Domaine Gerard Duplessis

— About —


Domaine Gérard Duplessis is a family run cellar founded in 1895, today managed by Lilian Duplessis. Located in the heart of the Chablis’s region it has 9 ha divided on 8 different appellations. Every vineyard is worked in accordance to organic farming since 2007 and achieved certification in 2013 hence all the wines now from then are labelled as such. In fact he now farms biodynamically. All vineyards used for village, Premier Cru, and Grand Cru wines are Kimmeridgian limestone, with the Petit Chablis on Portlandian limestone, making the village Chablis a seriously good village style. As mentioned above the Domaine is Certified organic, quite the achievement in such a marginal climate as Chablis.

Lilian speaks only a little English so partnered with my school yard French tastings in his cellar over the years have been an amusing mixture of arm waving and google translate. I was extremely grateful when in 2019 Isabelle Champagnon joined the Domaine to support Lillian. She’d been previously working with William Fevre and so was extremely helpful in helping me get across to Lillian that Australia’s thirst for his wines was unabated and can I have more bottles. More importantly it helped me understand why these wines are so bloody good.

Owning such superb old vineyards (now organically farmed) is one of the key’s to the quality of wines produced by the Domaine, particularly in the ever warming climate of Chablis. What was interesting when tasting Domaine Gerard Duplessis’s wines in 2019  was despite these warmer conditions how wonderful the 2018 wines were. I was confused about how fresh, tight and precise they felt. Lilian explained that when you have the benefit of old vines their ‘experience’ as he put it helps to negate the warmer weather, they are not so easily influenced by these factors. With some plots up to 80 years old with even his Petit Chablis a vine average of 30 years old it’s evident in the wines.



His philosophy for working in harmony with the earth translates to how he works in the cellar: native yeast fermentations, fermentation with lees in stainless steel tank followed by a 12 to 18 months (depending on the classification & vintage) elévage in oak barrels (10% new) before being bottled with a minimal addition of sulfur. The Petit and Village Chablis see only cuvee (vat) however minimum on 6 to 12 months on full lees post malo before bottling.


Snapshot of thoughts from Neal Martin on 2021 + 2020 in Chablis


“Two-thousand and twenty-one is a different kettle of fish. It is far less consistent than the previous vintage. But dismiss it at your own loss. Despite all the travails, it is a fascinating vintage full of ups and downs…but the “ups” can be outstanding, perhaps catnip to those seeking Chablis wines that hark back to a time when growers struggled to reach full ripeness instead of avoiding over-ripeness. You could argue that the shortfall in warmth and sunlight meant that canopies could distribute energy to a lower number of clusters, thereby making it easier to achieve.”


“My tastings this year focused mainly on 2020, which are just bottled and a majority being released onto markets, plus a swathe of 2021s, either bottled submissions to my blind tasting or unfinished in producers’ cellars. Unsurprisingly, given the two distinctly differing growing seasons, each has their own characteristics. I am a big fan of the 2020 season in Chablis. In some ways it was a textbook vintage, more consistent than recent years, with just the right amount of warmth, though without the heat spikes that rendered some of the 2018s a little flabby and exotic”

“It is a growing season where Chablis’ leading exponents shone. Overall, the 2020s attain that liminal point between satisfying ripeness and that terseness, steeliness or the minerality that underlie its reputation”