Domaine Laroche

Burgundy, France

Chablis Grand Cru Les Blanchots – 2013

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  • Vineyard Profile

    • Domaine Laroche owns 3.74 hectares (9.24 acres) — almost one-third — of the grand cru Les Blanchots. With eastern and southern exposures on a steep slope ranging in elevation from 155 to 215 meters (509 to 705 feet), these old Blanchots vines ripen with a matchless minerality and aromatic richness due to the Kimmeridgian soil and the vineyard’s eastern orientation, which protects the fruit from the late afternoon sun.

    • Viticulture: One man, one plot: There are more than 30 people who are dedicated to caring for the 90-plus hectares (222.39 acres) of Domaine Laroche vineyards, with each person responsible for only one plot. This tailor-made approach allows them to manage the vineyards with precision, speed and accuracy. Everyone at Domaine Laroche practices “lutte raisonnée,” or “reasoned protection,” (using chemical intervention only when required): The vineyard is plowed to aerate the soil and encourage development of the root system, as well as the organic life in the soil. Vines are pruned and trained by hand, with a strict pruning and debudding regimen. Leaf plucking occurs to aerate the canopy and avoid the development of botrytis, while trellising aerates the grapes and provides them with favorable exposure.
    • 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.
  • Vintage Report

    • A year like 2013 required much attention. From spring onwards, weather conditions were particularly challenging, implying careful intervention in bud removal, cane positioning and leaf plucking in order to aerate the canopy and limit the development of diseases. Hand-harvesting and sorting were crucial for quality. Despite the demands of the 2013 vintage, the profile of each terroir is quite clear, and the wines are harmonious with the typical salty finish of Chablis.

  • Vinification

    • Pressing: Whole bunches in a pneumatic press, then 12 hours settling at 12 C to 15 C (53 F to 59 F) in large vats

    • Fermentation: 3 weeks (50% in stainless-steel vats where the temperature gradually increases from 16 C to 19 C, or 61 F to 66 F; 50% in French oak, of which 15% is new)
    • Aging: 14 months (50% in stainless-steel vats; 50% in French oak, of which 15% is new)
  • Technical Information

    • Varietal Composition: 100% Chardonnay
    • Alcohol: 13%
  • Tasting Notes

    • Appearance: Clear, bright yellow
      Aroma: Typical spring blossom aromas with a delicate mineral finish
      Taste: A silky mouthfeel supported by lively, racy acidity

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Reviews

  • Chablis Grand Cru Les Blanchots – 2013 – 94 points, Year’s Best White Burgundy – Wine & Spirits

    "… Les Blanchots shows its oak in a green tea–like tannin character, but sustains an openness that reveals scents of heirloom apples, fields of wheat, vast stretches of white limestone. This is saturated with flavor density and power, …”

  • Chablis Grand Cru Les Blanchots – 2013 – 93 points – Wine Enthusiast

    "Ripe and toasty, this rich wine is full of generous fruits as well a wood flavors. It shows the honeyed character that appears in this vintage while still keeping tight minerality."

  • Chablis Grand Cru Les Blanchots – 2013 – 93 points – The Planet Grape Wine Review

    "Rich, refined and dry with notes of lemon curd, chalk, egg shell and slivered almond."

  • Chablis Grand Cru Les Blanchots – 2013 – 93 points – Wine Spectator

    "Lovely balance and harmony provides the focal point for the lemon cake, apple, lanolin and stone flavors. Clean and precise, with a long, lemon- and mineral-tinged aftertaste."

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