Chablis Premier Cru Les Vaudevey – 2016
Chablis – Vaudevey 1er Cru Domaine Laroche is one of only three proprietors in Les Vaudevey, owning 9.96 hectares (24.61 acres) of the 41.33-hectare (102.13 acres) premier cru vineyard. Planted on steep slopes of 195 to 235 meters (640 to 771 feet) with an eastern to southeastern exposure, the vines enjoy morning to early afternoon sun. They are, therefore, protected from excessive heat and mature slowly, developing a delicate flavor profile.
- Definition: Vaudevey can also be written in three words: “Vau,” “de,” and “Vey.” These words refer to the “Valley,” or “Vau,” of the “Vey,” which comes from the Latin word “Vadum,” which translates to “humid place” because of the river that used to flood the entrance of the valley.
- 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 1980
- Soil: Vaudevey is planted on Kimmeridgian limestone with a very rocky topsoil providing good drainage and aeration. The limestone and clay soil contains a multitude of tiny fossilized oyster shells. This unique soil structure delineates the grand and premier cru areas of Chablis, imparting a finesse to the Chardonnay that is precise, elegant and exceptional.
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. The 2016 vintage is precise, fresh, lovely and well-balanced.
Pressing: The grapes are harvested and sorted by hand. Whole bunches in a pneumatic press, then 12 hours settling at 10 C to 12 C (50 F to 54 F) in specially designed wide tanks.
Fermentation: 3 weeks at 17 C (63 F) (74% stainless steel, 26% French oak).
Maturation: 9 months (74% stainless steel, 26% French oak).
Filtration: Minimal filtration is used to preserve and maximise the natural character of the wine.
Bright gold color. Lots of mineral hints, over a layer of lemon peel. Delicate yet racy and lively flavors.
- Varietal Composition: 100% Chardonnay
- Alcohol: 12%
Domaine Laroche, Chablis “Les Vaudevey” 1er Cru – 2016 – 90 Points – Burghound
This too flirts with the exotic but in this case it is so subtle as to play a barely minor role in the primary aromas of petrol, crushed herb, pineapple and quinine. There is moderately good punch and density to the delicious and moderately complex f
Chablis Premier Cru Les Vaudevey – 2016 – 90 Points – Wine Spectator
"Fresh and well-defined, this white offers apple, lemon and green plum flavors, with a touch of lemon peel on the firm finish. Fine length. Drink now through 2023. 325 cases imported."