wood in this punchy substance. Lemony volume and fine bitterness, a sharp and tonic profile, quite sinewy.

 

LE POINT (french weekly newspaper) Special Vins - September 2017

Chablis 2015: White fruits, hot straw, harvest, round mouth, rich, long, a wine a bit unconventional but with a great tension on the finish
Chablis Vieille Vigne 2015: Fruity nose, rich mouth, a wine a bit solar, gourmand, full, a bit more Côte d’Or than Chablis but with pleasure, a wine for the meal.

WEINWISSER - N° 02/2017

Chablis Grand Cru Bougros 2014 - 18.5/20

BOURGOGNE AUJOURD'HUI - June 2017


Chablis Grand Cru 2014 et Chablis 1er cru 2015

Chablis premier cru Côte de Lechet Réserve 2015 - 18/20: Well sheltered  in the warm valley of Côte de Lechet , the old vines offered in 2015 a great wine, with aromas of ripe citrus, grilled, of iodine …In the mouth, the wine is fleshy, fat and tight at the same time. All that we like in Chablis !
Chablis premier cru Côte de Lechet 2015 - 17/20: Gorgeous aromas where a solar side , generous, mixes with iodine minerality. The wine is rich, pure, tight and very long in the mouth.
Chablis premier cru Fourchaume 2015 – 17/20: Gold color, bright. Pure and rich aromas of lemon pie, vanilla cream, spices…The wine is well-rounded, soft, stylish, without any heaviness.
Chablis grand cru Vaudésir 2014 – 17/20: Expressive aromas, detailed, of spices, white flowers…In the mouth, the wine shows greediness, a generous fruit, crispy, the whole thing with a fine sapid minerality.
Chablis premier cru Les Lys 2015 – 16/20: Fruit and flower aromas, well opened, stylish. The wine is full, with ripe fruit flavors, a hint of spice and a precise finale on bitter citrus.
Chablis grand cru Bougros 2014 – 15,5/20: Detailed aromas, cool, of citrus, iodine…The wine is round, tonic, chiseled, with a minerality well wrapped in ripe fruit.
Chablis premier cru Vaillons 2015 - 15/20

BURGHOUND.COM, Allen Meadows, Oct 2016

Didier Defaix describes 2015 as one that “gave us a relatively easy growing season as the spring was largely clement. The flowering occurred in the first week of June and while it wasn’t perfect we really didn’t have much shatter. While the summer was definitely dry we had just enough rain when we needed it and while hail is one of those phenomena where you just never know, our vines were largely spared. Because we weren’t really affected by the hail we were able to wait until the 7th of September to begin picking. Because the summer had been so hot we did everything we could to preserve freshness and to avoid exoticism. One of the interesting aspects given the ripeness levels is how much the wines changed during the élevage and in particular after the malos as they actually tightened up! I don’t think that I have ever seen that before. This may have been aided somewhat by the fact that we did zero bâtonnage as the wines struck us as being already sufficiently rich. Today I would describe them as round and rich with flattering aromas and textures. In short I would say that 2015 is good vintage but certainly not a great one.” The now in-bottle 2014s, revisited below, are excellent wines that were bottled between February and March 2016. See also the related Domaine Jaeger-Defaix below in the section on the Côte Chalonnaise.
2015 Petit Chablis: (from Milly). A whiff of sea breeze adds freshness to the citrus, apple and floral-suffused nose. There is both good richness and volume to the very round and supple flavors that exhibit a hint of bitter lemon on the clean, dry and balanced finale. This is already drinking well though one year of bottle age will help to add a bit of depth. 86/2017+
2015 Chablis: (from 4 different communes).  Mineral reduction, white flower and algae aromas. There is more volume and richness to the seductively textured flavors that display a bit more minerality on the more complex and longer finish. 88/2018+
2015 Chablis Vieilles Vignes: (from 45+ year old vines that see 20% oak but no new wood or cold stabilization). There is even better Chablis typicity to the apple, citrus, pear and seaweed aromas that are trimmed in a touch of wood. There is fine richness to the round, lush and vibrant flavors that terminate in a clean, dry and tight finish that makes clear this will need a few years first to unwind. (87-90)/2019+
2015 Chablis “Les Lys”: (this sees 10-15% oak treatment). Elegant and airy aromas of citrus zest, mineral reduction and discreet spice nuances. There is also some wood in evidence on the palate of the delicate, round and delicious flavors that retain the natural refinement of a Les Lys on the clean, dry and focused finale. At present this is pretty rather than deep and will need to develop better depth over the next few years. (88-91)/2020+
2015 Chablis “Vaillons”: (almost all Vaillons proper with a bit of Séchet). An overtly floral-suffused nose presents additional breadth in the form of the spicy citrus and ocean breeze aromas. There is excellent richness to the full-bodied and generously proportioned flavors that deliver fine length on the bitter lemon-inflected finale. (89-91)/2021+
2015 Chablis “Côte de Léchet”:  Underlying fruit  on the extremely rich, generous and seductive flavors that terminate in a saline and focused finale. (88-91)/2020+
2015 Chablis “Côte de Léchet Réserve”: (from 50+ year old vines aged in 40% oak though none of it is new). Mmore concentrated flavors that deliver good length on the sappy finale. This is a quality effort. (88-91)/2019+
2015 Chablis “Fourchaume”: (from Côte de Fontenay). The nose is still carrying residual fermentation aromas and is presently hard to read. Otherwise there is good punch and richness to the solidly concentrated flavors where the supporting sap imparts a seductive mouth feel and particularly so on the generous and nicely complex finale. (89-91)/2019+
2015 Chablis – Vaudésir: A ripe but cool nose features notes of smoke, sea breeze, mineral reduction and white orchard fruit aromas. The rich, full and vibrant medium weight flavors possess an almost delicate mouth feel yet offer plenty of volume on the tangy and racy finish where an agreeable hint of citrus appears. Lovely. (90-93)/2021+
2015 Chablis – Bougros: Moderate wood does not suppress the expressiveness of the mildly exotic dried yellow fruit and oyster shell nose that slides gracefully into delicious and succulent medium plus weight flavors that possess ample amounts of dry extract that buffers the lemon-tinged acid spine on the lingering if slightly less complex finale. (90-92)/2021+
2014 Chablis Vieilles Vignes: (from 45+ year old vines that see 20% oak but no new wood or cold stabilization). There is a whiff of wood present on the expressive nose that offers up notes of algae, iodine, white peach and seaweed. As is usually the case with this wine there is excellent size, weight and mid-palate density to the medium-bodied flavors that brim with dry extract on the textured and lingering finale. This is a terrific and ageworthy villages that is highly recommended. 90/2020+
2014 Chablis “Les Lys”: (this sees 10-15% oak treatment). A cool, pure and elegant nose reluctantly offers up notes of apple, mineral reduction and white flowers along with plenty of classic Chablis elements. The palate impression of the delicate middle weight flavors is finer than that of the Vieilles Vignes but not as concentrated, all wrapped in a gorgeously long mineral-inflected finish. This seriously lovely effort should be accessible young but reward 4 to 7 years of bottle age as well. 92/2020+
2014 Chablis “Vaillons”: (almost all Vaillons proper with a bit of Séchet). This could not be mistaken for anything other than Chablis with its layered nose of oyster shell, iodine and spice-scented aromas. There is excellent density to the powerful medium weight flavors that coat the mouth with extract before culminating in a mineral and saline-inflected finale where a hint of bitter lemon is perceptible. This too is terrific and worth considering. 92/2021+
2014 Chablis “Côte de Léchet”: A whiff of post-bottling SO2 is still present on the otherwise pretty nose that displays notes of ocean shore, iodine, oyster shell, tangerine peel and lemon zest. There is fine richness and volume to the relatively dense flavors that exude a fine bead of minerality on the clean and markedly dry finale where the citrus elements telegraphed by the nose reappear. This succulent yet highly energetic and chiseled effort should drink well both young and with age. 93/2021+
2014 Chablis “Côte de Léchet – Réserve”: (from 50+ year old vines aged in 40% oak though none of it is new). As is typically the case with this cuvée the wood treatment is a bit more prominent. Slightly riper aromas that consist of orange peel, apricot, white peach and subtle iodine nuances. The rich, even opulent big-bodied flavors also possess fine mid-palate concentration thanks to the copious amount of dry extract that also serves to buffer the moderately firm and overtly citrus-tinged acid spine. This isn’t quite as saline-inflected as the regular cuvée but it’s even longer; either way, both cuvées are remarkably good. 93/2022+
2014 Chablis – Vaudésir: There is a background touch of wood setting off the ripe yet cool and wonderfully pure white and yellow orchard fruit aromas that are liberally laced with notes of sea breeze and mineral reduction. The palate impression of the full-bodied and powerful flavors is rich but refined, all wrapped in delicious and impressively long finish where a hint of bitter lemon appears. This is not super dense but the balance is impeccable and it should age effortlessly. 94/2020+
2014 Chablis – Bougros: Here the wood is subtle but not invisible with plenty of typical Chablis elements adding breadth to the primarily green fruit and citrus aromas. As is usually the case with an archetypal example of Bougros, there is fine size, weight and volume to the powerful and tension-filled flavors that deliver very fine depth and length on the explosive and beautifully well-balanced finale. This should amply reward 6 to 10 years of bottle age. 94/2022+

eRobertParker.com 2016

« I was very impressed by the quality of Didier and Sylvain Defaix’s 2014s at Bernard Defaix. There is some clever use of oak barrels here that made sure it did not impede upon terroir or minerality. As such, they come recommended this year”.
2015 Chablis - 89 points - Drink 2016-2022: Entirely matured in stainless steel, he has a vivacious lemon curd scented bouquet with plenty of cold stone/granitic aromas coming through with aeration. The palate is well balanced with crisp acidity, fine tension and a spice-tinged finish that lingers nicely. Very fine for a Chablis. You cannot go wrong here.
2014 Chablis 1er Cru Côte de Lechet - 91 points - Drink : 2016-2024: he has a very composed bouquet, very refined with citrus fruit, honeysuckle and slate-like aromas that gain intensity in the glass. The palate is very well balanced with superb acidity, very tensile and steely, but with fine fruit intensity on the finish—bitter lemon mixed with green apple and fresh pear.
2014 Chablis 1er Cru Côte de Lechet Réserve - 93 points - Drink : 2017-2030: Coming from 35-year-old vines and matured in 50% used oak barrels for 18 months, this wine has a very composed and pretty bouquet with citrus fruit, honeysuckle and limestone aromas. The palate is very well balanced with crisp acidity, fine tension and a lovely, sensual and lightly spiced finish. This is just superb.
2014 Chablis Grand Cru Bougros - 94 points - Drink : 2019-2035: He has a very precise and harmonious bouquet, subtle nectarine and white peach notes embroidered with the mineral scents. The palate is very well defined with crisp acidity, and saline in the mouth with great precision on the stylish and classy finish. What a great Bougros ! This should age with style.

WINE AND SPIRITS – FALL 2016

JASON JACOBEIT ON CHABLIS by Joshua Greene
Chablis 1er Cru Côte de Lechet Reserve:
With its east-south-east exposure on the Left Bank of the Serein River, this premier cru site allows for slow and gradual ripening, Jacobeit says. ‘Defaix is the largest owner of Côte de Lechet and makes this wine from a single parcel of his oldest vines, planted in 1955 by Bernard. It may not be a grand cru, but his two sons farm it with the same care that great producers lavish on their best vines – and we’re looking at a $30 to $35 retail price”. Jacobeit finds  that this old-vine parcel has an extra dimension when compared to other bottlings from this vineyard, describing it as “power, minerality and depth of flavor – and the stamina to age better than many wines at four times the price”.

WINSTON-SALEM JOURNAL - Michael Hastings - August 2016

Petit Chablis 2015: aromas of apple segue into flavors of apple, lemon grapefruit and minerals. Refreshing salinity on the finish. Very good.

L'EXPRESS - August 2016 (weekly french newspaper)

Special summer Vineyards in France - Vinegrowers from Burgundy
Hélène Jaeger-Defaix and Didier Defaix

She is winegrower in Côte châlonnaise, he is the same in the Chablis vineyard ! With the horse as the only means of transport, their life would have been complicated in the olden days. This is possible today. Native of Rully – her grandmother was the famous photographer Janine Niepce  -, Hélène takes care of the 6 ha vineyard, half-red, half-white,  of her family. Her Rully 1er Cru Clos du Chapitre, a red wine, is blessed with an ideal microclimate. The movie Premiers crus was filmed in their property. In Chablis, Didier and his brother Sylvain make an outstanding Côte de Lechet, one of the most famous premiers crus of the left bank, crammed with loose stones and fossils. This is made of pure and saline mineral, a character like no other. They go well together, he and she, their climates too.

GUIDE HACHETTE DES VINS 2017

Chablis 2014*: Domain Defaix is a well-established estate (converted into organic farming) in Milly, which has been taken over by Sylvain and Didier, Bernard’s sons. It is also a wine merchant set up besides, which works in the same way as the domain.  
Vinified on fine lees during ten months, this chablis seduces at once by its olfactory freshness, diffused by a fine minerality and citrus aromas. The mouth is well built, ample and unctuous, supple and spicy.
Chablis 1er cru Côte de Lechet 2014**: the domain presents here a fine cuvée worth keeping, powerful, generous and well structured, “a real Goliath”, that still needs to refine. The oak is well controlled, racy, however still evident, though a little softened by a subtle minerality and greedy ripe fruit aromas. A chablis 1er cru that looks towards the Côte de Beaune.
Chablis Granc Cru Vaudesir 2013: A skilful oak maturing shows through in this harmonious micro-cuvée, aged sixteen months in barrel. The nose opens up on white flowers and fresh fruit, underlined by some toasted bread aromas. Quite dense, dominated by the fruit, the mouth finds its balance in an acidity that shows on the finale.

THE RVF GUIDE OF THE BEST WINES FROM FRANCE 2017

Sylvain and Didier manage the family domain in Milly, whose vineyard is situated on the left bank of the Serein river. Their premiers crus, a little less known than those on the right bank, reserve beautiful surprises in the hot years – especially on the terroir of Côte de Lechet.  Thanks to skilful vinifications and to ageing on the fine lees in tank, the wines gain more fat and are protected against oxidation. Bottom of the range wines are outstandingly good value for money.
The wines : The Petit Chablis is marked by the solar minerality of the vintage, and the Chablis is defined  more by volume and maturity than by the expression of the Chablis terroir. Firm and fleshy, displaying cold and sea breeze flavours, the Chablis Vieille Vigne is straightforward and persistent. Soft, easy to reach, Les Lys offers a fine saline length. Coated and generous, Vaillons displays a balance without any massiveness. Firm and straightforward, the Côte de Lechet is getting gorgeous and quite early.
Favourites of the year
Chablis Grand Cru Vaudésir 2014: A great volume from the attack in this quite rich wine, whose fruit maturity well combined with the maturing, which gives to this wine all the persistence and depth expected. This should drink well both young and with a little age.
Chablis 1er Cru Côte de Lechet Réserve 2014 : A great aromatic fineness in this wine, whose saltiness slips on the tongue and refresh a flesh volume well ripe and round.

BOURGOGNE AUJOURD'HUI - May June 2016

Chablis premiers crus 2014 / grands crus 2013
Chablis premier cru Les Lys - 17: Fine aromas of fruit and flowers… Good persistency in the mouth, on ripe and fresh notes of citrus, the whole thing with a delicate minerality.
Chablis grand cru Vaudésir – 17: Citrus and spices aromas … In the mouth, the richness, the fatness, combines with the mineral tension to give a pure chablis grand cru.
Chablis premier cru Côte de Lechet Réserve – 16,5: Flagship cuvée of the domain, the Côte de Lechet Réserve expresses in 2014 aromas at the same time solar, warm and fresh. The wine is full, rich, tensed by the minerality. A great wine worth keeping.
Chablis premier cru Côte de Lechet – 16: Beautiful golden color, brilliant. Mixed aromas of sweet flowers, yellow orchard fruit and citrus. The wine is rich, full, greedy and saline at the same time.
Chablis premier cru Vaillons – 15,5: Intense nose of yellow orchard fruit at the same time ripe and fresh, of meadow mushroom…. In the mouth, a lot of volume, fatness, flesh and a good balance.
Chablis grand cru Bougros - 15

BURGHOUND.COM, Allen Meadows, Oct 2015

Didier Defaix describes 2014 as one that “produced ultra-classic wines that stylistically really couldn’t be more different than their 2013 counterparts. The growing season started out well but in a sense was actually a bit too nice for the flowering as temperatures soared which caused a high incidence of shatter. The mid-summer conditions that followed weren’t especially propitious yet about 30 days before the harvest they became just about ideal.  All of the water the vines had stockpiled during the summer allowed them to ripen the fruit quickly and we began picking on the 17th of September under ideal weather. You could pick slowly and carefully as there was no threat of inclement weather and this allowed us to wait for each parcel to arrive at its optimum ripeness level. Yields were about average but we had almost no sorting losses as the fruit was about as clean as I have ever seen with good potential alcohols that ranged between 12 and 13%. Interestingly, the acidities weren’t all that different thjan they were in 2013 yet from the metric of how the fruit, and the subsequent wines, tasted, they are once again completely different. The alcoholic fermentations proceeded rapidly yet the malos were very slow and for the first time since 2010 we actually did a bit of lees stirring. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the élevage was more important in 2014 than it was in 2013. Overall I really like the 2014s and I believe anyone who enjoys classically styled Chablis will too”. The now in-bottle 2013s, revisited below, are lovely wines that should drink well early but reward short to mid-term cellaring. They were bottled between February and March 2015. 

