Domaine Laroche

Burgundy, France

Chablis Grand Cru Les Blanchots – 2017

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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 4.56 hectares (11 acres) — over 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: Up to 70 years; 5,880 vines per hectare (14,523 vines per acre); 10,000 vines per hectare (24,700 vines per acre) for younger vines; massal selection from Laroche old vines for the new plantings.
    • 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 precocious season with buds showing in early April. The cold wave that followed slowed down the growth, leaving good conditions for the flowering beginning of June. This singular season offered beautiful bunches and quality grapes with good health conditions. Once pressed, the juices were precise, straight, with great texture. This vintage will bring well-structured wines with a nice freshness.

  • Vinification

    • PRESSING: The grapes are harvested and sorted by hand. Whole bunches are pressed in a pneumatic press, and then the must settles for 12 hours at 10° C to 12°C (50° F to 54° F) in large vats.

    • Fermentation: The must ferments for 3 weeks, 60% in stainless-steel vats, where the temperature gradually increases from 16° C to 19° C (61° F to 66° F). The rest ferments in French oak barrels, of which 15% is new).
    • Aging: 9 months (around 60% in stainless-steel vats and the rest in French oak barrels. Then, 6 months aging in bottles.
    • Filtration: Minimal filtration is used to preserve and maximize the natural character of the wine.
  • Technical Information

    • Varietal Composition: 100% Chardonnay
    • Alcohol: 12.5%
  • 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. Blanchots is delicate, silky and shows its charm after five years in bottle and at peak after 10 to 12 years.

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Reviews

  • Domaine Laroche Chablis Les Blanchots Grand Cru – 2017 – The Wine Advocate – 92-94 Points

    More dramatic and expressive than Les Clos, the 2017 Chablis Grand Cru Les Blanchots bursts with aromas of mandarin, almond paste, lemon oil and ripe orchard fruit. On the palate, it's full-bodied, glossy and textural, with a gourmand attack but a tense, saline mid-palate and finish.

  • Domaine Laroche Chablis Les Blanchots Grand Cru – 2017 – Wine Spectator – 90 Points

    This is rich, evoking lemon cake, green apple and pastry flavors. Backed by vibrant acidity, this leaves a cleansing impression on the long finish. Drink now through 2024.

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