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Best of the Best 2011: International White Wines: Drouhin Vaudon 2008 Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos

Over the course of the last decade and a half, critics’ preference for bigger, riper wines with higher levels of alcohol has reshaped the oenological landscape. Even white wines have undergone extreme regimens: Some New World Chardonnays are aged in oak nearly as long as Cabernet Sauvignon in an effort to achieve the buttery, nutty, custardlike flavors that have curried favor with the press. Yet, happily, all fads pass, and the wine-drinking public is rediscovering the precise, elegant Old World Char­donnays that some dismissed as too lean or astringent. The Drouhin Vaudon 2008 Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos (www.drouhinvaudon.com, $85) epitomizes this style, washing the taste buds in a cool, briny bath of calcium mineral before revealing submerged essences of white peach, candied lemon, and vanilla bean.

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