2014 Petit Chablis : (from Milly). An expressive nose blends notes of iodine and sea breeze with those of a mix of yellow orchard fruit. There is good richness to the very round and seductively textured flavours that possess evident salinity on the delicious finale. This should drink well almost immediately. 87/2016+
2014 Chablis : (from 4 different communes). A ripe yet cool nose features notes of various white and yellow fruit aromas that are liberally laced with classic Chablis elements. Like the Petit Chablis there is a seductive texture to the mouth coating flavours that terminate in a dry, clean and generously proportioned finale. This too should drink well early. 88/2017+
2014 Chablis Vieilles Vignes : (from 45+ year old vines that see 20% oak but no new wood or cold stabilization). There is noticeable but not intrusive wood present on the less expressive nose that offers up mildly exotic notes or orange peel, white peach and seaweed. As is almost always the case there is more size, weight and mid-palate density to the medium-bodied flavours that brim dry extract on the textured and lingering finale where a hint of brioche appears. (88-90)/2018+
2014 Chablis “Les Lys”: (this sees 10-15% oak treatment). Here too there is enough wood to remark upon on the reduced nose where the underlying fruit appears to be ripe. The palate impression of the middle weight flavors is finer than that of the Vieilles Vignes but not as concentrated, all wrapped in a mineral-inflected finish where once again the wood comes up. This should be accessible young but reward 4 to 6 years of bottle age as well. (89-91)/2019+
2014 Chablis “Vaillons”: (almost all Vaillons proper with a bit of Séchet). Once again the wood treatment is sufficiently prominent to mention as it frames the mildly exotic dried yellow orchard fruit scents. There is excellent density to the powerful medium weight flavors that coat the mouth with dry extract before culminating in a mineral and saline-inflected finale where a hint of bitter lemon is perceptible. (89-92)/2020+
2014 Chablis “Côte de Léchet”: A moderate application of toasty oak is clearly present on the otherwise pretty nose that displays notes of ocean shore, oyster shell, tangerine peel and lemon zest. There is fine richness and volume to the relatively dense flavors that exude a fine bread of minerality on the clean and dry finale where the citrus elements telegraphed by the nose reappear. This succulent effort should drink well both young and with age. (89-92)/2020+
2014 Chablis “Côte de Léchet – Réserve”: (from 50+ year old vines aged in 40% oak though none of it is new).  As is typically the case with this cuvée the wood treatment is more prominent and in this case it’s enough to fight somewhat with the slightly riper aromas that consist of orange peel, apricot, white peach and subtle iodine nuances. The rich, even opulent big-bodied flavors also possess fine mid-palate concentration thanks to the copious amount of dry extract that also serves to buffer the moderately firm acid spine. This juicy yet mineral-inflected effort should drink well young. (89/92)/2020+
2014 Chablis “Fourchaume”: (from Côte de Fontenay). This is much more classic in character, particularly on the cool and admirably pure nose that exhibits green fruit, floral, oyster shell and a hint of menthol. The palate feel is an interesting combination of power and tenderness as the middle weight flavors caress the mouth before terminating in a balanced, persistent and distinctly saline-inflected finish. Lovely. (90-92)/2020+
2014 Chablis – Vaudésir:  There is a background touch of wood setting off the ripe white and yellow orchard fruit aromas that are liberally laced with notes of sea breeze and mineral reduction. The palate impression of the middle weight plus flavors is a bit bigger and richer than that of the Fourchaume, all wrapped in delicious and impressively long finish where a hint of bitter lemon appears. This is not supper dense but the balance is impeccable. (90-93)/2021+
2014 Chablis  - Bougros : Here the wood is bit more subtle with plenty of typical Chablis elements adding breadth to the primarily green fruit elements. As is usually the case with an archetypal example of Bougros, there is fine size, weight and volume to the powerful and tension-filled flavors that deliver very fine depth and length on the well-balanced finale. This should amply reward 6 to 8 years of bottle age. (91-93)/2021+
2013 Chablis – Vieilles Vignes: (from 45+ year old vines that see 20% oak but no new wood or cold stabilization). This is ripe to the point of displaying a hint of exoticism on the white and yellow fruit suffused nose that is trimmed in just enough wood to notice it. There is even better mid-palate density as well as the acid spine to keep the succulent, even unctuous flavors focused and balanced on the clean, dry and refreshing finish where a touch of salinity surfaces. Note that this could easily be enjoyed young. 88/2018+
2013 Chablis “Les Lys”: (this sees 10-15% oak treatment). An exceptionally fresh and cool nose offers up a broad-ranging array of exotic yellow fruit, tidal pool, citrus rind and floral hints. Here too there is fine richness to the delicious and attractively detailed middle weight flavors that exude a fine bead of minerality on the juicy, even fleshy finish. This is not a classically styled Les Lys but it’s appealing in its fashion all the same. 89/2018+
2013 Chablis “Vaillons”: (almost all Vaillons proper with a bit of Séchet and Les Lys ). This is also agreeably fresh with ripe floral, citrus and peppery notes that display a background hinst of brioche and exotic fruit. As is almost always the case this is bigger, richer and more powerful than the Les Lys with plenty of mouth coating dry extract adding weight to the generous finish that is clipped and a bit dry. This may recover with a few years of bottle but it’s certainly awkward today. 89?/2018+
2013 Chablis “Côte de Léchet”: There is enough residual sulfur present to suggest that decanting this would be a good idea if you’re tempted to try a bottle young. Otherwise the nose is composed by notes of mineral reduction along with exotic yellow fruit, iodine and citrus hints. There is fine volume and punch to the mineral-inflected and opulent medium-bodied flavors that possess a lovely intensity on the complex and saline finish. This is not a textbook example of the vineyard due to the exotic fruit it’s still appealing in its fashion. 90/2018+
2013 Chablis “Côte de Léchet – Réserve”: (from 50+ year old vines aged in 40% oak though none of it is new). As is typically the case the wood treatment is more obvious than it is on the regular cuvée along with enough S02 to warrant decanting it. There is outstanding richness and mid-palate concentration to the suave and almost creamy medium weight flavors that coat the palate with dry extract, all wrapped in a relatively dry and persistent finish. 91/2018+
2013 Chablis – Vaudésir: An overtly exotic yet strikingly fresh and complex nose blends together ample Chablis character with mostly dried yellow fruit and spice nuances. This is a big and concentrated wine with good power and punch on the broad-shouldered flavors that are shaped by a moderately firm acid spine where the finish is slightly dry. This may very well recover as I suspect that the sulfur added at the bottling is responsible for the dryness. 90/2019+
2013 Chablis – Bougros: Here too the nose is impressively broad-ranging with notes of honeysuckle, pear, white peach and algae scents. There is solid intensity to the big-bodied and muscular flavors that brim with dry extract that coats the mouth on the powerful and beautifully persistent finish. Despite the imposing size and weight this remains relatively fine and precise in the context of the appellation. 91/2020+

BOURGOGNE AUJOURD’HUI – October 2015

Bernard Defaix / Le bon Sens Paysan (The farmer’s common sense)
At Bernard Defaix’s Domain, there’s no showing off; the vines are organic and great Chablis’ are produced. Special award for the premier cru Côte de Lechet.

The world of wine is a reflection of the society.  There can be found people who make a lot of fuss but nothing else, and some others, much more discreet although they have « heart ». Of course we set Domain Bernard Defaix, established in Milly, one of Chablis’ hamlets, in the second category, and the tasting presented in the following pages let us think that it’s far from new. And if we really think about it, it seems quite logical that the domain is identified that much with the premier cru Côte de Lechet, a 100% chablisian terroir, although much less famous than the climats of the right bank of the Serein river : grands crus and premiers crus Montée de Tonnerre, Fourchaume, or Mont de Milieu. The domain farms nine hectares of Côte de Lechet, (on a total of forty three hectares), on two areas. The first four hectares are located just above the domain, on a sloping hillside, stony, marked by an important chalky soil, facing south east. “It is a warm place, that dries quickly, where grape can even burn a little in case of high temperatures” explains Didier Defaix (45), who has taken over the domain in 1992 with his brother Sylvain (46). The other five hectares are located in the historic part of the Côte de Lechet, in a king of a coomb, protected from the winds, where the soil is covered with stones.To read the whole article and also the vertical tasting of Cote de Lechet between 2013 and 1983, click on

That is in this second area, even warmer than the first one, that the domain has been producing since 1994 its cuvée “Réserve”, coming from one hectare of 55 years old vines. Ten years ago, the plot used for the production of this cuvée moved more several meters in the same area; then the old plot was pulled up and replanted 8000 vines/hectare instead of 6000 in the previous usual layout in Chablis, with also another major difference. “All our new plantations are made this way. It allows to have more competition between the vine stocks, fewer grapes and smaller, and a vegetation better spread” explains Didier Defaix. The regular cuvée of Côte de Lechet is produced over eight hectares on two areas, which is to have three ages of vines : old, middle aged and young vines. The logic is the same for the Chablis. “This is important to get a well-balanced cuvée” asserts the winegrower.

At the domain Bernard Defaix, the vines have been 100% organic farmed since 2007 (certified in 2012), however Didier and Sylvain have not started from nothing. “Our father was already involved in the work in the vineyard. He used to take care, to find the balances and our evolution towards the organic farming happened gradually in a farmer spirit but certainly not in a militant spirit. The idea was to come back to what farmers used to do before the arrival of the chemicals. I really feel winegrower, so if the job consists in treating the vines every two weeks on the orders of a technician, I’m not interested! On the one hand, it is technically easier nowadays to do organic farming with the tools we have at our disposal, and on the other part, the job has changed; the size of the domains is not the same as before, the investments neither. The customers expect good wines every year, so we can’t mess up”, affirms Didier with conviction. In the cellar, the domain makes rather long maturing: eight to ten months for the Chablis, eleven to thirteen months for the premiers crus and up to eighteen months for the grands crus, the Côte de Lechet Réserve and the Rullys (see the file Domain Jaeger Defaix). The oak barrel is used with moderation: 20 % for the premiers crus, 50% for the Côte de Lechet Réserve, 100% for the grands crus and the rullys, but only with twenty to thirty new barrels for each vintage in the whole cellar.

CHABLIS PREMIER CRU CÔTE DE LECHET
Four decades, twelve wines, two cuvées, two generations, here is an ideal tasting to explore the Côte de Lechet, a “typical Chablis” premier cru.
2013 (regular cuvée) – 16,5/20
The 2013 regular cuvée we had tasted a few months ago, marked 14,5/20 (BA May-June 2013), opened out and then gains two points. Perfumed nose of sweet flowers aromas, of yellow orchard fruit with a hint of iodine. The wine is full-bodied, round on the attack in the mouth, then it refines, tightens smoothly, comes back on fine bitter notes, on its chablisian nature, and then finishes on a mineral note, saline.
2012 (cuvée « Réserve ») – 18/20
“Spring was not easy in the vineyard, and we thought that if we wanted to succeed in organic farming, we had to be even more rigorous, more precise, to alternate between sulfur, copper and plant teas. Besides, in 2012 we have started to test out “biodynamie” “explains Didier Defaix. That is in the difficult vintages that great wines are born often, like this brilliant 2012, with an impressive richness, fat, intense and pure.
2013 (cuvée « Réserve ») – 17/20
Intense and lively gold-green color. Aromas of flowers, “noble” plants (linden-tree, fern…), white fruit… After a few years in bottle, the wine has “smoothly” tensed, with a fine minerality, without any aggressiveness, the whole coated in a nice ripe and delicate fruity.
2003 (cuvée « classique ») – 17/20
« We had finished harvesting on the 4th of September » remembers Hélène, Didier’s wife, who goes back over the beginnings of the organic farming at the domain : “That is in this kind of year, dry and hot, that one can go into it. We started to look into the organic farming in 2003”. 2003, it is the year of the scorching heat, with 40 degrees in the shade in Chablis at the beginning of August. It really looks like a hot year, though finally not too much. Aromas of yellow orchard fruit, toasted bread, spices and flint. The wine is delicious, crispy, juicy, rich, kept by the salinity. A real success.
2002 (cuvée « classique ») – 17,5/20
The vintages follow one another, however are not alike, excepted for the grades. Glittering gold coloured, well evolved. The aromas slowly get a patina, delicately, towards notes of dried flowers, linden-tree, grilled hazelnuts, with the chablisian iodine touch, evident, really fine. In the mouth, the wine is rich, with fine bitter notes (candied orange), lots of freshness, and there is still much more to say. We think that it should be even much better in ten year’s.
2001 (cuvée « classique ») – 16,5/20
Expressive and pure aromas of brioche bread, yellow orchard fruit, spices; notes of meadow mushrooms appear. In the mouth, the wine is concentrated, strong, with a pleasant evolution. There is not the fineness of the 2012 vintage, however this is fine wine.
1994 (cuvée « Réserve ») – 15,5/20
« We began this cuvée that year, about 2000 to 3000 bottles, to see what would come out of it. We also started to plough some vines, to grass over some others. We were looking for our way” explains Didier, who had taken over the domain with his brother two years before. For a first attempt, that was a success and twenty one years later, the wine is maybe less precise than on the previous vintages (that is also explained by that year), though it has  a good keeping, middle weight substance, however greedy, with fine toasted notes and a sapid finish.
1993 (cuvée « classique ») – 17/20
Golden colour, sensuous aromas of « marron glacé », fresh honey, yellow orchard fruit, with notes of meadow mushrooms and shell. In the mouth, the wine is solid, full, with a fruity at the same time concentrated, fresh, greedy and a finish that makes the mouth water. We ask for more…
1992 (cuvée « classique ») – 17,5/20
1992 is renowned as a great vintage for the Chardonnay, fully justified in this case. That is also Didier and Sylvain Defaix‘s first vintage… Rich and precise aromas of ripe fruit, slightly jammed, of spices, of toasted… In the mouth, a crispy fruity, greedy and refined coat a delicate minerality, which gives a sweet whole, well balanced, finally still very young.
1985 (cuvée « classique ») – 18/20
Bernard Defaix, the father, was then in control, an how well ! Glittering gold coloured, still intense. The sun of that vintage shows through the nose with full bodied aromas of yellow orchard fruit, of spices … In the mouth, the concentration of ripe fruit, jammed, the minerality and the freshness make a perfect bottle of thirty years.
1984 (cuvée « classique ») – 14/20
1984 is one of the worst vintages in the fifty last years, however the end of the season was a little nicer and some Chablis producers managed to profit of it. The nose is interesting with yellow notes of fruit, notes of curry, of saffron … The mouth is light, lively, spiced and in the end, pleasant.
1983 (cuvée « classique ») – 17,5/20
Here is a last « monument » to finish one of the best tastings we’ve had the chance to have these last years. Gold colour, lively. Yellow orchard fruit aromas, together with notes of petroleum which reminds of a fine alsacian Riesling. In the mouth, the wine is rich, crispy, honeyed, juicy, with a sapid finish, mineral, “dry” in the best sense of the word, which evidences a great terroir for ageing.

LE GUIDE HACHETTE DES VINS 2016

Petit Chablis 2013* Domain Defaix is a well-established estate in Milly, which has been taken over by Sylvain and Didier, Bernard’s sons. It is also a wine merchant set up besides, which works in the same way as the domain.  In this wine can be found all the subtlety of Chardonnay planted on stony soils. If the nose shows shyly on floral notes, the mouth reveals from the attack its richness and roundness, and finally offers a fine freshness, typical of Chablis.
Chablis 1er cru Vaillons 2013* The wines are vinified and matured in barrels ; these last ones are not new and so do not influence the aromas. The nose is discreet, stylish and characteristic, as well for the mouth, mineral, precise, with a saline finish.
Also mentionned the 1er cru Les Lys and Cote de Lechet

BOURGOGNE AUJOURD’HUI – July / August 2015 - Special Vintage 2014

Chablis 1er cru Vaillons – 17/20 - A lovely wine in a pure and light style. The mouth is quite fresh, with substance and flesh.
Chablis Grand cru Vaudésir – 16,5/20 - A flattering nose on ripe fruit notes, almost exotic. A fine richness in the mouth, with the solar side of this grand cru.

BOURGOGNE AUJOURD’HUI – May/June 2015 - Chablis grands crus and premiers crus 2012 and 2013

Chablis Grand Cru Vaudésir 2012 – 17  Fine wood with lemon and grilled almond notes. In the mouth, the wine is unctuous, with a great minerality.
Chablis Grand Cru Bougros 2012 -16  Grilled nose with fine fruit in the background. Fullness in the mouth, with a fresh finish and a salin finish.
Chablis premier cru Côte de Lechet Réserve 2013 – 15
Chablis premier cru Côte de Lechet 2013 – 14,5

WEINWISSER – December 2014

Chablis 1er cru Cote de Lechet 2012 – 17/20
Chablis 1er cru Vaillons 2013 – 16/20
Chablis Grand Cru Bougros 2012 – 18/20
Chablis Grand Cru Vaudesir 2012 – 17.5/20

LA REVUE DU VIN DE FRANCE- June 2015 Special Vintage 2014

Chablis Grand Cru Bougros 16,5 – 17,5/20
Nourishing and fat at the attack, this wine finishes on saline and delicate notes. A real success.

Chablis 1er Cru Côte de Lechet 14 - 16/20
Reductant sample which displays a fresh side, with fineness and length. To follow.

LE GUIDE HACHETTE DES VINS 2015

Petit Chablis 2012* Domain Defaix is a well-established estate in Milly, which has been taken over by Sylvain and Didier, Bernard’s sons. It is also a wine merchant set up besides, which works in the same way as the domain.  There is a great fineness and freshness in this organic wine. The nose is nothing but a bunch of white flowers on a mineral base. In the mouth, the wine orchard fruit stands out. It is supported by a fine minerality that brings out this successful wine.
Chablis 2012 A complex chablis which has not reached yet its best. The intense nose hesitates between flower and fruit. The mouth, lemon-flavoured on a fresh almond background is quite pleasant. An organic wine, greedy and characteristic.
Chablis 1er cru Les Lys 2012** An example of successful maturing in barrel : the nose of ripe fruit is marked by notes of roasting ; the mouth, fleshy, is slightly reminiscent of brioche. However the citrus are still present, thanks to the minerality. This wine, already pleasant, will reveal its fineness with ageing. Keep patient …
Chablis 1er cru Fourchaume 2012* A stylish wine still reserved.
Chablis Grand Cru Vaudesir 2012* This grand cru Vaudésir has been aged 16 months in barrel, as its slight woodiness with almond nuances shows. However, the oak is well melt away, wisely combined with citrus nuances. If the nose is discreet, the mouth is rich and round, underlined by an acidity note.

LES MEILLEURS VINS DE FRANCE 2015 – Guide Vert

The wines on vintage 2012: we like both cuvées of Chablis. The Petit Chablis shows a beautiful sapidity and freshness. The Chablis vieille vigne is richer, but just and harmonious, with a lovely energy. Regarding the premiers crus, Les Lys looks a little limp, as well as the Côte de Lechet, slightly heavy in finish in the mouth. However, on the same terroir, the Réserve cuvée shows at the same time full and firm, with a good minerality that tightens the wine. We like Les Vaillons for its fineness and its white pepper notes. The Fourchaume,  has a high substance and a great density. If Bougros reveals a material worthy of a grand cru, we find it a bit too hot. Vaudésir sets up, with a fine straightness and firmness.   

CHRISTY CANTERBURY MW - October 2014

Chablis GC Vaudésir 2012 : « Enormous concentration » was one of my first notes for this wine. What is most impressive about this wine is not simply its power but its balance. Suppleness and acidity give this powerhouse equilibrium. It smells of raw almonds, flowers and cantaloupes at this stage and is sure to develop magnificently. 95 pts.

