Domaine Laroche ‘Les Chanoines’ Chablis 2018
Grape Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
Growing Region: Chablis, France
Winemaker: Grégory Viennois
Looking for a Chablis that showcases varietal typicity and classic terroir characters - then look no further than Domaine Laroche expressions. This wine is a blend of different vineyard sites of Laroche across the Chablis appellation. Grown in Kimmeridgian soils, with vines planted in a west to north-west orientation. Due to the diverse character of these unique sites, they contribute vibrancy and elegant mineral characters to this early drinking cuvée.
Domaine Laroche has a respectful philosophy to viticulture. They have one person in complete charge of each vineyard site from bud-burst to harvest. Many of their vineyards were converted to organic viticulture back in 2010 with a minimum of four consecutive years of organic cultivation (one more year than EU regulations) before they considered their viticulture to be 100% organic. They practice traditional Chablis viticulture - with aerated canopies and leaf thinning employed to prevent growth of botrytis, plus a green harvest as required. Their combined area of vines account for approximately 60 hectares, with the vines having an average age of 38 years.
I was in these vineyards for a few days before harvest in 2018, having a look at the fruit across their sites. After two complicated years, loosing up to 50-60% of the harvest, the team at Laroche were looking forward to a good 2018 harvest in quantity and quality (with a vintage similar to 2015) - plus a return to classic fruit characters.
As the fruit arrived into the winery the parcels were whole bunched pressed in a pneumatic press, then the must was allowed to rest for 12 hours at a temperature of 12-15°C in large specially designed wide tanks which aided in aeration during this natural process. The pressed juice had good balance, natural acidity, without any malic / sharp notes, subtle alcohol and good structure. Next was 15 days of fermentation at 16°C in tanks before another 6 months of aging on fine lees in stainless steel tanks, before blending and bottling.
In the glass you will be greeted by a straw colour and subtle honey hue. The nose is youthful and bright with citrus and mineral nuances. On the palate with wine is vibrant with a harmonious palate full of green apples, pears and a hint of spring blossom. A bright and fresh Chablis, with delicate mineral-seam, restrained, lean with balanced refreshing acidity which give a lift white-pip fruit flavours and a citrus note on the classic dry finish.
This 2018 Domaine Laroche ‘Les Chanoines’ Chablis has 12.5% Alc./vol. Chill gently and serve in an appropriately shaped wine glass at 8-9°C.
Bright and lively - a classic early drinking style Chablis.
Drinking perfectly well this summer; and will hold nicely for another 18-24 months.
FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTIONS:
Perfect wine pairing with naturally served oysters, scallops, calamari, crayfish, chicken & apple salad and light vegetarian cuisine - enjoy.