Domaine Laroche

Burgundy, France

Chablis Premier Cru Les Vaillons Vieilles Vignes – 2017

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  • Vineyard Profile

    • Chablis—Vaillons 1er Cru Domaine Laroche owns 2.17 hectares (5.34 acres) of the 104.26 hectares (311.57 acres) in the Vaillons premier cru appellation. Les Vaillons is a well-favored site with an elevation of 180 to 200 meters (590 to 656 feet), a generous southeastern exposure and well-drained soil. During sunny vintages, the grapes attain perfect ripeness in this premier cru vineyard and produce wines with bright fruit flavors.

    • Definition: “Vaillons” refers to the smaller valleys or climats that the larger climat of Les Vaillons can be divided into: Roncières, Beugnons, Les Lys, Les Epinottes, Châtains, Sécher and Mélinots.
    • 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 1978
    • Soil: The limestone marl and Kimmeridgian soil is deep, and the vines are deeply rooted in this stony environment. Formed during the Kimmeridgian geological period (Late Jurassic, 150 to 155 million years ago), the soil contains a mixture of limestone and clay with a multitude of tiny fossilized oyster shells. This unique soil structure gives a finesse to Chablis that is precise, elegant and exceptional.
  • 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: 8 months (15% in oak barrel and 85% in stainless steel)
    • Aging: 8 months aging in an old foudre. Then, the wine will be blended and aged further on fine lees for about 4-6 months depending on tastings.
    • 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

    • There is a velvety character in this wine that comes from the sunny character of the vineyard. Perfectly ripe Chardonnay grapes grown on old vines give Vaillons a typical oriental spice overtone. On the palate,it offers real sinew but never lacks the elegance of the best premier crus of Chablis.

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Reviews

  • Domaine Laroche Chablis Les Vaillons Vieilles Vignes 1er Cru – 2017 – The Wine Advocate – 90-92 Points

    The 2017 Chablis 1er Cru Les Vaillons Vieilles Vignes exhibits aromas of crisp peach, green orchard fruit and honeysuckle. On the palate, it's medium-bodied, concentrated and chewy, with lots of tense, taut structure and tangy acid. Right now, it isn't fully formed—but it's promising.

  • Domaine Laroche Chablis Les Vaillons Vieilles Vignes 1er Cru – 2017 – Wine Spectator – 90 Points

    This is ripe, bursting with peach and melon flavors, along with a lush texture and vibrant structure. Concentrated yet fluid, with a sunny personality and a juicy finish, revealing a hint of mineral. Drink now through 2023.

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