BURGHOUND.COM, Allen Meadows, Oct 2014

Didier Defaix describes 2013 as one that “gave us the smallest yields in the last 30 years ! There was a poor flowering but just to underscore the problem, in 2013 the flowering took place over 21 days while in 2014 it passed in only 4 days. As a result there were a lot of shot berries, in fact when you looked closely at a bunch, half the berries were normal-sized and half were like BB’s. Then we also had the challenge of various vine maladies that plagued us basically from start to finish though in our case we managed pretty well and thankfully we didn’t lose too much potential yield from those problems. We picked from the 3rd to the 10th of October (this period also included the Rully vines ; see Domaine Jaeger-Defaix herein for those reviews). 2013 was definitely one of those vintages where you couldn’t pick too early as the fruit wasn’t ripe but you couldn’t pick too late either as then it was too ripe. In short the window in between those two extremes was very limited and you had to get it right or the quality of your fruit suffered. To give you an idea of what we were up against, we picked in 7 days what we normally  pick in 14. The sanitary conditions of the fruit was mixed and the earlier-picked bunches were generally cleaner than the later-picked.  Sugars were good as the potential alcohols were all in the 12.5 to 13% range and we chaptalized almost nothing. The post-malo pHs were between 3.3 and 3.4 which is about what we obtained in 2012. In terms of the style of the 2013s they remind me somewhat of the 2009s, which is to say fleshy and generous wines that have enough acidity to retain their balance and typicity. I think they will be popular with the general consumer though perhaps a bit less so with those who love classic Chablis.” The now in-bottle 2012s are also lovely wines that should also drink well early but amply reward mid-term cellaring.To read all the tasting notes about vintages2012 and 2013, click on

2013 Petit Chablis :  A ripe but very fresh nose is comprised of green fruit, sea breeze and soft citrus hints. There is a very round, indeed almost easy mouth feel to the middle weight flavours but a dose of snappy finishing acidity saves the balance and allows it to remain refreshing. To enjoy young. 87/2015+

2013 Chablis : This also exhibits plenty of green fruit though here there is a bit more obvious Chablis character present on the expressive nose. There is good richness as well as fine concentration to the delicious medium-bodied flavours that terminate in a mildly bitter and minerally  finish that is somewhat like tonic water in character. This relatively forward effort should be ready to go after only 1 or 2 years of bottle age. 88/2016+

2013 Chablis – Vieilles Vignes: (from 45+ year old vines that see 20% oak but no new wood or cold stabilization). This is ripe to the point of displaying a hint of exoticism on the white and yellow fruit suffused nose that is trimmed in just enough wood to notice it. There is even better mid-palate density as well as the acid spine to keep it focused and balanced on the clean, dry and refreshing finish where a touch of bitter lemon surfaces. (88-90)/2017+

2013 Chablis “Les Lys”: (this sees 10-15% oak treatment). 
An exceptionally fresh and cool nose offers up a broad-ranging array of exotic yellow fruit, tidal pool, citrus rind and floral hints. Here too there is fine richness to the delicious and attractively detailed middle weight flavors that exude a fine bead of minerality on the juicy, even fleshy finish. This is not a classically styled Les Lys but it’s appealing in its fashion all the same. (88-91)/2017+

2013 Chablis “Vaillons”: (almost all Vaillons proper with a bit of Séchet). 
This is also agreeably fresh with ripe floral, citrus and peppery notes that display a background hint of brioche. As is almost always the case this is bigger, richer and more
powerful than the Les Lys with plenty of mouth coating dry extract adding weight to the generous yet balanced finish. I like the sense of vibrancy and this too should be approachable young yet offer a few years of development potential. (89-91)/2017+

2013 Chablis “Côte de Léchet”: There is a touch of mineral reduction present along with exotic yellow fruit, iodine and citrus hints. There is fine volume and punch to the mineral-inflected medium-bodied flavors that possess a lovely intensity on the more complex and solidly well-balanced finish. This is lovely and while it’s not a textbook example of the vineyard due to the exotic fruit it’s still quite attractive. (89-92)/2018+

2013 Chablis “Côte de Léchet – Réserve”: (from 50+ year old vines aged in 40% oak though none of it is new). As is typically the case the wood treatment is more obvious then it is on the regular cuvée though somewhat curiously the nose is reduced. (More wood generally leads to less reduction). There is outstanding richness and mid-palate concentration to the suave and almost creamy medium weight flavors that coat the palate with dry extract, all wrapped in a relatively dry and
hugely long finish. This isn’t really my style of Chablis but the underlying material is indisputably impressive. (90-92)/2018+

2013 Chablis “Fourchaume”: (from Côte de Fontenay). This presently possesses the most complex nose among these 1ers with its aromas of green fruit, sea breeze, floral and mineral reduction nuances. The dense, serious and extract-rich medium weight flavors display a fine sense of underlying tension and excellent intensity on the well-balanced, persistent and citrus-infused finish. Good stuff and worth considering. (90-92)/2019+

2013 Chablis – Vaudésir: An overtly exotic yet strikingly fresh and complex nose blends together ample Chablis character with mostly dried yellow fruit and spice nuances. This is a big and concentrated wine with good power and punch on the broad-shouldered flavors that are shaped by a moderately firm acid spine that keeps the balance on the markedly saline, long and equally complex finale. This is also very good. (90-93)/2020+

2013 Chablis – Bougros: Here too the nose is impressively broad-ranging with notes of honeysuckle, pear, white peach and algae. There is superb intensity to the big-bodied, intense and muscular flavors that brim with dry extract that coats the mouth on the powerful and beautifully persistent finish. Despite the imposing size and weight this remains relatively fine and precise in the context of the appellation and overall this is worth considering. (91-93)/2020+

2012 Chablis – Vieilles Vignes: (from 45+ year old vines that see 20% oak but no new wood and no cold stabilization).
There is a subtle touch of wood to the ripe nose of mineral reduction, lemon zest and green fruit aromas. The equally rich, round and generous flavors ooze dry extract that coats the palate on the reserved, dry and balanced finish that displays a marked salinity as well as acceptable depth and length. 88/2016+

2012 Chablis “Les Lys”: (this sees 10-15% oak treatment). An elegant, fresh and restrained nose that is admirably pure features notes of dried flowers, spice, oyster shell and pear. The lilting middle weight flavors possess excellent delineation before culminating in a dry but not really austere finish that displays a subtle minerality. This is very Les Lys in that it is a wine of lace and finesse. 90/2017+

2012 Chablis “Vaillons”: (almost all Vaillons proper with a bit of Séchet). This is also quite restrained with its reluctant aromas of ripe white and yellow orchard fruit, floral and quinine. The mouth feel is relatively sophisticated with a light minerality helping to add lift to the grilled almond, chalky and saline finish that is sneaky long. 90/2017+

2012 Chablis “Côte de Léchet”: Here the nose is completely different with its combination of discreet lemon zest, pear and apple scents that display top notes of iodine and flint. There is really lovely detail to the relatively tender and round medium weight flavors that display an interesting finish that is composed of saline, bitter lemon and mineral elements. This balanced and beautifully persistent effort should reward from 5 to 7 years of bottle age. 91/2018+

2012 Chablis “Côte de Léchet – Réserve”: (from 50+ year old vines aged in 40% oak though none of it is new). There is a bit less wood influence than I typically find with this wine which allows the very fresh and ripe aromas of pronounced citrus and white flower to shine. There is excellent concentration to the exceptionally rich and suave flavors that are blessed with plenty of mouth coating dry extract, all wrapped in a lingering and balanced finish. This isn’t quite as fine as the regular cuvée but there is more underlying material here. 92/2019+

2012 Chablis “Fourchaume”: (from Côte de Fontenay). An expressive and attractively layered nose offers up ever-so-mildly exotic notes of green fruit, pear, apricot and sea shore nuances. There is fine volume and solid mid-palate density to the delicious, round and agreeably textured medium-bodied flavors that possess a fine sense of underlying energy on the balanced and lengthy finish that displays good power and intensity. This lovely effort will be approachable young if desired. 91/2018+

2012 Chablis – Vaudésir: An exuberantly spicy nose of ripe pear, green fruit, lemon rind and oyster shell scents that also displays hints of exoticism leads to strikingly rich big-bodied flavors that possess ample concentration and plenty of minerality on the balanced, complex and palate coating finish. This broad-shouldered and intensely saline effort manages to maintain a sense of proportion and should drink well young too if you prefer primary fruit in your Chablis. 92/2020+

2012 Chablis – Bougros: A pleasingly fresh and markedly floral nose offers up notes of green fruit, algae, pear and soft wood hints. The overtly muscular but suave big-bodied flavors possess real volume before terminating in a mouth coating and once again distinctly saline and almost painfully intense finish. As is typically the case this is not especially refined but there is excellent depth and length. In a word, impressive. 93/2020+

BOURGOGNE AUJOURD’HUI – July/August 2014, Special Vintage 2013

Chablis - Domaine Bernard Defaix 18/20
A nose still discreet at present. In the mouth the wine is pure, chiselled, very mineral with a lemon flavoured fruit.

Chablis 1er cru Vaillons - Domaine Bernard Defaix 16/20
A quite attractive nose, on freshness and minerality. The mouth is not completely set though the whole thing is promising …

LA REVUE DU VIN DE FRANCE - June 2014, Special Vintage 2013

Chablis Grand Cru Bougros - Bernard Defaix (Selected on the rubric « The 5 bottles to buy first» )
A wide mouth for this cuvée coming from grapes purchasing. A nice finish on the grapefruit peel. Complex and deep. 

Chablis Grand Cru Vaudesir - Bernard Defaix
This cuvée is made from grapes purchasing of Grand Cru Vaudésir. This is a a well balanced Chablis, with a good substance, underlined by a delicate acidity and with a spicy finish.

Chablis 1er Cru Côte de Lechet - Domaine Bernard Defaix (Selected on the rubric « The 5 bottles to buy first» )
An open and pleasant nose, which shows a great maturity with yellow orchard fruit aromas. The mouth is well balanced with generous substance, laying on a never ending minerality…

BOURGOGNE AUJOURD’HUI – May / June 2014, Chablis 1ers crus 2012 & Chablis Grand Cru 2011

Chablis premier cru Côte de Lechet Réserve 2012 – 17,5
Intense nose with orange peel notes. The mouth is superb, tonic and saline, with a rich and impressive substance!

Chablis premier cru Côte de Lechet 2012  – 17
Fruity and greedy wine, with a detailed  finish. The mouth combines seriousness with richness, with a beautiful volume.

Chablis premier cru Fourchaume 2012 – 15,5
The nose is still a bit reserved now though in the mouth the wine is dense, crispy, with substance. Needs keeping …

Chablis premier cru Vaillons 2012 - 15

Chablis grand cru Bougros 2011 - 14.5

LA REVUE DU VIN DE FRANCE - Novembre 2013 - CHABLIS : The 16 best 1ers & grands crus,

Chablis Grand Cru Bougros 2011, generous and lively 
Established in Milly, renowned for their excellent premiers crus, even more in the hot years, Sylvain and Didier Defaix offer generous and lively Chablis which have gained precision. Coming from trade, their Bougros possesses an exotic profil (of mango), an exuberance detached from the mineral rigour.
Exotic and voluptuous, it expresses the fleshy side of Bougros. Already a very good wine. 15/20

Côte de Lechet Réserve 2011 Rare, fleshy and mouth coating. A medium mineral length, though very good. 15,5/20

Vaillons 2011 Floral, and then slightly woody with sweet citrus flesh, and detail. 15/20
Côte de Lechet Réserve 2001 Excellent attack volume with a vegetal finish, slightly acid. 15/20

Vaillons 2001 It refined, with mainly citrus and dry herbs flavours ; a very fine acidity. To drink now. 15,5/20.

CUISINE ET VINS DE FRANCE - Novembre 2013

CHABLIS 1ER CRU COTE DE LECHET 2011 Five generations on their lands, and in 2009 an important turn : the risk taking of conversion to organic farming of the vineyard (26 ha) by Didier and Sylvain. With 8ha, this 1er Cru planted on a spectacular kimmeridgien displays a nice nose of stone, a mineral mouth and a persistent saline finish

Vinum (Switzerland, Germany) - September 2013

Chablis Grand Cru Bougros 2011, Chablis 1er cru Côte de Lechet 2011 and Chablis 1er cru Côte de Lechet Reserve 2011 are on top of the Special Chablis with 18/20 each.

GUIDE HACHETTE DES VINS 2014

Chablis 1er Cru Fourchaume 2011* - Bernard Defaix has vinified this Fourchaume as a wine merchant, in the same way as for the wines of the domain. This cuvée, with a good potential, is still marked by its sixteen months maturing in barrel. The ripe fruit nose reveals a hint of caramel. The mouth, powerful, concentrated, tends towards roundness.

The Côte de Lechet 2011 is also quoted. A full and harmonious 1er cru with hazelnut flavours. 

Chablis Grand Cru Vaudésir 2011** - A lovely wine still marked by its maturing in barrels (16 months), though it promises to open up with its freshness and its great fineness. The stylish nose is shared between flower (rose) and ripe fruit. Dominated by the wood as to the attack, the mouth, harmonious, is soon caught up by minerality, which brings length and density.

TheBougros 2010 is quoted for its flowers aromas and its fullness in the mouth.

BURGHOUND.COM, Allen Meadows, Oct 2013

Didier Defaix describes 2012 as a “difficult vintage that in the end was a completely unexpected surprise. The early season saw a huge amount of rain with a poor flowering. And then by dramatic contrast the late season was very hot and dry. During the wetter portion of the growing season we did quite a bit of leaf thinning to promote better aeration so as to limit the incipient mildew that was threatening. This was an absolutely brilliant strategy except for three days in August that were so hot that the fruit didn’t have any shade and thus in that very short window of time we lost fully 25% of the crop to sunburn ! There was a light rain just before the harvest that was perfect as it allowed the vines just enough water to galvanize the final push to perfect ripening. We began picking on the 24th of September and while yields were on the low side, the fruit was both clean and ripe. I really liked the balance between sugars, acidities and phenolic maturities. As to the wines, they are quite generous with round and fleshy mid-palates that should allow them to be enjoyed young yet age reasonably well too. They were a bit strict at the beginning so we did some limited lees stirring, which is something that we normally do not do. Overall, 2012 is a good to very good vintage that should be popular with consumers.” The now in-bottle 2011s are attractive wines that should also drink well early but deliver good returns on mid-term cellaring. The Defaix 2011s reviewed below were bottled between October 2012 and March 2013. T read all the tasting notes about vintages 2011 and 2012, click on

2012 Petit Chablis : There is a very mildly hint of lactic character to the  otherwise attractive aromas of white and yellow orchard fruit. The round, supple and approachable flavors are clean, dry and easy-to-like. No bottle age will be required as this will be accessible immediately. 86/now  

2012 Chablis : Here there is better Chablis character as well as a bit more depth to the fresh and cool aromas of green fruit, sea breeze and iodine. There is a seductive texture to the rich, round and openly generous medium-bodied flavors that possess a saline taste on the delicious finish. This should also drink well immediately but benefit from a few years of cellar time. 87/2015+

2012 Chablis - Vieilles Vignes : (from 45+ year old vines that see 20% oak but no new wood and no cold stabilization). There is a subtle touch of wood to the ripe nose of mineral reduction, lemon zest and green fruit aromas. The oak is also present on the equally rich, round and generous flavors that ooze dry extract that coats the palate on the reserved, dry and balanced finish that also displays marked salinity. (87-89)/2016+

2012 Chablis “Les Lys” : (this sees 10-15% oak treatment). An elegant and admirably pure nose features notes of dried flowers, spice, oyster shell and pear. The lilting middle weight flavors possess excellent delineation before culminating in a dry but not really austere finish. This is very Les Lys in that it is a wine of lace and finesse. (88-91)/2017+

2012 Chablis “Vaillons” : (almost all Vaillons  with a bit of Séchet). There is enough wood to notice but not enough to dominate the ripe white and yellow orchard fruit, floral and quinine suffused nose. The mouth feel is relatively sophisticated with a light minerality helping to add lift to the grilled almond and saline finish. (88-91)/2016+

2012 Chablis “Côte de Lechet” : Here the nose is completely different with its combination of discreet lemon zest, pear and apple scents. There is really lovely detail to the relatively tender and round medium weight flavors that display an interesting finish that is composed of saline, bitter lemon and mineral elements. This balanced effort should reward from 5 to 7 years of bottle age. (89-91)/2017+

2012 Chablis “Côte de Lechet – Réserve" : (from 50+ year old vines aged in 40% oak though none of it is new). There is a bit less wood influence than I typically find with this wine which allows the very fresh and ripe aromas of pronounced citrus and white flower to shine. There is excellent concentration to the exceptionally rich and suave flavors that are blessed with plenty of mouth coating dry extract, all wrapped in a lingering and balanced finish. There is more underlying material here but I slightly prefer the greater sense of tension and vibrancy in the regular cuvée. A qualitative push. (89-91)/2018+

2012 Chablis “Fourchaume” : (from Côte de Fontenay). An expressive and attractively layered nose offers up notes of green fruit, pear, apricot and sea shore nuances. There is fine volume and solid mid-palate density to the delicious, round and agreeably textured medium-bodied flavors that possess a fine sense of underlying energy on the balanced and lengthy finish. Lovely. (89-92)/2018+

2012 Chablis – Vaudésir : An exuberantly spicy nose of ripe pear, green fruit, lemon rind and oyster shell scents leads to strikingly rich big-bodied flavors that possess ample concentration and plenty of minerality on the balanced and palate coating finish. This broad-shouldered effort manages to maintain a sense of proportion and should drink well young. (90-92)/2018+

2012 Chablis – Bougros : A pleasingly fresh nose of green fruit, algae, pear and soft wood hints gives way to powerful and overtly muscular flavors that possess real volume before terminating in a mouth coating and intensely saline finish. As is typically the case this is not especially refined but there is excellent depth anf length. (90-93)/2018+ Selected as "Sweet Spot" wines.

