2020 Domaine Jean Collet et Fils Chablis 1er Cru "Vaillons", Burgundy, France


An expressive nose of aromatic citrus oils and pear. The palate comes in with the expected concentration. This wine is energetic, yet anchored in cool depths of limestone and chalk. It has a salty tang and the allure of textured pear peel and citrus pith.

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The Collets are the biggest owners on this hill with ten hectares divided up into fifteen different parcels. The Vaillons hill has extremely high concentration of limestone marls in the topsoil at about 70% of the soil constitution, with the rest composed of a little clay and organic matter. The somewhat steep slopes reach higher elevations than the hill to the south, Montmains, and its south-face brings the advantage in even-ripening across the entire hill, making for the separation of characteristics imparted to the grapes by each lieu-dit strongly based on soil structure.

Hand harvested and fermented with indigenous yeasts in 95% in stainless steel and 5% in wood. Temperature is controlled through fermentation in steel but not in wood. Malolactic fermentation is completed.

Aged for fourteen months in a mixture of 1/3 in 228-liter used French oak barrels, 1/3 in an 85hl decades old foudre and 1/3 stainless steel.


Jean Collet started Domaine Collet in 1954, the heir of a Chablis grape-growing family since 1792. After the days of Jean, came Gilles, one of the most animated personalities in Chablis. He’s generous, lively and usually the life of the party, always keeping his personality from being as serious as the wines he crafted over numerous decades with his father, and even more so now with his son, Romain. In 2008, Gilles was struck with nerve damage on one side of his body and had to prematurely pass the baton. After only a few years of Romain putting new ideas to the test in the cellar and vineyard—natural yeast fermentations, organic and biodynamic farming—Gilles stepped aside completely and Romain began to make notable leaps from vintage to vintage.

At the young age of twenty-one, the eccentric and fun-loving Romain knocked it out of the park with his first vintage, 2008, which was the first vintage we imported. The foundation established by centuries of viticultural knowhow passed down through generations and Romain’s relentless curiosity and desire for improvement further set the stage for decades of inspired drinking from this domaine gifted with an average vine age of about fifty years. Romain pointed out that, “I am the luckiest generation. To have old vineyards like these to work with in my lifetime is something special, and it’s thanks to my grandfather, Jean.”

Organic viticulture is now part of the domaine’s practice under Romain’s direction—and with full support from the family. The two Grand Crus Valmur and Les Clos, the 1er Crus Montée de Tonnerre, Vaillons, Butteaux and Forêts have all been converted to organic farming, as well as a good portion of the Chablis AOC wine, where the organic culture tests were first done. The rest are sustainable, lutte raisonée, farming with the intention of eventually having all the sites fully converted.


Vintage 2020
Producer Domaine Jean Collet et Fils
Wine Type White Wine
Grape(s) Chardonnay
Appellation Chablis 1er Cru
Region Burgundy
Country France
Farming Organic, Biodynamic