Vincent Dauvissat (Domaine Dauvissat-Camus)
The lasting impression of a visit chez Vincent Dauvissat is the plethora of little barrels, many the traditional small 114 litre feuillettes, although the wines are not at all marked by oak because their average age is about ten years old. With any oak flavours long since leached out, the purpose of these barrels is to allow the wines to repose gently on their lees.
Vincent Dauvissat does not practise bâtonnage, the stirring up lees favoured by some of his neighbours, in his search for subtlety in his wines. In bottle, Dauvissat wines are classic Chablis which cellar well. Vincent Dauvissat is a quiet, quizzical man, and behind this façade lays one of the keenest minds in Chablis, maintaining his family estate at the very pinnacle of Chablis production. Farming 12 ha of vines, including almost three hectares of grand crus, he believes strongly that it is the endeavours in the vineyard that produce the best wines. The vineyards are ploughed and the domaine is, to all intents, organic but Vincent doesn’t have the paperwork. “I’m not a militant person,” he says, “I just work well in the vines: that, simply, is Chablis!” When not in his vines, Vincent is to be found attacking the rolling landscape of the region on his racing bike and perhaps he now has a little more time for this now he has daughter, Etiennette, and son, Ghislain, working with him! Traditionally Tanners has had the Dauvissat-Camus for the UK market, but from the 2018 vintage we will receive the Vincent Dauvissat label and, as ever, the wines will be the same.