2011 Chablis – Vieilles Vignes : (from 45+ year old vines that see 20% oak but no new wood and no cold stabilization). A discreet touch of wood sets off pleasantly fresh aromas of citrus, mineral reduction and a mix of green and white fruit. There is a good mid-palate concentration and vibrancy to the focused, balanced and intense middle weight flavors that possess a fine sense of underlying tension on the lingering finish. A quality villages. 88/2017+

2011 Chablis “Les Lys” : (this sees 10-15% oak treatment). A ripe nose features notes of citrus blossom, wet stone, sea breeze and exotic nuances such as lychee nut and mango. The attractively textured and very generous medium weight flavors possess good dry extract levels and a light minerality on the palate coating and solidly persistent finish. Like its 2012 counterpart, this is a wine of lace and finesse. 89/2017+

2011 Chablis “Vaillons” : (almost all Vaillons proper with a bit of Séchet). An expressive and highly nuanced nose of white pepper, spice, citrus, tidal pool and pear aromas is followed by complex and intense flavors that brim with dry extract. This is a relatively big Vaillons but it doesn’t lack for punch and underlying tension on the balanced and palate staining finish. This should amply reward 6 to 8 years of cellar time. 90/2017+

2011 Chablis “Côte de Lechet” : A penetrating and highly perfumed nose offers up scents of citrus and mineral reduction that is very much in keeping with the citrus dominated and beautifully well-delineated flavors that possess good richness but also excellent verve on the slightly austere and persistent finish. This is really quite fine and harmonious and while it is not presently exceptionally complex my score offers the benefit of the doubt that more will develop with a few years of cellaring. 90/2017+

2011 Chablis “Côte de Lechet – Réserve » : (from 50+ year old vines aged in 40% oak though none of it is new). Almost invisible wood notes set off slightly riper if otherwise similar aromas though here there are also touches of sea breeze and iodine. There is good power and excellent concentration to the bigger, richer and broader flavors that terminate in a mouth coating, explosively long and markedly dry but not austere finish. 91/2017+

2011 Chablis “Fourchaume” : (from Côte de Fontenay).  There is plenty of classic Chablis character in the form of green fruit, tidal pool, oyster shell and discreet floral hints. There is lovely intensity to the beautifully well-detailed middle weight flavors that possess both good volume as well as plenty of energy. The clean and dry iodine and saline-infused finish also exudes a fine minerality and overall, this is really very good. 91/2017+

2011  Chablis –Vaudésir : The wood has almost completely integrated with the ripe, pretty and complex lemon rind, iodine and mildly exotic yellow orchard fruit aromas. There is excellent intensity and concentration to the muscular and overtly powerful big-bodied flavors that brim with mouth coating dry extract before culminating in a dry, balanced and beautifully persistent finish where a hint of bitter lemon arises. This will require a few years of bottle age to fully integrate the wood treatment but it should be excellent in time. 92/2018+

2011 Chablis – Bougros : There are notes of pain grillé that surround the moderately exotic white and yellow orchard fruit aromas that are trimmed in notes of mineral reduction and iodine. The opulent, concentrated and powerful flavors are classic Bougros though for all the richness and generosity of the mid-palate, the finish does an about face as it’s linear, serious, austere and exceptionally persistent and here too there is a note of bitter lemon that surfaces. The opulence of the mi-palate should allow this to drink well in its youth if desired as it’s really quite forward for a young Bougros. 91/2017+

LES MEILLEURS VINS DE FRANCE 2014 – Guide Vert

Sylvain and Didier manage the family domain in Milly, whose vineyard is situated on the left bank of the Serein river. Their premiers crus, a little less known than those on the right bank, reserve beautiful surprises in the hot years – especially on the terroir of Côte de Lechet.  Thanks to skillful vinifications and to ageing on the fine lees in tank, the wines gain more fat and are protected against oxidation. The wines from trade (Premier Cru Fourchaume and Grands Crus), more common, are just mentioned as Bernard Defaix.

The wines : the Chablis 2011 shows straight, easy to drink. The cuvée vieilles vignes is worth a premier cru in terms of volume, the wood touch still needs to melt away, however this is a quality wine. All the premiers crus seem homogeneous on the 2011 vintage. Among our favourite ones, there is the Vaillons for its “unifying” side, as the wine oscillates between fatness and a coated acidity. Both cuvées of Côte de Lechet are distinct, the vieilles vignes seems more exotic in its fruit expression and also it has  a more mineral length, on  nuances of roots and celery. Like in 2010, Bougros possesses a ripe profil. Combined with wood, this wine reveals exotic notes of mango with quite exuberance, far away from any minerality. The mouth, fat and spheric,  delivers  a low acidity. Vaudésir, tighter, remains woody at this stage, however the energy and the balance prove much better.

BOURGOGNE AUJOURD’HUI – June/July 2013 - Special Vintage 2012

Chablis - 18/20
The exceptional level of this chablis village is an indication on the potential of the vintage in its best characteristics : cuvées and producers. Ripe and very pure aromas at the same time. In the mouth, the richness is beautiful, the whole thing with a good mineral fineness.

Chablis premier cru Côte de Lechet – 15/20 and Chablis 1er cru Les Lys - 15/20

LA REVUE DU VIN DE FRANCE - June 2013 - Special Vintage 2012

Chablis Grand Cru Bougros - Bernard Defaix
Stylish flavours, precise finish.

Chablis 1er Cru Vaillons - Domaine Bernard Defaix
Didier and Sylvain Defaix present a fine wine here, which, at present, seems slightly more appealing than the Côte de Lechet, however a classical wine of the domain. Organic wine.

BOURGOGNE AUJOURD’HUI – April/May 2013

Bernard Defaix - Unmissable

This domain is now well known of our readers (we hope so !) : the defaix family was present on our list of the winegrowers of the 2011 year. The whole quality of the range – 7 wines selected – justifies to put the domain forward again.
The 2012 vintage marked the outcome of the conversion of the domain to organic farming. It is therefore officially certified on these 26 ha. It is the logical result of a work and a long time thinking. Didier Defaix praises the qualities of observation, attendance in the vineyard, precision of the work in the vineyard (pruning, disbudding, etc ...). The quality level of  the domain is not only very regular, but seems even growing year after year !

Chablis premier cru Côte de Lechet 2011 – 16,5
The nose is complex, mixing floral and vegetal notes. The mouth is strong, pure and very long. A “dashing” wine, writes a taster.

Chablis Grand Cru Bougros 2011 – 15,5
The nose is held back on notes of  almond paste and lis. The mouth is powerful, ample, with a good minerality. A complete wine, straight and austere now though promising.

Chablis premier cru Fourchaume 2011 – 15,5
The nose suggests floral notes of fine plant (lime tree, fern). The mouth is strong, obviously coming from this ripe grape, the finish is fresh. A good balance.

Chablis village 2011 – 15,5
The nose brims with  minerality. A Chablis characteristic that stands out in the mouth.
This mineral background is combined with fruit. A fine and pure wine.

GUIDE HACHETTE DES VINS 2013

Domaine BERNARD DEFAIX - Chablis 2010*
This 26 ha domain, on conversion to organic farming, is now run by Sylvain and Didier, Bernard Defaix’s sons. Aged on the fine lees in tank for 10 months, this 2010, extremely fresh, shows great mineral notes. A minerality combined with the fruit as much to the nose as in the mouth. The result is a lively and greedy wine, which also appeals with its substance and its roundness. A fine harmonious wine, that will accompany perfectly a grilled fish, after one or two year’s ageing.

BERNARD DEFAIX - Chablis 1er Cru Fourchaume 2010**
Displayed by the wine merchant established in parallel to the domain Bernard Defaix, this Fourchaume was vinified and aged in the same way as the wines of the domain. It is close to perfection, though the nose is still shy, opening a little after aeration, on aniseed aromas. The mouth, lively and straightforward is kept by a saline minerality with light woodiness, and leads the fruit to a long finish. To serve with roasted langoustines, in two years’ time. Produced by the domain, the Côte de Lechet 2010 *, mineral to the nose, at the same time round and tense in the mouth, gets one star.

THE BEST WINES OF FRANCE 2013 – Green Guide

Sylvain and Didier manage the family domain in Milly, whose vineyard is situated on the left bank of the Serein river. Their premiers crus, a little less know than those on the right bank, reserve beautiful surprises in the hot years – especially on the terroir of Côte de Lechet.  Thanks to skillful vinifications and to ageing on the fine lees in tank, the wines gain more fat and are protected against oxidation. The wines from trade (Premier Cru Fourchaume and Grands Crus), more common, are just mentionned as Bernard Defaix.

The wines : free from reproach, the bottom-of-the-range wines are easily accessible, round in the mouth attack, in a profil more spherical than mineral.
The cuvée Vieille Vigne, as often, shows much more volume and reveals the identity of the terroir.
Regarding the premiers crus, Les Lys seems a little thin in mid-palate, and lacks depth for a premier cru. We are charmed by the Fourchaume terroir, which lacks no distinction nor ambition. Both cuvées of Côte de Lechet are successful, the Vieille Vigne is at the same time coated and tense, and suggests a purity and a fine mineral length. The grand cru Bougros shows rich, though slightly lacks energy , with which it could reach perfection. Vaudésir looks more refined, with a good length, extended with a good acidity ; the whole thing is more sappy.

LA REVUE DU VIN DE FRANCE - June 2012 - Special Vintage 2011

Bernard Defaix - Chablis Grand Cru Bougros – Double shot for this house after the excellent 2010. Limpid color... such as the interpretation of this sample (coming from grappes purchasing)! The domain part is organic.

Domaine Bernard Defaix - Chablis 1er cru Cote de Lechet – Conversely to the Bougros cuvée, the grapes are coming here from the estate. It shows thus that one can succeed as negociant as well as vine-grower!

GAULT & MILLAU July/August 2012

Chablis 1er Cru Les Lys 2010
The nose is quite expressive with aromas of white orchard fruit , notes of  anis, warm stone and honey. The mouth is rich, fine though tight and very fresh.

BURGHOUND.COM, Allen Meadows, October 2012

Didier Defaix describes 2011 as a “relatively easy vintage where there was a very early flowering that occurred between the 20th and 25th of May, which is 3 to as much as 4 weeks early depending on your point of comparison.The summer was humid and warm but not really hot, which had an odd result in that we obtained a drop in acidities without a corresponding spike in sugars, which youdon’t typically see. We began picking on the 5th of September and brought in very clean fruit that averaged 12 to  12.5 in terms of potential alcohols though we did have one wine come in at 13%. The fruit was superbly clean for us at least, yields were as a result normal. As to the wines, they’re rich but not at all heavy and despite the lowish acidities, they are very well balanced. This may be partially because we decided at the very beginning that the wines would in all likelihood be quite rich and thus we did absolutely no lees stirring at all, which undoubtedly helped. In this sense the 2011s actually resemble the 2010s though they are perhaps a bit more forward. Another vintage that comes to mind is 2006 though the 2011s don’t have that exotic character that some 2006s displey. Overall, I think the wines will age well but also drink well young, which means everyone should find something to like.” The in-bottle Defaix’ 10s have turned out beautifully and are lovely wines by any measure. 

2011 Petit Chablis : An interesting nose of rose water and yellow orchard fruit leads to fruity, round and generously proportioned flavours that possess good energy if limited complexity on the vibrant, clean and dry finish. This will drink well almost immediately. 86/2013+

2011 Chablis : A very fresh mix of green fruit, lemon rind and orange peel gives way to rich, generous and very round medium-bodied flavors that possess good volume and a touch of minerality on the clean, dry, balanced and saline-infused finish. This pretty offort should also drink well relatively early. 88/2014+

2011 Chablis – Vieilles Vignes : (from 45+ year old vines that see 20% oak but no new wood and no cold stabilization). A discreet touch of wood sets off equally fresh aromas of citrus, mineral reduction and a mix of green and white fruit. There is a good mid-palate concentration and vibrancy on the focused, balanced and intense middle weight flavors that possess a fine sense of underlying tension on the lingering finish. A quality villages. (88-91)/2016+

2011 Chablis “Les Lys” : (this sees 10-15% oak treatment). A ripe nose features notes of citrus blossom, wet stone, sea breeze and exotic nuances such as lychee nut and mango. The attractively textured and very generous medium weight flavors possess good dry extract levels and a light minerality on the palate coating and solidly persistent finish. (89-91)/2017+
2011 Chablis “Vaillons” : (almost all Vaillons proper with a bit of Séchet). An expressive and highly nuanced nose of white pepper, spice, citrus, tidal pool and pear aromas is followed by complex and intense flavors that brim with dry extract. This is a relatively big Vaillons but it doesn’t lack for punch and underlying tension on the balanced and palate staining finish. This should amply reward 6 to 8 years of cellar time. (89-92)/2017+

2011 Chablis “Côte de Lechet” : A penetrating and highly perfumed nose offers up scents of citrus and mineral reduction that is very much in keeping with the citrus dominated and beautifully well-delineated flavors that possess good richness but also excellent verve on the slightly austere and persistent finish. This is really quite fine and harmonious. (90-92)/2017+

2011 Chablis “Côte de Lechet – Réserve » : (from 50+ year old vines aged in 40% oak though none of it is new). Gentle wood notes set off slightly riper if otherwise similar aromas though here there are also touches of sea breeze and iodine. There is good power and excellent concentration to the bigger, richer and broader flavors that terminate in a mouth coating and explosively long finish where the wood telegraphed by the nose resurfaces. This is very impressive and while the oak is not subtle today, there is so much material that it will probably be absorbed in time. (90-93)/2018+

2011 Chablis “Fourchaume” : (from Côte de Fontenay).  There is plenty of classic Chablis character in the form of green fruit, tidal pool, oyster shell and discreet floral hints. There is lovely intensity to the beautifully well-detailed middle weight flavors that possess both good volume as well as plenty of energy. The iodine and saline-infused finish also exudes a fine minerality and overall, this is really very good. (91-93)/2018+

2011  Chablis –Vaudésir : Noticeable wood completes somewhat with the otherwise ripe, pretty and complex lemon rind and yellow orchard fruit aromas. There is excellent intensity and concentration to the muscular and overtly powerful big-bodied flavors that brim with mouth coating dry extract before cuminating in a dry, balanced and beautifully persistent finish. This will require a few years of bottle age to fully integrate the wood treatment but it should be excellent in time. (91-94)/2019+

2011 Chablis – Bougros : Here too there is generous wood treatment that stops just short of dominating the nose of moderately exotic white and yellow orchard fruit aromas trimmed in notes of mineral reduction and iodine. The opulent, concentrated and powerful flavors are classic Bougros though for all the richness and generosity of the mid-palate, the finish does an about face as it’s linear, serious, austere and exceptionally persistent. We’ll see how this develops but as with the Vaudésir, I suspect that the wood will eventually be successfully integrated. (92-94)/2019+

2010 – Chablis – Vieilles Vignes : (from 45+ year old vines that see 20% oak but no new wood). A reserved and mildly austere nose offers up notes of ripe green fruit where hints of citrus rind can also be found. There is good density and richness to the detailed and impressively intense flavors that enjoy ample amounts of acid-buffering dry extract on the dry, clean and punchy finish. This is worth a look, particularly for its level. 89/2016+

2010 Chablis “Les Lys” : (this sees 10-15% oak treatment). Here the nose is quite expressive with notes of primarily dried floral and stone aromas where the latter element also characterizes the rich and concentrated but notably refined medium-bodied flavors that are an exercise in finesse and understatement. There is excellent intensity to the racy, bone dry and saline-suffused finish. This is a classic and mildly austere Les Lys that is admirable for its exquisite subtlety. 91/2017+

2010 Chablis “Vaillons” : (almost all Vaillons proper with a bit of Séchet). Here the nose is somewhat more complex and features aromas of white orchard fruit,  floral nuances and lemon hints. There is good richness and plenty of concentration to the sappy and mouth coating flavors that culminate in a moderately dry but slightly less austere finish of fine length. This well-balanced effort offers very good depth and I like the sense of underlying tension. 91/2016+

2010 Chablis “Côte de Lechet” :  A reserved and elegant nose subtly reveals aromas of mineral reduction, citrus, rose petal and tidal pool nuances that introduce beautifully detailed and seductively rich flavors that also possess plenty of dry extract that adds a sense of volume to the bone dry, austere and highly persistent finish. This is really a lovely effort.  92/2017+

2010 Chablis “Côte de Lechet Réserve” : (from 50+ year old vines aged in 40% oak though none of it is new). Noticeable but still discreet wood permits the otherwise similar if slightly riper aromas to shine. There is excellent richness and volume to the medium-bodied flavors that offer an attractive mouth feel and impressive length on the explosive, clean, very dry and mouth coating finish.  While I prefer the style of the regular cuvée, it’s clear that there is more underlying material, intensity and power here. In short, thi is seriously impressive. 93/2017+

2010 Chablis “Fourchaume” : (from Côte de Fontenay). A classic and exceptionally fresh nose of green fruit, mineral reduction, iodine and algae gives way to rich, intense and beautifully well-delineated flavors that possess good mid-palate fat, all wrapped in a long, energetic, powerful  and driving finish. This dramatic effort possesses fine volume and the intensity is almost painful. This is also quite impressive and if this adds depth in bottle my score may seem unduly conservative. 92/2017+

2010 Chablis – Vaudésir : This has already eaten most of the wood treatment which allows the ripe white and yellow orchard fruit, floral, citrus and sea shore-infused aromas to express themselves clearly. The broad-shouldered flavors are exceptionally rich and powerful with excellent concentration to the mouth coating, minerally, explosive and moderately austere finish. This notably dry effort is presently so tight that it’s like a block of stone but what  upside development potential ! 94/2018+

2010 Chablis – Bougros : Discreet if not invisible wood sets off a ripe and complex nose of green and orchard fruit, tangerine skin and oyster shell nuances. There is impressive density to the generous big-bodied flavors that possess fine concentration and plenty of mouth coating extract that buffers well the firm acid spine on the robust, bone dry and massively long finish. As is typically the case, this is not a wine of elegance or refinement but it certainely makes a dramatic statement. 94/2018+

BOURGOGNE AUJOURD’HUI – April/May 2012

Chablis grand cru Bougros 2009 - 17
Matured in barrel, this grand cru appeals at first by its nose, powerful and concentrated. The mouth is full and mild, with a fine precision on the finish.

Chablis Vieille Vigne 2010 – 16
Exotic notes on the nose. In the mouth, this wine is rich and round, ample ... not very characteristic of Chablis, though a real success.

Chablis premier cru Côte de Lechet Réserve 2010 – 16
This cuvée is probably one of the best chablis premier cru at present. The wine is pure and delightfully mineral. Two points can be added for the ageing potential.

Chablis grand cru Vaudésir 2009 – 15,5
Lovely wine, with candied fruits and almond paste aromas. A great richness in the mouth.

Chablis premier cru Côte de Lechet 2010 – 14,5

IN VINO VERITAS - April/May 2012

Chablis Grand Cru Bougros 2010
The house is looking for a great expression of the terroir. The ageing on lees, with a light batonnage and an achieved malo, gives a juice with a pale gold color, brilliant with emerald tints. The aromas, still a bit closed, show tender floral notes such as honeysuckle, acacia flower, accompanied by a light touch of wood and candied citrus fruit. The attack is very net, explosive; there is a good roudness and oriental spicies. The volume is medium at the moment but offers a widening prospect with the evolution. The pleasant and fresh finish reveals the minerality of the terroir.

