Domaine Laroche

Burgundy, France

Chablis Premier Cru Les Vaillons Vieilles Vignes – 2018

download facts sheet Download tasting notes where to buy
  • 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 tailormade approach allows them to manage the vineyards with precision, speed and accuracy.
    • Vine Age: 35-50 years
    • Density: 5,880 vines per hectare (2,380 vines per acre)
  • Vintage Report

    • In 2018 the summer conditions were dry with temperatures above seasonal norms (> 98 °F) which favored an advanced veraison of 8 days compared to the previous year. After 2 challenging years with harvest volume down 50%, we are thankful for the abundant and high quality of vintage 2018.

  • 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: Alcoholic and malolatic fermentation in French oak barrels and in stainless steel tanks (15% in oak barrel and 85% in stainless steel).
    • Aging: 9 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.



  • Domaine Laroche Chablis Premier Cru Les Vaillons Vieilles Vignes — 2018 – Burghound – 90 Points

    A vague whiff of the exotic floats above the equally Chablis-like nose of floral, iodine, seashore and that lovely hint of tidal pool. Delicious, round and relatively forward medium-bodied flavors possess evident minerality on the dry, firm and refreshing citrus-tinged finish.This is not especially persistent, at least not at present, as the back end is a bit attenuated, yet I suspect that this will round out nicely with a few years of bottle age.

  • Domaine Laroche Chablis Premier Cru Les Vaillons Vieilles Vignes – 2018 – Vinous – 91 Points

    The 2018 Chablis Les Vaillons Vieilles Vignes 1er Cru offers green apples, lime, sea spray and light grilled almond notes on a nose that takes a few swirls of the glass to get going. The palate is well balanced, with a faint tang of dried quince and bitter lemon on the entry. I admire the salinity and savory finish of this Vaillons, though I suspect it will show best in its youth. Maybe I’ll be proved wrong!

  • Domaine Laroche Chablis Premier Cru Les Vaillons Vieilles Vignes – 2018 – Vinous – 91 Points

    The 2018 Chablis Les Vaillons Vieilles Vignes 1er Cru is laced with lemon confit, citrus peel, almond, dried flowers and chamomile. Aromatic and light on its feet, the 2018 offers lovely near and medium-term appeal. This is such an attractive 1er Cru.