Domaine Laroche

Burgundy, France

Chablis Grand Cru Les Blanchots – 2016

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  • Vineyard Profile

    • 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.

    • Vineyards: 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.
    • Vine Age: Planted in 1950, 1965, 1968, 1986, 1991, 2009
    • 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. On the eastern part of the Grand Cru hill, on an exceptionally steep slope.
  • Vintage Report

    • A mild winter was followed by a cold and rainy spring with frost and hailstone showers on some parts of the appellation. August was warm and dry which favored belated ripening and accelerated the maturation process. The ideal September weather conditions with mild showers and sunshine finally ensured a nice maturation of the grapes. The harvest started on Monday, September 26 and ended on Tuesday, October 4, similar to 2014.

  • Vinification

    • Pressing: The grapes are harvested and sorted by hand. Whole bunches in a pneumatic press, then 12 hours settling at 12 C to 15 C (53 F to 59 F) in specially designed wide tanks.
      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).
      Maturation: 14 months (50% in stainless-steel vats; 50% in French oak, of which 15% is new).
      Filtration: Minimal filtration is used to preserve and maximise the natural character of the wine.

  • Technical Information

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

    • A real elegance appears in this grand cru, with a typical spring blossom aromas and a delicate mineral finish. On the palate, it offers a silky mouthfeel supported by a lively, racy acidity.

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Reviews

  • Domaine Laroche Chablis Grand Cru Les Blanchots – 2016 – Vinous – 91 Points

    The 2016 Chablis Les Blanchots Grand Cru is matured 95% in oak whereas previously Laroche used more stainless steel. It has a well defined bouquet with scents of citrus fruit, almond, smoke and desiccated orange peel. The palate is well balanced with a lively opening, quite saline in the mouth with a tightly-coiled, spicy finish that lingers. This Blanchots shows good potential.

  • Domaine Laroche Chablis Grand Cru Les Blanchots – 2016 – The Wine Advocate – 91 Points

    The 2016 Chablis Grand Cru Les Blanchots is a success, unfurling in the glass with a youthfully reserved bouquet of buttered green apples, lemon oil, white flowers and chalky soil tones. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, ample and layered, with good concentration and depth in its pure, understated style, concluding with a tense, stony finish.

  • Domaine Laroche Chablis Grand Cru Les Blanchots La Réserve de l’Obédience – 2016 – VinePair – 2015

    Kimmeridgian, a mixture of clay, chalk and oyster shells, is one of the most advantageous soil compositions for Chardonnay on the planet, it’s also the soil this grape was born in. The Grand Cru designation for Burgundy represents the best sites and in Chablis, where oak is most often used only for partial barrel fermentation...

  • Domaine Laroche Chablis Les Blanchots – 2016 – Wine Spectator – 91 Points

    Apple pie, honey and licorice flavors are allied to a lively structure in this white. Shows concentration and the impression of more to come. Drink now through 2024.

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