Chablis Grand Cru Vaudésir 2010
The ageing on the lees with batonnage gives the possibility to this juice to show a good expression for the pleasure of all of us. The extraordinary color with emerald tints shines with a magnificent brilliance. The nose, very delicate, plays on the delicate expression of flowers perfums. The supple and lacteous mouth gives an obvious relief of minerality. Salty and candied citrus fruit touches let space to powerful and frank oriental spicies. A staright and powerfull wine, well balanced, that is the pleasure which is waiting the wine-lover.

LA REVUE DU VIN DE FRANCE - April 2012 - White Village Burgundies 2010

Petit Chablis 16.5/20 - This Petit Chablis is a very fine wine, stylish and extremely straight in the mouth, with firm acidity. A year of ageing  is recommended.

Chablis 16/20 - Fossil has left its mark on the aroma, in a straight wine that oozes stone, and whose level is the one of a 1er Cru.

BOURGOGNE AUJOURD’HUI – December 2011 / January 2012 - Special « Burgundians of the year »

Bernard Defaix: More chablisian than ever
In Chablis, this relatively discreet domain has been listed among our best for ten years at least. At the beginning ot this new decade, both brothers Defaix, Sylvain and Didier, and Hélène, Didier’s wife, have passed a new step. The results of our tasting of the 2010 vintage and also of the 2009 were particularly significant. The chablis’ freshness and minerality are more than ever remarkebly enhanced. The 27 hectares of the domain have been turned into organic farming. The 2011 vintage is the result of the three years of transition. The wines are more than ever marked with their terroir. Côte de Lechet, Vaillons, Lys are the three premiers crus the more emblematic. Chablis and Chablis Vieilles Vigne are also exceptionnal. The range is also completed with a wine merchant activity.

CUISINE ET VINS DE France (September - October 2011)

Chablis 1er cru Les Lys 2009
All Chablis is to be found in this bottle. Its juice, ruby gold, expresses its locality through its mineral flavour. It spreads its fresh texture on the tongue. This great 1er Cru goes beneath the 2009 maturity  to reveal a racy and rich substance. Spurred on by Bernard’s sons, Sylvain and Didier, and Didier’s wife, this domain, which will achieve its conversion to organic farming in 2011, gains each year in purity.

GUIDE HACHETTE DES VINS 2012

Domaine Bernard Defaix
Chablis 2009

The succession is now assured. Sylvain and Didier have now taken over the domain, and they turn their vineyard into organic farming. An evolution which is in the air at present, yet which puts the terroir forward. The nose of this 2009, all in fineness, shows citrus fruit and mineral notes. Following, the mouth comes out with its softness and good length. To drink with fine "charcuteries".

Chablis 1er Cru Vaillons 2009 *
Sylvain et Didier Defaix, Bernard’s sons, are now in charge of the domain, on the way of organic farming. A cultural evolution which tends to release the terroirs. This is the case with this Vaillons, a wine to be kept, which will deliver the aromas’ richness in two or three year’s time. Behind its nose, floral and slightly vegetal, the mouth shows tight, straight, carried by minerality.
To serve with pickled salmon.

Bernard Defaix
Chablis Grand Cru Vaudésir 2009 **

The wood does not spoil the wine when it is discreet and melted. This is the case with this Vaudésir where the ripe fruit stands out, on the nose but even more on the mouth. A greedy, concentrated, ample mouth, which expresses the terroir through this tipically Chablis minerality, that brings freshness, length and balance. To appreciate in three or four years’ time with fine fish cooked in sauce.

LA REVUE DU VIN DE FRANCE -June 2011 - Special vintage 2010

Chablis 1er cru Les Lys : Les Lys is a Premier Cru that is more often found under the name of Vaillons. With its white flowers aromas, this “organic” wine proves fully its identity and its singularity. 

Chablis Grand Cru Vaudésir 16-17/20: A hint of apple which could explain a lengthening malolactic fermentation. Of course, the harvest was late and the winter harsh.

Chablis Grand cru Bougros 17-18/20 : Firm and tense in the mouth, this cuvée is less characterized by its attack than by its persistence.

BOURGOGNE AUJOURD’HUI – June/July 2011 - Special vintage 2010

Domaine Bernard Defaix: Indispensable
To turn 27 hectares into organic farming is not easy and yet the delicate 2010 vintage went off very well at the domain Bernard Defaix (second year of conversion), for whom this official step is only a logical evolution after a 10 years‘gradual transition to a more and more organic farming. Regarding the wines, the domain has always tried to produce mineral chablis’s, like its emblematic premier cru Côte de Lechet. « We do not want to make woody chardonnay, but chablis’ » explains Didier Defaix, who runs the domain with his brother Sylvain. Even if, in term of analysis, the difference is not significant between yesterday and today, Didier Defaix thinks that with the organic farming the style has evolved. “At the tasting, which is the most important point, I feel that our wines are at the same time more pure, longer in the mouth with a softer and richer minerality ”. Chablis’ even more Chablis’ in a certain way ...

Chablis – 16: All the qualities of a classic Chablis are present here : purity, freshness, minerality and salin finish.

Chablis premier cru Côte de Lechet – 15,5: « A promising wine, very well made », says a taster. An elegant woody nose. The mouth is rich and refined.

Chablis premier cru Les Lys – 15

Chablis grand cru Bougros - 14

BURGHOUND.COM, Allen Meadows, October 2011

Didier Defaix told me that the domaine is now certified “bio”. He describes 2010 as a “vintage where there was an extended flowering that extended grape maturities significantly. We saw some disease pressure in the form of mildew and botrytis up until around the 10th of August but after that, things were really quite clean. We elected to begin picking on the 23rd of September and got in two days of crop during warm and dry conditions. The rain on the 25th though caused a sort of staccato-like harvest for us as it was start/stop and start/stop again. We picked over 17 days, which turned out to be a good thing given the uneven maturities from one parcel to another. We could really target each one as it became optimally ripe. Potential alcohols were quite varied and ranged between 12 to 13.5%. Even though there wasn’t necessarily a lot of malic acidity, the malos were both late and long and their effect on the finished wines was really quite dramatic. I very much like the potential of the 10’s as they have a bit more underlying material than either the ‘07s or the ‘08s though it’s important to note that I don’t yet know if the ‘10s will necessarily make for better wines at this early stage.” The in-bottle Defaix ‘09s have turned out beautifully and are lovely wines by any measure. See also the related Domaine Jaeger-Defaix below.

2010 Petit Chablis : This is already wonderfully expressive with ripe orchard fruit and sea breeze-inflected aromas leading to rich, pure, and delicious flavors that possess fine mid-palate concentration as well as refreshing finish. This offers solid quality within the context of the appellation. 87/2012+

2010 Chablis :  This is also notably ripe yet admirably  fresh with the barest hint of the exotic adding nuance to the otherwise classic Chablis aromas that complement well the rich, delicious and overtly mineral-driven middle weight flavors that possess good verve and cut on the citrusy finish. I especially like the vibrancy here. 88/2013+

2010 – Chablis – Vieilles Vignes : (from 45+ year old vines that see 20% oak but no new wood and no cold stabilization). A reserved and mildly austere nose grudgingly offers up notes of ripe green fruit where hints of citrus rind can also be found. There is good density and richness to the detailed and impressively intense flavors that enjoy ample amount of acid-buffering dry extract on the dry, clean and punchy finish. This is worth a look, particularly for its level. (88-91)/2014+

2010 Chablis “Les Lys” : (this sees 10-15% oak treatment). Soft wood frames the ripe nose of primarily dried floral and stone aromas where the latter element also characterizes the rich and concentrated but notably refined medium-bodied flavors that are an exercise in finesse and understatement on the intense and saline-suffused finish. This is a classic and mildly austere Les Lys that is admirable for its exquisite subtlety. (89-92)/2014+

2010 Chablis “Vaillons” : (almost all Vaillons proper with a bit of Séchet). Here the nose is somewhat more complex and features aromas of white orchard fruit,  floral nuances and lemon hints. There is good richness and plenty of concentration to the sappy and mouth coating flavors that culminate in a dry but slightly less austere finish of fine length. (90-92)/2014+

2010 Chablis “Côte de Lechet” :  A reserved and elegant nose shyly suggests aromas of mineral reduction, citrus and tidal pool nuances that introduce beautifully detailed and seductively rich flavors that also enjoy plenty of dry extract that adds a sense of volume to the bone dry and highly persistent finish. This is really a lovely effort. 
(90-93)/2015+

2010 Chablis “Côte de Lechet Réserve” : (from 50+ year old vines aged in 40% oak though none of it is new). A moderate lashing of wood stops just short of compromising the expressiveness and transparency of the otherwise similar if slightly riper aromas. There is excellent richness and volume to the medium-bodied flavors that offer an attractive mouth feel and impressive length on the mouth coating finish. This is unquestionably a wine of quality but I prefer the cut and energy of the “regular” cuvée. (90-92)/2015+

2010 Chablis “Fourchaume” : (from Côte de Fontenay). A classic and exceptionally fresh nose of green fruit, iodine and algae gives way to rich, intense and beautifully well-delineated flavors that possess good mid-palate fat, all wrapped in a long, energetic and focused finish. This possesses fine volume and if it can add depth, it may surprise to the upside. (90-92)/2015+

2010 Chablis – Vaudésir : Unlike the Côte de Lechet Réserve, this has already eaten its wood which allows the ripe white and yellow orchard fruit, floral, citrus and sea shore-infused aromas to shine. The broad-shouldered flavors are exceptionally rich and powerful with excellent concentration to the mouth coating, minerally, explosive and moderately austere finish. This notably dry effort should offer 6 to 8 years of upside development potential. (91-94)/2016+

2010 Chablis – Bougros : Discreet if not invisible wood sets off a ripe and complex nose of green and orchard fruit, tangerine skin and oyster shell nuances. There is impressive density to the generous big-bodied flavors that possess fine concentration and plenty of mouth coating extract that buffers well the firm acid spine on the robust and long finish. As is typically the case, this is not a wine of elegance or refinement but it certainely makes a statement. (91-94)/2017+

2009 Chablis – Vieilles Vignes : (from 45+ year old vines that see 20% oak but no new wood and no cold stabilization). Almost, if not quite, invisible wood frames the ripe orchard fruit and oyster shell aromas that reflect a hint of exoticism merging into rich, delicious and rather elegant flavors that are a bit finer than usual, all wrapped in a balanced, minerally and lingering finish. 88/2013+

2009 Chablis “Les Lys” : (this sees 10-15% oak treatment). Discreet wood sets off a notably more elegant nose of white peach, floral and sea breeze notes that give way to nicely rich and dense middle weight flavors that possess good detail and an attractive minerality that comes through on the lemony, focused and solidly persistent finish. Good stuff and I particularly like the silky texture combined with the energetic finish. 90/2014+2009

Chablis “Vaillons” : (almost all Vaillons proper with a bit of Séchet). Here too there is a deft touch of wood surrounding the white orchard fruit, citrus, iodine and honeysuckle aromas that have glimpses of oyster shell poking through. The rich, forward and relatively generous flavors possess a seductive mouth feel and excellent complexity on the dry-for-the-vintage finish. This should age well for the medium term. 90/2014+

2009 Chablis “Côte de Lechet “ : Notes of pain grillé mix with fresh and bright citrus and tidal pool aromas that are also reflected by the elegant and pure medium-bodied flavors that possess good levels of dry extract that buffer the precise, detailed, clean, linear and dry finish that offers terrific depth and length. This moderately austere effort is really quite good. 91/2014+

2009 Chablis “Côte de Lechet – Réserve” : (from 50+ year old vines aged  in 40% oak though none of it is new). As is typically the case, the wood is a bit more obvious here than in the regular cuvée though it does stop short of dominating the slightly riper nose of citrus blossom and lemon peel. The bigger and richer medium plus weight flavors ooze dry extract but not to the point that the focus and detail are lost. In sum, this isn’t as racy as the regular cuvée, but it’s more powerful and remains well balanced. This is also very, very good. 92/2014+

2009 Chablis “Fourchaume” : (from Côte de Fontenay). This does not display anywhere near the amount of wood influence that last year’s sample did and is much the better of it. There is a touch of post-bottling SO2 that detracts marginally from the otherwise reserved nose of white flowers, orchard fruit and sea breeze aromas. There is ample richness and volume to the full-bodied flavors that possess a robust muscularity and fine length and the only nit here is a touch of finishing warmth. I like the intensity and this should offer 4 to 6 years of upside potential. 91/2014+

2009 Chablis – Vaudésir : Here too there is a touch of SO2 on the mildly exotic nose of white flowers and green fruit. The textured, powerful and concentrated big-bodied flavors possess ample dry extract and a mouth coating, intense and dry finish that displays excellent persistence as well as outstanding complexity.

2009 Chablis – Bougros : Almost invisible wood combines with fresh aromas of tidal pool and green fruit that also display a trace of post-bottling sulfur. The flavor profile is classic Bougros with a powerful, rich and muscular mid-palate that drenches the mouth in extract and culminates in a relatively dry and explosive finish. While this palate-staining effort will not win any awards for finesse, it is one intense wine, in fact almost painfully so. 93/2015+

DECANTER , Rosemary George – July 2011 - Best 25 buys for Chablis Grand Cru 2008

Bougros **** 18: Delicate nose with just a hint of oak. Firm palate and good acidity. Tight knit with fine potential. Drink : 2018-2028 

Vaudésir ***** 18.5: Closed nose but elegant and nutty. Structured palate with attractive mineral notes. Fresh acidity. Drink : 2018-2028.

BOURGOGNE AUJOURD’HUI – April / May 2011

Chablis premier cru Vaillons 2009– 16,5
The nose is delighting, on spices notes. The mouth in round, concentrated, while keeping energy and length.

Chablis vieilles vignes 2009 – 17
Chalk, cinnamom and citrus aromas reveal to the nose. The mouth is rich, balanced with a good minerality. A fine wine, full and complex.

Chablis 2009 – 16
A chablis characterised by its minerality, its liveliness and its aromatic purity. It lacks neither  richness nor strength. A full wine.

DECANTER , Rosemary George – April 2011

Chablis 2009 **** 18
Rich, leesy nose; with rounded fruit on the palate, full and ripe, as you would expect from the vintage, but with good balancing acidity. Drink : 2011 – 2016.

THE BEST WINES OF FRANCE 2011 – Green Guide

Domaine Bernard Defaix 
Sylvain and Didier Defaix are now managing the family domain, whose vineyard is situated on the left bank of the Serein river. Their Chablis is lively and floral, with some Premiers Crus a little less known than those on the right bank but reserve beautiful surprises in the hot years – especially on terroirs of Côte de Lechet. Thanks to skilfull vinification and to ageing on the fine lees in tank, the wines gain more fat and are protected against oxidation. 
The wines : in a 2008 vintage rich and provided with a strong acidity, the dense Chablis Vieille Vigne is to be pointed out, as well as the Premiers Crus, Côte de Lechet Réserve with a stunning depth, and Fourchaume precise and powerful.

GUIDE BETTANE & DESSEAUVE 2011

The Côte de Lechet Reserve  shows, on vintage 2008, a nice character and a dense mouth, the old vines have given here a compact juice. The Grand Cru Vaudésir 2008 is also fine, with a delicate mouth, a good balance on the finish, well tensed on a lemony note.

BURGHOUND.COM, Allen Meadows, October 2010

Didier Defaix told me that the domaine is now certified “bio”. He describes 2009 as a “vintage where there will be some very good surprises. A lot of people say that it’s not as good as 2007 or 2008 but it was possible to make some very, very good wines in 2009 as well. We waited to begin picking and didn’t start until the 17th of September and even then, we stopped for a day here and there to be sure that each parcel was picked at optimum ripeness because of the heterogeneous flowering. The sugar levels were about the same as in 2008, which is to say between 12 and 13% though we obtained a bit less yield in 2009. The wines are very rich and while there is sufficient acidity, there certainly aren’t the elevated levels we obtained in 2007 and 2008. We did absolutely no lees stirring in 2009 whereas in 2008, we stirred them regularly. I like the ‘09s and believe that so will our clients once they have a chance to taste them.” I agree with Defaix’ take on the 2009 vintage, at least for his wines as they are among the very best in the region. His ‘08s are also terrific and while I’ve noted this before, it bears repeating : The quality of the Defaix wines now puts the domaine among the top 10 in Chablis. 

