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Orders are available for pick-up at Restaurant Nicholas at 160 Route 35 South Red Bank, NJ 07701 during the following times:

Monday: 9:30-3:30; Tuesday – Friday: 9:15am – 9:00pm; Saturday: 11:00am – 9:00pm; Sunday: Closed

Daniel Dampt Chablis 1er Cru Les Vaillons 2019

$35.00

This one is about as good as it gets.

I told you a few weeks ago when we offered the Vocoret that I was one of the stingiest Chablis critics out there. The reasons are varied but boil down to three huge factors.

First – though many wines say they come from a particular vineyard, they changed the rules so that many of the vineyards can just use the name of their more famous neighbors. Absurd, I know.

Secondly, soil and vintage matter. And when the Premiers Cru were massively expanded in the 80’s, many were expanded to now include Portlandian soil which makes a very different finished wine than the Kimmeridgian Marl that put the very top wines on the map.

Finally – many, many producers will make wine off a particular vineyard with results that vary widely. So – the moral is I have to taste each and every Chablis, each and every year – no matter what.

But when I find a homerun, you have some of the best white wine in the world – ready and willing to age for decades – at a fraction of the price Corton-Charlemagne (with which the best Chablis easily compete).

Directly across town from Grand Cru Les Clos lies one of the most interesting Premier Cru vineyards in Chablis – Les Vaillons. Yes, the soil is Kimmeridgian Marl and southeast-facing hillside bakes in the morning sun – allowing the grapes to achieve perfect ripeness despite the cool temperatures.

Many bottlings from this precious vineyard fetch between $60 and $100+ but not this stunner from Dampt. It’s a true family operation – and they actually own the land – keeping costs substantially lower than the neighbors.

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