Chablis Grand Cru Les Blanchots – 2009
Domaine Laroche owns 4.56 hectares (11.27 acres) of the total 12.93 hectares (31.95 acres) of Les Blanchots grand cru in Chablis. This vineyard is located at the eastern end of the grand cru hill in the Chablis appellation. With an east, southeast and southern exposure on a Kimmeridgian hill with a steep slope, these old Blanchots vines ripen with a matchless minerality and aromatic richness due to the soil and the vineyard orientation, which protects the fruit from the late afternoon sun.
- Viticulture: “Lutte raisonnée,” or “reasoned protection,” (using chemical intervention only when required): The vineyard is plowed to aerate the soil and encourage development of organic life in the soil. Vines are pruned and trained by hand, with a strict pruning and debudding regimen. Leaf plucking to aerate the canopy and avoid the development of botrytis. Trellising to aerate and give the grapes favorable exposure.
- Size: 4.56 hectares (11.27 acres)
- Vine Age: Average of 35 years
- Soil: Blanchots has a unique soil composition, combining typical Chablis Kimmeridgian limestone with a layer of white clay. Blanchots takes its name from this white clay which retains moisture and protects the vines from hydric stress. The Chardonnay grapes are notably well balanced, producing wines of remarkable elegance.
- Density: 6,700 vines per hectare (2,711 vines per acre)
2009 is a vintage to remember with a generous amount of sunny days throughout the vegetative cycle and ripening season which paved the way for an early harvest in September. The contrast of sunny days and cool nights resulted in ripe grapes with good freshness and an excellent aromatic synthesis. 2009 is a fruity, complex, balanced and harmonious vintage to be enjoyed now or cellared for a decade.
- Harvest Date(s): September 15-30; manual harvest; hand sorted at the winery
- Yields: 54 hl/ha (4 tons/acre)
Pressing: Whole bunches in a pneumatic press, then 12 hours settling at 12°-15°C (53°-59°F) in specially designed wide tanks; these accelerate the natural settling process, hence reducing the need for sulphur dioxide.
- Fermentation: 3 weeks at 20°C (68°F) on selected yeasts in stainless-steel vats
- Malolactic: 100%
- Aging: 12 to 15 months on fine lees; 25% in French oak barrel, of which 25% are new; 75% in stainless steel; bottle aged for 12 months prior to release
- Filtration: Minimum filtration to preserve the maximum natural character of the wine
- Bottled: Under low pressure on a bottling line designed to protect quality
- Bottle Aging: 12 months
- Varietal Composition: 100% Chardonnay
- Production (in cases): 2,000 cases
- Production Case Pack: 6/750ml
- Alcohol: 13%
Appearance: Clear, bright limpid yellow
Aroma: Delicate bouquet evokes white flowers and freshly cut grass with hints of vanilla
Taste: Splendidly harmonious and persistent in the mouth. Refined style with delicate balance of white fruit flavors and fine acidity. good depth and long finish.
Aging Potential: 10-12 years; decanting suggested
Chablis Grand Cru Les Blanchots – 2009 – 92 points – The Wine Advocate
“Layers of expressive fruit fill out the wine’s broad shouldered frame nicely. This is a…refined, polished Blanchots. The style built on volume rather than minerality will appeal most to readers who like richer Chablis...The balance is impeccable.”
Chablis Grand Cru Les Blanchots – 2009 – 89 points – Burghound.com
“…distinct citrus and floral notes where added nuance is present in the form of a discreet mineral reduction. There is good volume…medium weight flavors terminate in a moderately persistent …and complex finish where a touch of wood appears…”
Chablis Grand Cru Les Blanchots – 2009 – 92 points – Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar
“Tangy soft citrus aromas along with a note of flinty, leesy reduction…Tight on the palate but with very good intensity to the slightly saline stone fruit flavors…brisk acidity give the finish a penetrating quality…This has turned out very well.”
Chablis Grand Cru Les Blanchots – 2009 – 89 points – Wine Spectator Online
“Clover honey, apple and peach flavors combine in this medium-bodied white, which firms up on the chalky finish.”