2009 Petit Chablis : A pretty and ripe nose that is clearly suffused with ample Chablis character expresses notes of green fruit and sea breeze before introducing relatively fine light to middle weight flavours that are delicious, round and if not overly complex, then dry, balanced and persistent. To enjoy young. 86/2011+

2009 Chablis : Slightly riper aromas of yellow orchard fruit, floral notes and oyster shell hints lead to rich, delicious, fresh and vibrant flavors that possess fine concentration and a subtle minerality on the sappy, tangy and balanced finish. 88/2010+

2009 Chablis - Vieilles Vignes : (from 45+ year old wines that see 20% oak but no new wood and no cold stabilization). Discreet if not invisible wood frames the ripe orchard fruit aromas that reflect a hint of exoticism that merge into rich, delicious and rather elegant flavors that are finer than usual, all wrapped in a balanced, minerally and lingering finish. Fine quality at this level and worth a look. (88-90)/2013+

2009 Chablis “Les Lys” : (this sees 10-15% oak treatment). Discreet wood sets off a notably more elegant nose of white peach, pear, floral and sea breeze notes that give way to nicely rich and dense middle weight flavours that possess good detail and an attractive minerality that comes through on the lemon, focused and solidly persistent finish. Good stuff. (89-92)/2014+

2009 Chablis “Vaillons” : (almost all Vaillons proper with a bit of Séchet). Here too there is a deft touch of wood surrounding the white orchard fruit and honeysuckle aromas that have glimpses of oyster shell poking through. The rich, forward and relatively generous flavours possess a seductive mouth feel and excellent complexity on the dry for the vintage finish.  This should age well for the medium term. (89-92)/2015+

2009 Chablis “Côte de Lechet” : Notes of pain grillé mix with fresh and bright citrus and tidal pool aromas that are also reflected by the elegant and pure medium-bodied flavors that possess good levels of dry extract that buffer the precise, detailed, clean, linear and dry finish that offers terrific depth and length. This is most impressive. (90-93)/2015+

2009 Chablis “Côte de Lechet – Réserve” : (from 50+ year old vines ages in 40% oak though none of it is new). As is typically the case, the wood is a bit more obvious here than in the regular cuvée though it does stop short of dominating the slightly riper nose of citrus blossom and lemon peel. The bigger and richer medium plus weight flavors ooze dry extract but not to the point that the focus and detail are lost. In sum, this isn’t as racy but it’s more powerful and remains well balanced. Also impressive. (91-93)/2015+

2009 Chablis “Fourchaume” : (from Côte de Fontenay). By contrast, here the wood is generous to the point of fighting with the nose and it continues onto the rich and full-bodied flavors that do offer fine intensity and a seductive texture but it’s hard to see this not beeing marked permanently by the wood even though there is a solid concentration. Not for me (89-91)/2015+

2009 Chablis – Vaudésir : This is also generously wooded though glimpses of white flower and green fruit can be seen beneath the oak. The textured, powerful and concentrated big-bodied flavors possess ample dry extract and a mouth coating, intense and dry finish that displays excellent persistence. This appears to have the underlying material to eventually absorb the oak though it is difficult to predict whether there will be some rounding of the finish in time. (91-93)/2016+

2009 Chablis – Bougros : Noticeable but somewhat less obvious wood combines with, but does not dominate in the same fashion as the Fourchaume and Vaudésir, the tidal pool and green fruit aromas. The flavor profile is classic Bougros with a powerful, rich and  muscular mi-palate that drenches the mouth in extract and culminates in a relatively dry and explosive finish. While this will not win any awards for finesse, it is one intense wine, in fact almost painfully so. (91-93)/2016+

2008 Chablis – Vieilles Vignes : (from 45+ year old wines that see 20% oak but no new wood and no cold stabilization). The wood treatment has now integrated almost completely and does not intrude much on the otherwise fresh and complex nose that gives way to serious, concentrated and sappy medium plus weight flavors that linger impressively on the dry, stony and racy finish. This is also a fine villages that is worth a look. 89/2013+

2008 Chablis “Les Lys” : (this saw 10-15% oak treatment). Discreet if not invisible wood allows the highly floral, elegant and lightly spiced nose to express itself to good measure. The delicate and refined flavors bring good richness but also fine detail on the precise, dry and persistent finish. A lovely wine of finesse that is recommended. 91/2014+

2008 Chablis “Vaillons” : (almost all Vaillons proper with a bit of Séchet). A similar subtle application of wood frames citrus, spice, brioche and white flower aromas that slide into somewhat bigger and richer flavors that possess good extract levels and fine intensity on the sappy and palate staining finish that exudes Chablis character. Lovely juice if not quite at the same level as the Les Lys. 90/2014+

2008 Chablis “Côte de Lechet” : Almost invisible wood treatment sets off extemely fresh and classic citrus and stone aromas that are in keeping with the surprisingly rich and full-bodied flavors that retain a fine sense of underlying precision and tension while culminating in a racy, very dry and palate staining finish that exudes plenty of Chablis character. In a word, terrific. 92/2014+

2008 Chablis “Côte de Lechet – Réserve” : (from 50+ year old vines aged in 40% oak though none of it is new). Here the wood is, as usual, a bit more evident, but not so much so that it dominates the lemon and sea breeze character that precedes the fresh, clean, pure and serious flavors that possess buckets of the dry extract that buffers the firm acid spine on the palate drenching finish. This is a graceful combination of power and punch that should age beautifully. Also terrific. 93/2014+

DECANTER MAGAZINE, July 2010

Highly recommended ****
Chablis 1er cru Côte de Lechet 2008 (16.83)
Floral and slightly honeyed nose with good depth. Fine, lifted, minerally fruit with a good middle palate. Balanced, precise and will be complex in time. 

Chablis 1er cru Les Lys  2008 (16.67) 
Assertive nose, pears. Good attack, with the acidity integrated into the fruit, firm and mineral, a touch austere which gives nutty complexity. Very good length.

LE GUIDE HACHETTE 2010

Chablis 2007 *
The Chablis from domain Bernard Defaix was awarded as one of the best on vintage 2005 ("coup de coeur"). The 2007 shows a very expressive nose, its floral aromas are supported by a good minerality. It is the same as for the mouth : an intense and straight forward attack reveals strong notes of honeysuckle. Length, fineness, purity, all the characteristics of a great Chablis. Perfect to marry with grilled fish, in one or two years.

Chablis 1er cru Côte de Lechet 2007*
For a winegrower in Milly, the Premier Cru Côte de Lechet stands to reason. The Bernard Defaix domain kept with tradition, producing a wine for ageing, that will opens up in the cellar, and which, at present, only expresses notes of gun-flint, typical of the terroir. A 2007 wine in evolution and which is full of promises.

Also mentionned, the 1er Cru Les Lys 2007 is more aromatic in mouth. To drink from now, preferably at the aperitif.

Chablis Grand Cru Bougros 2007**
This Bougros lacked almost nothing to get a “coup de coeur” like the 2000 vintage. It will have to do with two stars, like the 2005 one. This wine, very greedy,  reveals vanilla and brioche notes to the nose. The butter comes with flavours of dried fruit and citrus fruit. Roundness and liveliness bring harmony and style. You feel like the whole terroir is sitting at table, with roasted scallop, for example.
More mineral but less complex, the Grand Cru Vaudésir 2007 shows a good balance on a basis of citrus, and in that way gets a star. However, regarding these two wines, one’s will have to be patient, 4 to 5 years.

BOURGOGNE AUJOURD’HUI - APRIL-MAY 2010

Chablis 1er cru Fourchaume 2008 - 15/20
A real Chablis wine, powerful and delicate at the same time. Very promising ...

Chablis 1er cru les Lys 2008 - 14.5/20
A stony and floral nose. The mouth is fresh, with an acidulous fruitiness and a very mineral finish.

THE WINE GUIDE – 3rd Edition , Andreas LARSSON – Vintage 2007

MY TOP PICKS:
Chablis vieille vigne

Nutty with young white fruit, high freshness and some lightly roasted flavours on the aftertaste, needs time.

I LIKED:
Chablis 1er cru Côte de Lechet
 
Young, fruity, green apples, citrusy and fresh on the palate, fair length.
Chablis Grand Cru Bougros
Nice ripe nose, stone fruits and roasted nuts, very broad and unctuous palate, yet underlined by a good freshness, long finish, well-made and accessible, slightly creamy on the finish.

LA REVUE DU VIN DE FRANCE - MAY 2010

Chablis Grand Cru Bougros: These wines have the massive texture and the alcohol richness that is typical of Bougros
Bougros 2008 - Bernard Defaix : 14,5/20 – We appreciate more its salty finish than its woody character, lightly drying. To wait.

Chablis 1er cru Côte de Lechet: With Montmains and Vaillons, Cote de lechet is amongst the 3 best premiers crus of the left bank.
Ten superb premiers crus 2008 among which :Côte de Lechet Réserve 2008 Domaine Bernard Defaix : 15,5/20 –Its straightness makes it perfect for the table and also for ageing. 

LES MEILLEURS VINS DE FRANCE 2010 (Guide vert)

Domaine Bernard Defaix
Sylvain and Didier Defaix are now managing the family domain, whose vineyard is situated on the left bank of the Serein river. Their Chablis is lively and floral, their 1st cru are a bit less known than those of the right bank, but reserve beautiful surprises in the hot years, particularly on terroirs of Côte de Lechet. Thanks to skilfull vinification and to ageing on the fine lees in tank, the wines gain more fat and are protected against oxidation. The wines from the wine-merchant business are just having the brand Bernard Defaix. 

The wines : fine vintage, fresh and straight, 2007 shows fruity fineness on the Petit Chablis ; The Chablis is well-rounded, very much lemon-flavoured. And then, the Chablis Vieille Vigne is more smoky. Coming from the Milly domain, the Côte de Lechet Réserve 2007 is one of the best Chablis of this area, as much for its maturity as for its precision. The strong minerality of the Vaillons needs 5 to 6 years of ageing.

Chablis Premier Cru Côte de Lechet Réserve 2007         16/20 
Chablis Premier Cru Les Vaillons 2007        15/20
Chablis Grand Cru Bougros 2007     14,5/20
Chablis Premier Cru Côte de Lechet 2007      14,5/20 
Chablis 2007       14/20

LE GRAND GUIDE DES VINS DE FRANCE 2010, Bettane & Desseauve

Didier Defaix manages the family domain, which offers a large range of seven wines, completed with a little activity of wine merchant, specially with the Grands Crus, under the brand of Bernard Defaix. The Côte de Lechet Réserve is at the top, as it often is.

Chablis 2007     12,5/20
Floral, well balanced, with a medium strength, although quite fragant.
Chablis Grand Cru Bougros Bernard Defaix 2007            14,5/20
Powerful, a good volume in the mouth, hearty aromas of white and yellow fruit. Well-balanced.
Chablis Grand Cru Vaudésir Bernard Defaix 2007      14/20
Powerful, a rather rich nose and the same in the mouth, more in width than in length.
Chablis Premier Cru Côte de Lechet 2007     14/20
Floral, with a rounded mouth, a pure and fresh finish.
Chablis Premier Cru Côte de Lechet Réserve 2007               14,5/20
More fragant, more fruity than the "regular" Côte de Lechet.
Chablis Premier Cru Les Lys 2007 13,5/20
Floral, with undergrowth notes. The mouth is really well-rounded, a  wine to drink from now.
Chablis Premier Cru Les Vaillons 2007      14/20
More fleshy than Les Lys, with a tenser mouth, a better balance.
Chablis Vieille Vigne 2007      13,5/20
Elegant, well-rounded, a good maturity, with fat in the mouth.
Petit Chablis 2007    12/20
Sinewy, though with a little lack of body and substance.

BURGHOUND.COM, oct 2009 - Allen Meadows (USA)

Domaine Bernard Defaix – Chablis
Didier Defaix describes 2008 as a “complicated vintage. There were periods of heat followed by cool and rainy counterparts  that would have normally set the stage for rot but the north wind saved things as it arrived right at the beginning of September. It was a good thing too because we didn’t start picking until the 30th and slowly harvested until the 17th of October. We were able to do this because the wind dried things out so thoroughly that there was absolutely no rush. Moreover, it allowed us the luxury of picking each parcel exactly when optimum ripeness was achieved as the wind helped to concentrate the sugars though it had a tendency to degrade the acidity so we had to watch things closely. Potential alcohols came in between 12 and 13% though yields were a good 30% lower than in 2007. I very much like the ‘08s as there is a bit more flesh to them than with the ‘07s even though the ‘07s could actually be approached now if desired.” I’ve noted this before but it bears repeating.
The Defaix wines are now among the top 10 domaines in Chablis and both the ‘07s and the ‘08s merit your attention.

2008 Petit Chablis: A fresh and frank nose of green fruit and enough Chablis character to be interesting leads to racy and lemony flavors that possess a solidly intense and bone dry finish if only moderate complexity. 86/2010+

2008 Chablis: An utterly classic nose – this could be from no where else but Chablis – of green fruit, oyster shell and sea water complements pure and fresh medium-bodied flavors that culminate in a textured, crisp, detailed and bone dry finish of
impressive length for a wine at this level. Excellent quality and recommended. 89/2011+

2008 Chablis – Vieilles Vignes: (from 45+ year old vines that see 20% oak but no new wood and no cold stabilization). The wood treatment has not yet integrated completely and sticks out a bit on the otherwise fresh and complex nose that gives way
to serious, concentrated and sappy medium plus weight flavors that linger impressively on the dry and racy finish. This is also a fine villages that is worth a look. (88-91)/2012+

2008 Chablis “Les Lys”: (this saw 10-15% oak treatment). Here the oak is much more discreet if not invisible and allows the highly floral, elegant and lightly spiced nose to express itself to good measure. The delicate and refined flavors bring good richness but also fine detail on the precise, dry and persistent finish. A lovely fine of finesse. (89-92)/2012+

2008 Chablis “Vaillons”: (almost all Vaillons proper with a bit of Séchet). A similar application of wood frames citrus, spice, brioche and white flower aromas that slide into somewhat bigger and richer flavors that possess good extract levels and fine intensity on the sappy and palate staining finish that exudes Chablis character. Lovely juice. (90-92)/2013+

2008 Chablis “Côte de Léchet”: Subtle wood treatment sets off extremely fresh citrus and stone aromas that are in keeping with the surprisingly rich and full-bodied flavors that retain a fine sense of underlying precision and tension while culminating in a very dry and palate staining finish that exudes plenty of Chablis character. In a word, terrific. (90-93)/2013+

2008 Chablis “Côte de Léchet - Réserve”: (from 50+ year old vines aged in 40% oak though none of it is new). Here the wood is, as usual, a bit more evident but not so much so that it dominates the lemon and sea breeze character that precede the fresh, clean, pure and serious flavors that possess buckets of dry extract that buffers the firm acid spine on the palate drenching finish. This is a combination of power and punch yet there is a certain elegance. Also terrific. (91-93)/2013+

2008 Chablis “Fourchaume”: (from Côte de Fontenay). A ripe but completely classic nose of green fruit, tidal pool and oyster shell hints that are also reflected by the rich, full and voluminous flavors that are relatively powerful on the dense, complex and attractively vibrant and wonderfully long finish that combines both power and punch. Like the Réserve, this is impressive. (91-93)/2013+

2008 Chablis - Vaudésir: The malo had just finished at the time of my late June visit and the nose was clearly marked by it though the big, rich and full-bodied flavors are dense, complex, energetic and powerful with an almost painfully intense finish that exudes the beautiful sense of underlying tension. The Fourchaume is impressive but it’s equally clear that there is another dimension present here. (92-94)/2014+

2008 Chablis - Bougros: A similar if somewhat less troubled nose in this case allows for glimpses of green fruit and oyster shell notes to peek through the funk and precedes the very rich and full flavors that are not quite as concentrated but still possess plenty of punch and character on the very dry, racy, clean and impressively long finish. (91-94)/2015+

2007 Chablis – Vieilles Vignes: (from 45+ year old vines that see 20% oak but no new wood and no cold stabilization). A ripe and completely classic nose with obviously mineral reduction slides into rich, full and serious flavors blessed with ample mid-palate concentration as well as very solid depth and length. This is like licking rocks and the old vines are evident. Terrific quality for its level and highly recommended. 90/2012+

2007 Chablis “Les Lys”: (this saw 10-15% oak treatment). A ripe, pure and ultra refined nose that is both airy and lacy while displaying softly seductive aromas of sea breeze, white pear, lemon zest, spice hints and iodine nuances that continue onto the intense, detailed and superbly precise middle weight flavors that are a study in delicacy yet deliver outstanding flavor authority on the austere and understated finish. I really like the style of this as there is elegance but grip. 91/2012+

2007 Chablis “Vaillons”: (almost all Vaillons proper with a bit of Séchet). An overtly spicy nose has lemon zest and sea breeze nuances and the ripe green fruit aromas merge into almost painfully intense, precise and very firm medium-bodied flavors supported by a solid acid spine and pungent minerality on the bone dry and equally austere finish. There is not the finesse of the Les Lys but this is more powerful and evidences even more Chablis character that gives the Vaillons a slight edge. 92/2013+

2007 Chablis “Côte de Léchet”: As the best examples of Léchet always are, this boasts an ultra elegant nose of citrus blossom, oyster shell, warm stone and lemon zest, the latter of which is also reflected by the textured, racy, detailed and bone dry flavors brimming with plenty of Chablis character on the exceptionally long and austere finish. This is a classic old school style of Chablis that is a bit finer than the Vaillons if less powerful – a qualitative choice. In a word, excellent. 92/2013+

2007 Chablis “Côte de Léchet - Réserve”: (from 50+ year old vines aged in 40% oak though none of it is new). A subtle if noticeable touch of wood highlights a similar if slightly riper nose that has a touch of menthol as well that can be found on the exceptionally rich, layered and intense flavors that possess good size and weight yet lose no sense of detail or delineation because of it, all wrapped in an explosive and smoky finish. In sum, this too is very promising. 92/2013+

2007 Chablis “Fourchaume”: (from Côte de Fontenay). Blind, it would be almost impossible to guess anything other than Chablis as this displays a positively classic nose of salt air, oyster shell and green fruit that is pure, layered and elegant before giving way to round, naturally sweet and concentrated flavors that stain the palate with sap, all wrapped in a wonderfully intense, powerful and driving finish. This is quite different from the Côte de Léchet examples and should age well. 92/2013+

2007 Chablis - Vaudésir: This is also utterly classic with ripe, pure and classy aromas that are set off by a discreet touch of wood before preceding concentrated, deep, layered and notably serious relatively big-bodied flavors yet this remains a wine of finesse and elegance as the minerally finish is focused and hugely long. The balance is perfect and this really does a slow build before exploding on the palate staining finish. 93/2014+

2007 Chablis - Bougros: A deft touch of wood seamlessly works into the dense mix of ripe floral and green fruit aromas that are in keeping with the intense, pure and notably energetic broad-shouldered flavors that explode on the almost brutal finish.
This is an impressively scaled, powerful and concentrated wine that is massively long as it is blessed with serious amounts of dry extract. This is not nearly as elegant as the Vaudésir but it’s very Bougros in character. 93/2014+

A GUIDE TO THE WINES OF CHABLIS, Austen BISS (UK)

9 domains have been rated with 3 stars on this book. We are one of them.
“Bernard is the fourth generation of a renowned family of vignerons, starting his own estate in 1959 with two hectares of vines. On Bernard’s retirement, sons Sylvain and Didier assumed control and to date the domaine has grown to over 25 hectares, of which 9 hectares are Premier Cru Côte de Lechet. Defaix is the largest single owner in this climat and part of his holding here was planted in 1955. There are 12 hectares of Chablis Village land including 1 hectare of Vieilles Vignes more than 40 years old. In addition to the above, the domaine now purchases grape must from Fourchaume and Grands Crus Bougros and Vaudésir.
Defaix stresses the first step to successful vinification is taken in the vineyard so as to produce the ripest healthiest fruit. Yields are impressively low, with rendements varing from 35 hectolitres per hectare for the Côte de Lechet Vieilles Vignes to 55 hectolitres per hectare for the Petit Chablis. 16 hectares of the estate vineyards are run organically. He hopes to convert the entire vignoble to organics from 2009. Harvesting is done mechanically, as this is found preferable to picking by hand, one reason being that the harvest can be stopped as soon as it starts raining. After the "table de trie" the grapes are given a gentle pressing pneumatically so that the must produced requires less débourbage.
Both fermentations take place in stainless steel, left on its lees, racked and fined with bentonite or isinglass. Elevage is from 3 to 8 months according to the nature of the cuvée and vintage, followed by a light plate filtration and bottling.
There is a cuvée of Côte de Lechet Vieilles Vignes Reserve which is partly vinified in oak barrels where it stays for eight months with regular batonnage. The wine is then racked and returned to barrels for another four to six months before tasting and assemblage with the same cuvée in inox. The idea of this method is to produce a more powerful example of Côte de Lechet, but retaining typicité and elegance. The 2006 and 2007 examples are dream wines, indeed Côte de Lechet from Bernard Defaix is never less than exciting.Synthetic corks are used for the Petit Chablis, Chablis and all half bottles.None of the wines tasted in May 2009 were anything less than very good. Brilliant wine making, brilliant wines.

