On 31.1. I was part of an exclusive wine tasting with Chablis wines from the Laroche producer. The tasting was led by one of their technical directors.
It was amazing to get first-hand information and explanations about their wines.
I will shortly describe the wines I have tasted (both notes and standard description) and put in some other information about Laroche wines. All the information is collected from their promotion book, which I got on one of the wine fairs I visited last year.
Chablis is the best region for producing Chardonnay. Chablis has a cool climate, with warm and dry weather at the end of summer can ripen berries to the core. The soil is Kimmeridgian limestone, which is unique, and it delivers all the nutrients for the balance of vines.
Domaine Laroche owns a vineyard with more than 40-years old vines.
There is a tradition in Chablis, where they give one person to take care of a single plot to cultivate. The result is higher quality and better wine.
They are determining the right ripeness of the grapes by tasting the berries before harvesting. They are using only the best ripe, healthy and fresh grapes.
The simple process of making great wine is gentle pressing, light cold settling, alcoholic fermentation in different types and sizes of vats and natural malo-lactic fermentation.
Great Chablis wine needs time to mature because the minerality needs time to reveal itself. Wine is held for several months or over a year for Grand Cru wines in steel tanks, casks, foudres, barriques.
Domaine Laroche "Saint Martin" 2018
Best of the best grapes in the best plots give Chablis Saint Martin.
The terroir of Chablis has excellent acidity and great finesse. The wine is aged for a long time, which gives a typical minerality of the wine region.
* The wine is crispy with great minerality, it is medium to full body, have the typical citrus with a hint of green apple taste. But I would give the 2018 vintage few years to develop. Had tried the 2016 vintage in another opportunity and it was much better.
Domaine Laroche "Vielle Voye" 2016
Vielle Voye is one of the oldest vineyards in Chablis. There is a document from 1530 about Vielle Voye vineyard plot. Vielle voye is located beneath Premier Cru Les Vaillons on a rounded top with wide exposure. The process of making the wine is the same as Premier Cru: handmade harvest, grape sorting in the winery and long aging in French oak "foudre."
- Terroir: Sunny exposure, Kimmeridgian limestone soil, 70 years old vines. Ripeness is achieved without losing the typical salty character of the terroir.
- Food: recommended with seafish or chicken.
* The wine has finesse with salty minerality and a long finish. It is fermented in oak and finished fermentation in stainless steel tanks. It has a bit of honey-melon taste. In 2016 they had a frost, so the crop was small. It is worth buying a bottle if you have a chance.
PREMIER CRU WINES
Domaine Laroche Premier Cru "Les Montmains"
The vines are rooted in the limestone soil. The grapes have large skins, from which it is emerging crispness.
- Terroir: Clay-based soil and great exposure make it an early-ripening site, giving the wine body and structure.
- Food: Spicy dishes or goat cheese.
- Smooth on the nose, hint of honey, chewy taste. Saltines in the finish of the wine. Aged and fermented in oak in small barrels. Well balanced.
- Strong perfume on the nose. Some buttery notes, anise, black radish. It is slowly pressed to extract the good components.
Domaine Laroche Premier Cru "Les Fourchaumes"
Most prestigious Premier Cru. It is a racy, elegant wine with beautiful minerality with delicate notes of white blossom and orchard fruit. It lays on chalk stones.
- Terroir: old vines (60-70 old vines) on a slope well exposed to South and West. Said to be one of the most spectacular vineyards of Domaine Laroche.
- Food: Lobster salad, veal with lemon and coriander.
A hint of dry flowers, dry herbs. Good body. If bought would have it some more years to develop better.
Easier on the body than 2015, it is not over filtered. It has fresh nuts, fresh flowers. Needs decanting to develop all the aromas.
GRAND CRU WINES
Domaine Laroche Grand Cru "Les Clos" 2015
Known for intense minerality and exceptional finesse.
- Terroir: formerly surrounded with walls, therefore the name "Les Clos." It is located straight in front of the village of Chablis with Southern exposure. The sunny position is allowing the grapes to ripen perfectly. The soil is drained, and grapes are concentrated in both acidity and aroma. Les Clos is the long-lasting Grand Cru of Domaine Laroche with most intense minerality and superb length.
It has some stone fruits, minerals, it is high in acidity and has a long finish.
Domaine Laroche Grand Cru "Les Blanchots"
Great finesse and charm.
- Terroir: has a unique terroir consisting with a layer of white clay on Kimmeridgian limestone with ammonites. Ideal for keeping enough water for the roots. South-East exposure gives slow ripening and aroma development. Gets the most important sunshine exposure in the morning. Big vines. Need at least five years in bottle. Perfectly 10-12 years in bottle.
Hint of orange zest, good spicy. Recommended with truffle risotto (preferably white truffles).
Ripe melon. Overripe orange (soft orange), plum. Soft on the nose, with acidic taste. Green pepper finish. Recommended with fresh hummus, mushrooms. Vintage 2016
Strong honey smell. Fresh aftertaste. Overall well rounded.
Has spring flowers, acacia, leather.
Domaine Laroche Grand Cru "Les Blanchots" Réserve de l'Obédience
The best version of Grand Cru Les Blanchots.
Hand-harvested grapes and collected in small crates to go to the winery for sorting. After each parcel is kept apart to do the entire winemaking process separately, the blending happens at the beginning of the summer. Each vat is tasted. The final result of the blending is refined, intense, mineral and capable of mature for at least twenty years. With each year in the bottle the wine can only be better. We could taste different tastes and aromas in 5, 8, ten years old wine. Perfect temperature is 12-14 degrees.
The first vintage of this wine was in 2001. The production is small only 3000 bottles per year.
Very young for drinking, needs more time. Very strong on the nose, a little bit unpleasant.
Mild on the nose, mouth-watering effect. Smooth combined taste. Overall amazing.