Domaine Laroche ‘Saint Martin’ Chablis 2018
Grape Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
Growing Region: Chablis - France
Chief Winemaker: Grégory Viennois
5 Stars ★★★★★
Looking for a Chablis to show varietal typicity and classic terroir characters - then look no further than this ‘Saint Martin’ expression. This wine is a blend of the best vineyard sites of Domaine Laroche in the Chablis appellation. Grown in Kimmeridgian soils and due to the diverse character of these unique sites, they contribute vibrancy and complexity to this cuvée.
Domaine Laroche has a traditional philosophy to viticulture, they have one person in complete charge of each vineyard site from bud-burst to harvest. These vineyards were converted to organic viticulture back in 2010. They also practice traditional Chablis viticulture - with aerated canopies and leaf thinning employed to prevent the growth of botrytis, plus a green harvest as and where required. Their combined area of vines account for approximately 60 hectares, with the vines having an average age of 38 years.
I was last in these vineyards 3 years ago, having a look at the fruit across the sites. The 2018 growing conditions were dry with temperatures above seasonal norms, with days above 35°C which resulted in an early veraison of around 8 days compared with the previous season. After 2 challenging vintages with the harvest volumes down around 50-60%, the team were thankful for the abundant and high quality of the 2018 fruit, showcasing good concentration, balance and a signature mineral freshness.
As the fruit came into the winery, the parcels were whole bunched pressed, with 12 hours of settling at 12 - 15°C in specially designed wide tanks which aided in aeration during this natural process. When fermentation was initiated it lasted for around 3 weeks at 17°C in stainless steel tanks. This vintage did undergo malolactic fermentation, the wine was then aged for 8 months on fine lees in stainless-steel tanks and 15% went into aged foudres - (55hl large oak vats). The wine then had minimal filtration to preserve the maximum natural varietal characters.
• In your glass you will have a lemon-gold colour with a shining hue. A fragrant nose with touches of ripe green apples, limes and white floral aromas. Lively on the palate with a mineral accent on layers of citrus and white-fleshed fruits like green apples and lime aromas are followed by hints of green herbs and a mineral seam. This ‘Saint Martin’ Chablis has excellent fruit acidity and remarkable finesse. Due to the choreographed time on fine lees, this wine combines structure with vibrancy. A characteristic freshness showcasing elegant flavours along with subtle almond highlights dance across the senses. The wines mineral typicity gives a wonderfully distinct character and classic elevated dry finish.
This 2018 Domaine Laroche ‘Saint Martin’ Chablis has 12.5% Alc./vol. - classic dry style. Chill gently and serve in a generous aromatic shaped wine glass at 8°- 10°C.
Drinking perfectly this coming season; and will age well for another 4 - 5 years.
FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTIONS:
Perfect wine pairing with naturally served oysters, scallops, white fish & risotto, grilled calamari, pork cutlets with apple sauce and a classic Caesar or mixed summer salads - enjoy.