Petit Chablis – Delicious and reliable
2008    From vines grown on Kimmeridgian soil. Deliciously quaffable, lovely fruit and balanced acidity, crisp, mineral finish, very very long. Very Good.  
Chablis – Delicious and reliable
2008  Delicious fruit on nose, grass cuttings on palate, fresh green apples, really succulent acidity, crisp, and long clean finish. Very Good.
Chablis  Vieilles Vignes – A set-up in intensity, also delicious and reliable.            
2007    More intense nose, flowery and minerally, rich, concentrated, crisp, and spicy with beautiful balance and finish. Very Good.
2006    Intense nose of floral fruit, minerally, rich, elegant, crisp, spicy, apricots, with lovely concentration, beautiful balance and finish. This is classy and a really delicious mouthful. Drink from 2010/11. Excellent.

PREMIERS CRUS 
Côte de Lechet Bernard Defaix is the champion maker of this excellent premier cru
2008 Lovely elegant mineral nose, delicious fruit with balanced acidity, soft, elegant, long aftertaste, stony mineral, intensity to fill the mouth with delicious flavours. Fabulous. Drink from 2011. Excellent.
2007  Gorgeous wine. Stony, chalky minerality, very concentrated fruit, supremely elegant, wine of typicité, intense, very long, classy, fabulous. So delicious. Drink 2010 to 2016. Truly  Excellent.
2006  Stony, chalky minerals, very concentrated fruit, sumptous acidity, supremely elegant, great typicité, intense, very long with lovely finish. As enjoyable as the Vieilles Vignes 2006. Absolutely delicious. Drink from 2010 if you can wait. Excellent.        
Côte de Lechet Vieilles Vignes – The Vieilles Vignes is even more intense and concentrated.
2008    An unbelievable wine. Tasted with Nick Clarke of Dreyfus Ashby, importer of Louis Michel wines, who exclaimed  „Oh, what a treat !“ Comments as for Côte de Lechet 2008 above but with extra concentration. Drink from 2011/12. Truly remarkable and Excellent.
2007    From vines planted in 1955. How could the Côte de lechet 2007 be better. It can’t, but this is different. Very elegant nose from very concentrated fruit, showing floral minerals, intensity, spices, and great length. This is an absolute knockout with seafood. Drink 2010/11 for 6 years, maybe more. Excellent.
2006    Elegant fruit and terrifically balanced acidity, citrus fruits, pineapple and mango, exotic, tightly intense, expansive, very rich, long, and complex. Drink 2010 for many years. Excellent.
Les Lys – Wines of elegance and finesse.
2008    Floral fruit with soft acidity, very mineral, great length and aftertaste, dry finish but in the nicest sense, elegant and feminine. Drink from 2011. Very Good.
2007    Closed nose, delicious fruit, peachy, with elegance and finesse, a fine balance, and clean finish. A wine of class. Still needs a year. Drink 2010 to 2016. Excellent.
Vaillons – The best Vaillons by far.
2008    Closed on the nose but palate shows lovely fruit with delicious mouth puckering acidity, yellow fruits, nutty, mineral typicité, perfumed, long and beautiful aftertaste. Lovely wine. Drink from 2011. Excellent.
2007    Gentle nose here, elegant, floral, and feminine, with kiwi and passion fruit, some intensity, good length and a crisp clean finish. Drink 2010 to 2016. Very Good.
2006    Gentle fruit on nose, some elegance, floral and feminine, with kiwi and passion fruit again, good intensity, length and aftertaste, and a crisp clean finish. Delicious. Drinking now, so enjoy for 4 to 5 years. Excellent.

GRANDS CRUS
Bougros 2006    Closed nose, a little smoky, this is a big powerful wine, masculine and rich. Fills the mouth with wonderful intense fruit, lots of acidity for longevity, with excellent length and finish. Drink 2012 onwards. Excellent.
Vaudésir 2007    Forget that this is a négociant wine – this is very good. Nose of typicité, elegant intense powerful fruit with great length and aftertaste. Lovely minerality and all round typicité. Drink 2012 onwards. Very Good.

BOURGOGNE AUJOURD'HUI n°87 APRIL-MAY 2009

Chablis 1er cru Cote de Lechet 2007 - 15/20
A Chablis which asserts volume and maturity in the mouth. The finish is a little more strict. As well the nose seems reserved. The whole combination  has to melt away with ageing. A wine in evolution.

Chablis 2007 - 15/20
The nose is really the one of a Chablis wine : straight and mineral. The mouth is rich,  of a higher fullness than the average in that vintage. The finish is fresh. An harmonious Chablis.

LE GUIDE HACHETTE 2009

Chablis 1er cru Côte de Lehet 2006* : 
Honesty and balance, two words which characterize the  wines of the domain. And on top of that this rusticity which symbolizes the Côte de Lechet. The nose still a little bit shy but already complex reveals citrus fruits and white flowers notes on an elegant wooded bottom. The mouth is more expressive, tinged with minerality which imposes its style, with some toasted notes. The proof of a well managed ageing. A salmon (smoked, of course!) would be the good match.

LE GRAND GUIDE DES VINS DE FRANCE 2009, Bettane & Desseauve

Didier Defaix manages the family domain, which proposes a wide range of  7 wines (1 Petit Chablis, 2 Chablis, et 4 Chablis Premier cru) and completes this list with a small wine-merchant activity, in particular with Grands crus  under the brand Bernard Defaix. On the beginning of the range (Petit Chablis and Chablis), we could wait for a bit more expression and personality; but the superior cuvées (Vieille Vigne, Premiers and Grands Crus) are gourmand and pure, with careful ageing.

Chablis Grand cru Bougros 2006 (16/20) : The mouth is neat, with a round attack.  It is a pulpy wine, that tightens at the end of mouth. Good tension. Careful ageing.
Chablis Grand cru Vaudésir 2006 (15.5/20) : A delicate and  fine wine, with a great ageing. White fruits on the nose and a spicy and toasted touch on the mouth. 
Chablis 1er cru Côte de Lechet 2006 (15/20) : A discreet nose, but with frank and neat aromas. The mouth is ripe, with a great salinity. Good minerality for this complete and elegant wine.  
Chablis 1er cru Côte de Lechet Réserve 2006 (15.5/20) : Touches of citrus fruits and yellow fruits. The mouth is pure with notes of sweet spices.  
Chablis 1er cru Fourchaume 2006 (15.5/20) : Pure, concentrated, ripe. The mouth is round with citrus fruits on the finish.
Chablis 1 er cru Vaillons 2006 (15/20) : A more concentrated wine than The Lys. The aromas of the mouth are gourmand. Round finish, a wine with a good flesh.
Chablis Vieille Vigne 2006 (14.5/20) : The nose is fine and delicate, ripe and frank. The attack is net, frank, it is a pure and delicate wine.

LES MEILLEURS VINS DE FRANCE 2009 (Guide vert)

Domaine Bernard Defaix
Sylvain and Didier Defaix are now managing the family domain situated on the left bank of the Serein river. Their Chablis is frank and floral, their 1st cru are a bit less known than those of the right bank, but reserve beautiful surprises in the hot years, particularly on terroirs of Côte de Lechet. Thanks to skilful vinification and to ageing on the fine lees in tank, the wines gain more fat and are protected against the oxidation. The wines from the wine-merchant business are just having the brand Bernard Defaix. 

The wines : The vintage 2006 is more suitable for the lemony simplicity of the Petit Chablis than for the Chablis, pleasant but in which we smell a bit too much the alcoholic heat of the vintage.
The Vieille Vigne (45 years old) still presents its usual generous bouquet of bergamot orange and basil. The wines have to be drunk from now. Concerning the premier crus,  menthol and chalk characterize the underrated Premier cru of  Milly, The Lys, more liquorice on the finish than the jewel of the series, The Côte de Lechet Réserve. The wine-merchant business selection is more common because of lacteous woodiness very pronounced on the Fourchaume and up to the Grands crus  which do not miss length (Bougros in particular).

BURGHOUND.COM, oct 2008 - Allen Meadows

Didier Defaix said that 2007 was, in a sense, "the exact opposite of 2006. In 2006, it was a mad rush to get the fruit in as there was some rot pressure even though acidities weren't really changing much. In 2007, we began picking on the 12th of September and harvested over a leisurely 3 weeks as the fruit was very clean. We weren't really affected seriously by the hail storms and lost perhaps 10% of the total crop. Sugars ranged between 11 and 13% with solid but not really high acidities. We did a normal lees settling because the fruit was so clean though we did a fair amount of lees stirring as the wines seemed borderline severe during their élevage. The primary fermentation went off without a hitch though I was surprised that the malos also proceeded normally as there was a lot of malic acid. The malos made a fairly dramatic impact as the finishing pHs averaged right around 3.3, which is not especially low. In terms of the wines, for me 2007 is a more concentrated 2004. The 2004s were stricter young, which is another reason why we decided to work more with the lees in '07 than we did in '04." The Defaix 2006s have turned out more or less as originally previewed with no surprises up or down. It's clear though that while they're lovely wines, they're not in the class of the Defaix '04s, '05s or '07s, particularly the latter and I especially recommend them to readers and Chablis fans should add the Defaix brothers to their short list of rising stars. (Winebow, Inc, Montvale, NJ; Alliance Wines and Domaine Direct, UK).

2007 Petit Chablis: An expressive green fruit and sea salt nose leads to racy, intense and attractively mineral-infused flavors that possess lovely underlying tension and energy plus better than average length. Very fine quality at this level. 87/2010+

2007 Chablis: A classic Chablis nose features oyster shell, sea shore notes and iodine suffused green fruit that complements slightly bigger and richer flavors that also offer excellent intensity on the long, bone dry and stony finish. There is nothing else that this could be except Chablis. 88/2011+

2007 Chablis – Vieilles Vignes: (from 45+ year old vines that see 20% oak but no new wood and no cold stabilization). In 2007, this closely resembles the aromatic profile and character of the straight Chablis except there is more mid-palate concentration as well as superior depth and length. Terrific quality for its level and highly recommended. (88-91)/2011+

2007 Chablis "Les Lys": (this saw 10-15% oak treatment). A ripe, pure and ultra refined nose that is both airy and lacy while displaying softly seductive aromas of sea breeze, white pear, spice hints and iodine nuances that continue onto the intense, detailed and superbly precise middle weight flavors that are a study in delicacy yet deliver outstanding flavor authority on the austere and understated finish. I really like the style of this as there is elegance but grip. (89-92)/2012+

2007 Chablis "Vaillons": (almost all Vaillons proper with a bit of Séchet). An overtly spicy nose has lemon zest and sea breeze nuances to the ripe green fruit aromas that merge into almost painfully intense, precise and very firm medium-bodied flavors supported by a solid acid spine and pungent minerality. There is not the finesse here of the Les Lys but this is more powerful. A stylistic choice. (89-92)/2012+

2007 Chablis "Côte de Lechet": As the best examples of Lechet always are, this boasts an ultra elegant nose of citrus blossom, oyster shell, warm stone and lemon zest, the latter of which is also reflected by the textured, racy, detailed and bone dry flavors brimming with plenty of Chablis character on the exceptionally long and austere finish. This is a classic old school style of Chablis. In a word, excellent. (90-92)/2012+

2007 Chablis "Côte de Lechet - Reserve": (from 50+ year old vines aged in 40% oak though none of it is new). A subtle touch of wood highlights a similar if slightly riper nose that has a touch of menthol as well that can be found on the exceptionally rich, layered and intense flavors that possess good size and weight yet lose no sense of detail or delineation because of it, all wrapped in an explosive finish. In sum, an exceptionally promising example. (91-93)/2013+

2007 Chablis "Fourchaume": (from Fourchaume proper). Blind, it would be almost impossible to guess anything other than Chablis as this displays a positively classic nose of salt air, oyster shell and green fruit that is both pure, layered and elegant before giving way to round, naturally sweet and concentrated flavors that stain the palate with sap, all wrapped in a wonderfully intense, powerful and driving finish. Also very promising. (90-93)/2013+

2007 Chablis - Vaudésir: This is also utterly classic with ripe, pure and classy aromas that are set off by a discreet touch of wood before preceding concentrated, deep, layered and notably serious relatively big-bodied flavors yet this remains a wine of finesse and elegance as the minerally finish is both focused and hugely long. The balance is perfect and this could surprise to the upside as there is a huge reserve of underlying material present. (92-94)/2014+

2007 Chablis - Bougrоs: A deft touch of wood seamlessly works into the mix of ripe floral and green fruit aromas that are in keeping with the intense, pure and notably energetic broad-shouldered flavors that explode on the almost brutal finish. This is an impressively scaled, powerful and concentrated wine that is massively long as it is blessed with serious amounts of dry extract and the only nit here is a trace of backend warmth. (91-94)/2014+

2006 Chablis – Vieilles Vignes: (from 45+ year old vines that see 20% oak but no new wood and no cold stabilization). The aromas here are notably ripe with exotic notes of yellow fruit and honeysuckle trimmed in very deft wood that can also be picked up on the very rich, even opulent flavors blessed with ample concentration on the mouth coating finish. Very solid quality though in a style that is clearly marked by the vintage. 88/2009

2006 Chablis "Les Lys": (this saw 10-15% oak treatment). An expressive nose of gentle wood notes and very fresh floral, white peach and pear aromas that merge into round, intense, classy and long flavors that don't have quite the concentration of the Vieilles Vignes but are considerably finer. This is lovely, understated and relatively forward. Worth a look. 90/2010+

2006 Chablis "Vaillons":(almost all Vaillons proper with a bit of Séchet).This too sports a gentle touch of wood that highlights the ripe and spicy but distinctly reduced floral aromas that complement the round, generous, even opulent flavors  culminating in a citrus-infused finish that is delicious but doesn't have the same punch and vibrancy. Be sure to decant this first for 20 minutes or so as the reduction is more than noticeable. 89/2010+

2006 Chablis "Côte de Lechet": An elegant, pure and airy nose of exotic fruit, citrus blossom and lemon rind yields to round yet detailed flavors that exhibit more minerality than any of the preceding wines and possess excellent energy plus more obvious Chablis character. In sum, this is as refined and lovely as the Les Lys but not quite as long. 89/2009+

2006 Chablis "Côte de Léchet - Reserve": (from 50+ year old vines aged in 40% oak though none of it is new). While as usual, this clearly has more material than the regular cuvée, it's actually less elegant though it is exceptionally rich and positively oozes dry extract that drenches the palate on the textured, opulent, dry and powerful finish that is seriously long. There is a bit of wood that comes up on the backend but this is impressively scaled. 90/2010+

2006 Chablis "Fourchaume": (from Fourchaume proper). A deft touch of wood sets off an openly exotic and expressive nose of ripe green and yellow fruit nuanced by hints of sea breeze and iodine that can also be found on the very rich, forward and concentrated medium full flavors that are also textured and mouth coating as there is ample dry extract on the mineral‑infused and opulent finish. 89/2009+

2006 Chablis - Vaudésir: Noticeable but not dominant wood frames spicy and very ripe floral and yellow fruit aromas. The detailed, focused and wonderfully pure flavors are refined, powerful and detailed while culminating in an intense, mouth coating and persistent finish that is almost thick. Compared to the Fourchaume, there is just a bit more of everything, especially mid-palate concentration. 91/2011+

2006 Chablis - Bougros: The prominent wood that this displayed last year has now been almost completely integrated and sets off ripe green and dried yellow fruit aromas that are in keeping with the big, muscled and powerful flavors that are thick, lush and opulent, all wrapped in a delicious and explosive finish that is both balanced and mouth coating. This is a dramatic wine and while it's not my style, a tip of the cap for managing to keep such a big wine focused. 91/2011+

BOURGOGNE AUJOURD’HUI - April-May 2008 - Special premier cru and grand cru 2006

This domain is a good example of the evolutions we would like to see more often in Chablis. The 2 brothers Defaix, Sylvain et Didier, are making a very rigorous work in the vineyard. The disbudding (process that consists in eliminating the superfluous buds at springtime) is always made here. And twice more than one time. 'In 2006, we have even made 2 disbuddings. And I don't regret it." The enrichment are also very reasoned. So you won't be surprised to to taste here Chablis' with a great concentration. You can add to this the preservation of an old vines patrimony: the wines coming from there, chablis vieille vigne and premier cru cote-de-lechet Reserve, have a magnificent depth without loosing the chablisian freshness. The domain spreads over 26 hectares and, curiosity, works also on 4 hectares in Rully (côte chalonnaise); a vineyard owned by Hélène Jaeger, the wife of Didier Defaix.

Premier cru Fourchaume 2006: Very nice nose, elegant and distinguished that leans on ripe fruits notes, a grilled woody and mineral hints. The mouth is remarkable by its balance and its frankness. The finish is subbtle and tasty with a good use of wood. A wine with a great potential for ageing.

Premier cru Vaillons 2006: A complex nose with honey, wax, candied lemon and grilled hazelnut. The mouth is round with a good tension and notes of truffles and chalk. The finish is long and delicious with a great minerality. A great bottle.

Premier cru Cote de Lechet 2006: Nice and expressive nose, on hazelnut, almond with a nice toasted-grilled. On the mouth, the wine is very nice, supple and rich with an integrated woody.

Grand Cru Bougros 2006: Nose full and open on ripe fruits aromas with spicy notes. The attack on mouth is fresh, followed by a full mid-mouth and a persistant finish. A wine with a great fineness.

LA REVUE DU VIN DE FRANCE special vintage 2007

Chablis 1er cru Cote de Lechet 2007 (rated between 17.5 and 15.5/20): A high level wine. Volume, rectitude, persistancy: Didier Defaix confirms his high level of production with this Lechet and also with the Vaillons (15.5/20) all on fineness and chalky reserve. Obviously Chablis' from the terroir.

Chablis Grand Cru Bougros 2007 (17/20) and Vaudésir 2007 (16/20): Fineness and volume, with a great length all on subtlety. The Vaudesir associates vulume and freshness and a finish also subtle. The domain is on top from.

