Daniel-Etienne Defaix does things very differently. True to the long traditions of his family (their domaine goes back to the 1700’s), Daniel does everything at what is a snail’s pace in comparison to his neighbors. This starts with careful, gentle farming practices that eschew chemical fertilizers and sprays. In the cellar the fermentation is long and slow, using only wild yeasts. Malolactic is always completed, but only naturally so this process sometimes takes well over a year. Then you have the long aging "sur lie" in tanks, usually 18 months for the villages and upwards of 10 years for the 1er cru.
What importer Rosenthal Wine Merchant has to say about this wine...
The Defaix vineyard holdings in the Cote de Lechet are placed at a 38 degree slope facing southeast. The majority of the Defaix vines are situated within the Clos des Moines parcel. In all, Defaix owns 3.5 hectares of this special 1er Cru which gives the most emphatic and pure expression of the minerality that is the mark of this unique and compelling appellation. As with the other 1er Crus, the vines are 45 years of age on average which results in consistently smaller yields and greater concentration. Perhaps the most complex of the trio of 1er Crus, Defaix promotes the Cote de Lechet as a fine accompaniment to all the white meats, citing specifically rack of veal, farm-raised chicken (best when immersed in crème and married to morels!) or how about risotto with black or white truffles.
Crisp , Elegant , Minerally