VINTAGE ASSESSMENT, CANADA - July 2008

Chablis 1er cru Cote de Lechet 2005 - Classy **+/*** - Recommended
Bright light straw colour. Classy, fairly intense, nutty, ripe lemon nose with hints of melon and lots of minerality. Dry, well structured, medium bodied, ripe lemon-melon flavours with a rich mid palate and a bright, slightly nutty lemon-melon-tinged finish.

LE GUIDE HACHETTE 2008: one of our wines selected as a favorite

 Chablis 2005: Here, they practise an environmentally friendly viticulture. It is not the only quality of this domain, according to the big jury which selected this Chablis as their favorite. Of clear color, straw of rye, it amazes by its three graces worthy of Botticelli: freshness, frankness and complexity. The aromatic style, classic and well established, plays on notes of white flowers and fresh citrus fruits. And it stays in the mouth…

Chablis 1er cru Les Lys 2005** : This "climat" (area) integrated sometimes into Vaillons can justly claim its name. In the South of Milly and near of Chablis, a 1st historical cru. Pale, greenish gold, flint and undergrowth, foam, it knows how to introduce its self. Tank and barrel, but the wood is hardly detectable. Perfectly mellow and structured, it will wait until 2010 of course. A bottle like this one inspires respect.

Chablis Grand Cru Bougros 2005**: Bougros has already brought chance to the family Defaix (selected as favorite for 2000 vintage). Other example of a domain creating at the same time a negociant business. This 2005? Bouquet revealing a fine complexity: notes of ageing (twelve months in barrel), but also of spices and fruits. Minerality of course. A serious work for classic Bougros. We know that this grand cru is strong, but not until the hardness and it is all its secret. Sensation of liquorice's and mentholated freshness in mouth. " To have in the cellar ", concludes an enthusiastic wine taster.

 

LES MEILLEURS VINS DE FRANCE 2008 (guide vert): the Chablis' domain confirms its position

Domaine Bernard Defaix
Sylvain and Didier Defaix are now managing the family domain situated on the left bank of the Serein river. Their Chablis is lively and floral, their 1st cru are a bit less known than those of the right bank, but reserve beautiful surprises in the hot years, particularly on terroirs of Côte de Lechet. Thanks to skilful vinification and to ageing on the fine lees in tank, the wines gain more fat and are protected against the oxidation.
The wines: even if all the wines don't have a perfect aromatic precision (Petit Chablis and Lys 2005, notably), the good choice can be made with the Côte de Lechet Vieille Vigne, always very personal, all on length. Bougros possesses an impressive strength which will quieten after five years of ageing in cellar, whereas Vaudésir asserts with fineness and right now.

BURGHOUND.COM, October 2007

Domaine Bernard Defaix - Chablis
Didier Defaix said that 2006 was "a bit like 2005 in the sense that we had a wet August and a splendid September. The trick in 2006 though was choosing the date of the harvest and it was no cinch to make this decision because the acidity was declining very slowly so it wasn't obvious. We began picking on September 18th and brought in slightly lower yields than normal with sugars that averaged between 12 and 13.5%. Both fermentations proceeded relatively easily and they were fast. We normally do an extended élevage but in 2006, we removed all but the fine lees as the wines were already rich enough and I wanted to avoid inadvertently creating heavy or inelegant wines." I have said it before but it bears repeating: The improvement at this estate has been nothing short of phenomenal. Chablis fans should add the Defaix brothers to their short list of rising stars. 
(Winebow, Inc, Montvale, NJ; Alliance Wines and Domaine Direct, UK).

2006 Petit Chablis: Here the nose is quite ripe but not really exotic with aromas of yellow orchard fruits that introduce delicious, round and supple flavors that possess good concentration for a wine at this level. This is easy to like with enough punch to be interesting. 86/now+

2006 Chablis: A more expressive and slightly fresher nose is, interestingly enough, not quite as ripe with more obvious Chablis character that leads to vibrant flavors that possess good detail and better depth. 87/now+ 

2006 Chablis Vieilles Vignes: (from 45 year old vines that see 20% oak but no new wood and no cold stabilization). The aromas here are also notably ripe with notes of yellow fruit and honeysuckle trimmed in very deft wood that can also be picked up on the very rich, even opulent flavors blessed with ample concentration and a mouth coating finish. (86-89)/2008+ 

2006 Chablis "Les Lys": (this saw 10-15% oak treatment). An expressive nose of gentle wood notes and floral, white peach and pear aromas that merge into round, intense, classy and long flavors that don't have quite the concentration of the Vieilles Vignes but are considerably finer. This is lovely, understated and relatively forward. (89-91)/2009+

2006 Chablis "Vaillons": (almost all Vaillons proper with a bit of Séchet). This too sports a gentle touch of wood that highlights the ripe and spicy floral aromas that complement the round, generous, even opulent flavors that culminate in a citrus-infused finish that is delicious but doesn't have the same punch and vibrancy. (88-90)/2009+

2006 Chablis "Côte de Léchet": An elegant, pure and airy nose of citrus blossom and lemon rind yields to round yet detailed flavors that exhibit more minerality than any of the preceding wines that possess excellent energy plus more obvious Chablis character. Lovely. (89-91)/2010+

2006 Chablis "Côte de Léchet Réserve": (from 50 year old vines aged in 40% oak though none of it is new). While as usual, this clearly has more material than the regular cuvée, it's actually less elegant though it is exceptionally rich and positively oozes dry extract that drenches the palate on the textured, opulent and powerful finish that is seriously long. Qualitatively, these wines are identical but stylistically, they are worlds apart. A choice. (89-91)/2010+

2006 Chablis "Fourchaume" (from Fourchaume proper). A deft touch of wood sets off an expressive nose of ripe green fruit nuanced by hints of sea breeze and iodine that can also be found on the very rich and concentrated medium full flavors that are also textured and mouth coating as there is ample dry extract on the mineral-infused finish. Good juice that should age over the medium term. (89-92)/2011+

2006 Chablis Vaudésir: Noticeable but not dominant wood that stops short of being intrusive and fights somewhat with the spicy and very ripe floral and yellow fruit aromas. The detailed, focused and wonderfully pure flavors are refined and detailed while culminating in an intense finish brimming with Chablis character. Compared to the Fourchaume, there is just a bit more of everything. (90-93)2011+ 

2006 Chablis Bougros: Even more prominent wood that is now no longer discreet tussles with ripe green and yellow fruit aromas that are in keeping with the big, muscled and powerful flavors that are thick, lush and opulent, all wrapped in a delicious and explosive finish that is both balanced and mouth coating. This is a dramatic wine and while it's not my style; a tip of the cap for managing to keep such a big wine focused. (90-93)/2011+

2005 Chablis Vieilles Vignes: (from 45 year old vines that see 20% oak but no new wood and no cold stabilization). The wood has now largely integrated and does not prevent notes of citrus, pear and iodine from soaring from the glass. The flavors are ripe, rich and admirably powerful and punchy with plenty of acid support on the long mineral-infused finish. The only nit is a slight touch of warmth but overall, this is a very impressive effort at this level and definitely worth a look. 89/2009+

2005 Chablis "Les Lys": (this saw 10 15% oak treatment). The wood here is also much more modulated as the floral and seaweed inflected nose is airy and high-toned with pretty and nicely refined middle weight flavors that are supple yet precise, all wrapped around a ripe core of acidity and an energetic finish where notes of oyster shell can be found too. Lovely and a candidate for medium term aging.90/2010+

2005 Chablis "Vaillons": (almost all Vaillons proper with a bit of Séchet). Subtle notes of pain grillé and wood spice frame white flower and citrus aromas that are distinctly riper than those of the Les Lys and this too has excellent vibrancy to the medium full flavors that cut like knife on the persistent and seriously intense finish that is notably dry. This has real personality and plenty of Chablis character.90/2011+ 

2005 Chablis "Côte de Léchet": Pain grillé and brioche notes highlight the intense lemon/lime nose as well as the rich, full, delicious and pungently mineral flavors that are almost painfully intense, particularly on the chiseled and driving linear finish that possesses a potent mix of oyster shell, iodine and seaweed nuances. Terrific potential fashioned in a rather old school style that won't be for those who are looking for easy and round Chablis. 91/2011+

2005 Chablis "Côte de Léchet Réserve": (from 50 year old vines aged in 50% oak though none of it is new). Take the straight Côte de Léchet and dial up slightly the size, richness, intensity and sheer palate impact and you have this wine. It's very impressive, the wood has integrated and it oozes Chablis character with both oyster shell and that wonderful saline component, all wrapped in an explosive finish of serious length. It should reward 5 to 7 years of cellar time. 92/2012+

2005 Chablis "Fourchaume": Moderate wood serves as a backdrop for very ripe aromas of peach, white pear and seaweed that introduce intense, powerful and relatively big flavors that offer plenty of volume and this just brims with minerality on the muscular finish. This is really quite a forceful wine and while acidity is certainly ripe, this is a structured effort that will definitely benefit from a few years in the cellar. As good as it is though, it seems almost easy after the Léchet Réserve. 90/2010+

2005 Chablis Vaudésir: Much more obvious wood combines with even riper aromas that stop just short of being exotic and the big, powerful and solidly structured flavors are a wonderful combination of grace and strength all wrapped in simply stunning length. Despite some aromatic flamboyance, the finish is understated and classic Chablis with ample oyster shell character on the very dry finish. Outstanding cellar potential with this one. 92/2012+

2005 Chablis Bougros: Most of the upper level wines have displayed varying degrees of wood influence but here it's been largely eaten thus giving center stage to the fresh and pure citrus and white flower aromas that introduce thick, opulent, even unctuous flavors that drench and stain the palate with buckets of sap and this is the longest wine among these '05s as the length simply does not quit. This is not really my preferred style as it's more Côte d'Or than Chablis but there is no denying that this is one seriously impressive wine and it's not just a matter of size and weight, it's balanced too and will age. 93/2012+
 

THE BEST OF WINE IN IRELAND 2008

Chablis 1er cru Les Lys 2005
Ripe citrus fruit with a hint of honey, cut through with a mineral delicacy and citrussy acidity. Concentrated, focused finish with lime and minerals.

LA REVUE DU VIN DE FRANCE, July/August 2007

Chablis Grand Cru Bougros 2005: 16/20 Elegant wine, a great length with a "strong" final as often on this grand cru

Chablis Grand Cru Vaudésir 2005: 15/20 Elegant and dense with a good maturity. Final a bit hard and woody for the momen

LA REVUE DU VIN DE FRANCE, June 2007, special vintage 2006

Chablis Grand cru Vaudésir 2006 : The whole wine is indisputably rich and deep, but without heaviness nor vulgarity. In the mouth, the strength is here, the acidity revives well a round structure.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL, Saturday, Feb 24, 2007 (Ontario, Canada)

Burgundy fans might want to check out the terrific Bernard Defaix Chablis Cote de Lechet 04, part of the LCBO's February spotlight on Burgundy. This light-bodied, classically styled Chablis (a.k.a.chardonnay from northwestern Burgundy) is deliciously complex, with nuances of flowers, nuts and minerals and a bracingly crisp finish.

THE BURGUNDY BRIEFING, Sarah Marsh, July August 06

The Vaudésir and Fourchaume are négoce and the rest 25 hectares is domaine. At Defaix they consider the 2005 vintage brings together the characters of 2003 and 2004. "The fruit and complexity of 2003 and the acidity and minerality of 2004, which is the opposite of 2003. The 2005 is the perfect compromise."
"For the 2005 vintage we used more barrel because of the richness of the vintage," says Defaix, but stresses this is a small percentage. "It is difficult to use barrels and keep typicité of Chablis."

Petit Chablis, 2005: Bright, pretty, creamy aroma and palate. Simple, clear, fruit driven and pleasant. Ready.

Chablis, 2005: A bit more intensity on the nose. Juicy fruit, rounded, fruit driven, fresh and balanced. A perfectly reasonable and agreeable Chablis.

Chablis, Vieilles Vignes, 2005: The vines are 35 years old on average and are just under Les Lys. 20% goes into old barrels. A little more honeyed fruit here with some floral notes. More weight on the front of the palate - rounder, plumper and more generous in the middle. It is nicely creamy and textured and the finish is longer and biscuity. Soundly attractive.

Chablis, Les Lys, 2005: This is a sample from cuve.
This is a lot tenser and more sherbety on the aroma. Touch of florality and minerality. Attractively lively on the entry. Vivacious character underscores the acidity. Light, direct and pacy with a whiff of chalk on the finish. Very good

Chablis Vaillons, 2005: 20% old oak. This will be blended and bottled in September.
Touch less vibrant on the nose, slightly more perfumed but the lees were not settling well in 2005 at this domaine. More substance on the palate, delicately creamy. While it is not especially intense, it is pretty and rounded, more plump then the Les Lys. Very good.

Chablis, Côtes de Lechet, 2005: 20% barrels. They have 9 hectares!
More interesting aroma, more compact and mineral. Somewhat tighter onto the palate. More nervous energy here, nicely chalky on the finish. Modest intensity, but a good streamlined profile and an elegant and reasonably well sustained finish. Very good+

Chablis Cotes de Lechet, Reserve, 2005: 10% new oak, 40% old wood and 50% vat. For this they select older vines; the same plot each year which is about 50 year old.
The wood is rather obvious on the nose. Rich creamy palate, plenty of toastiness, which rather overwhelms, although it does have fair fruit to support this. I prefer the previous wine.

Chablis, Fourchaume, 2005 Defaix buys from the same vigneron every year and takes the fruit from the same plot. Defaix tells me this vigneron works the vines like him and keeps yields low. It is matured in 3 to 6 year old barrels.
Very ripe with greengages on the aroma and a touch of smoke. A round and more harmonious attack, which launches a bigger and broader palate. More weight here and power, and an earthiness. It is a little chunky. Quite full and long on the finish. Very good

Chablis, Vaudesir, 2005: This is all in old barrels. 35 year old vines. This is a bit more reserved and shows more potential and promise. Certainly a decent step up in quality. More classic and elegant, more controlled, refined and nicely textured smoother with better expression across the palate and onto the finish, which is a good deal longer. Fine.

Chablis Bougros, 2005: This sample came from a 1 year old barrel This is certainly very rich, unctuous and unlike the Fourchaume, acidity kicks in, so the balance is certainly better. It is full and glossy and meaty on the finish. However I prefer the Vaudésir, which is more elegant and possibly more complex. Particularly good to fine.

The GUIDE HACHETTE 2007

Chablis 2004* : This 2004 begins on hazelnut, with all the necessary liveliness, the colour and the expected structure. All qualities to be confirmed in 2 years, the good time to wait for this wine to be perfectly ready.

Chablis 1er cru Fourchaume 2004: Negociant created beside the family domain. And why not to tell it: Hélène is the grand daughter of the famous photographer Janine Niepce and her father was the first french climber on the Everest. This Fourchaume? Wait for him. Ones can turn 36 times around this mouth structured, with good acidity, simple and plaisant, wooded without excess, the conclusion will remain the same: patience. Clear and brilliant eye, very gentle nose. 

Les Lys 2004: very good. They are selected.

♥ Chablis Grand Cru Vaudésir 2004:Wine merchant maturer created beside the Domaine Bernard Defaix. "Dry, limpid, perfumed, lively and light", that was the "travel warrant" fixed by the famous Raymond Dumay for the Chablis. Everything can be found here, with also the authentic greatness. Firm and with a good ageing capacity, the wine is gold with silver reflects. The ageing (twelve months in barrels) opens with delicacy a Vaudesir with light brioche taste, rich and complex, with a natural elegance in front of which you bow. Already selected as   in 2000 with the Bougros.

CUISINE ET VINS DE FRANCE, February-March 2006

"Sylvain and Didier Defaix, the sons of Bernard, are evolving towards a more natural viticulture. For them, a clean farming leads to beautiful grapes. Their first crus Vaillons and Cote de Lechet have, in 2003 a fine structure just highlighted by the wood, and in 2004, a mineral structure with a strong finish that needs to age a bit. We love the purity and the discreet wood of these wines" 

Photo: "Didier Defaix carries at arms' length the most enormous cephalopods found by his father in the vineyard"

DECANTER, march 2006

Chablis 1er cru Cote de Lechet 2004:
Light, fresh nose, lime. Good attack, fairly rich and concentrated, spicy, minerality dominates fruit now, but it's tight and has potential. 2-8 years.

Chablis 1er cru Vaillons 2004: 
Very mineral and citrus and floral blossom fruit. Limestone minerals and good intensity of flavour. Up to 3 years

LE CLASSEMENT DES MEILLEURS VINS DE FRANCE (Guide Vert) 2006

This domain is a specialist of the terroirs of the left bank of the Serein river, a bit less known than the right bank, but which have splendid surprises in store on hot years, particularly on terroirs like Lys or Côte de Lechet. The vinifications are using the ageing on the lees in order to give fat to the wine and to protect it against oxidation. The wines: with the heat of vintage 2003, the results are mixed. At their best, the Bougros have a length and a density which will stand out and the Vaillons are emerging with strength. A little disappointment with Les Lys, a bit short in a vintage that should have been favourable for them. It is true that the vintage was a real headache both for viticulture and winemaking.

FIGARO MAGAZINE, 9th of April 2005

Chablis vieille vigne 2003 : From a vine of 45 years old, this wine is round, ample and elegant. A delicate bouquet with notes of honeysuckle. It shows an excellent depth and concentration. It can be kept 3 to 4 years. To serve with grilled fish or poultry.

GUIDE HACHETTE 2005

Chablis 2002 * : About a good Chablis, we used to say in the past that "It has love". So can we say about this 2002. It should age very well during a pair of years at least.Pale gold, very clear, it has a straight nose: all of it is frankness. Almond flavors on the mouth. Good length with fineness and tenderness.

Chablis 1er cru Côte de Lechet 2002 * : One of the best 1ers crus of the left bank. This beautiful slope benefits from a remarquable morphological unity. White gold, this wine offers a fine and complexe bouquet (citrus fruits and white fruits). Good fruit on mouth also, freshness and richness, the dry character of Chablis'. Forget this bottles 2 years in your cellar. We also mention Les Lys 2002, to forget a while also, for shell fishes.

Chablis Grand Cru Bougros 2002, Sylvain & Didier Defaix ** : A small negociant business created beside the domaine, very successful as this Bougros, pale gold and luminous. Racy and frank on the nose. Good structure. To wait 3 to 4 years to reach the perfect level.

DOMAINE BERNARD DEFAIX
17, rue du Château, Milly - 89800 Chablis
Tél. 03 86 42 40 75 - Fax : 03 86 42 40 28