Chablis Saint Martin – 2013
Saint Martin is a blend of the best plots of Domaine Laroche in the Chablis appellation. All plots are located on Kimmeridgian soil with a west to northwest orientation. Thanks to the diverse nuances of these sources, they bring richness and complexity to the final cuvée.
- Definition: Saint Martin, the patron saint of Chablis, was a Roman cavalry officer who converted to Christianity, lived as a humble monk and was elected Bishop of Tours. After his death in 397, his body was brought back to the Abbey of Marmoutier in Tours, where his relics (his famous cloak, in particular) were kept. In 877, as the Normans were invading the Touraine, monks took his relics to Chablis to avoid destruction. Saint Martin’s relics were kept for a decade in the Obédiencerie, the prayer hall in the ninth-century monastery in the town of Chablis.
- Viticulture: Conversion to organic viticulture was begun in 2010 for these Laroche vineyards. Domaine Laroche will require four consecutive years of organic cultivation (one more year than EU regulations prescribe) before they will consider their viticulture to be 100 percent organic. Traditional Chablis pruning system with strict pruning and debudding; trellising to aerate the canopy and leaf plucking to avoid compact canopy and prevent growth of botrytis.
- Size: 61.77 hectares (152.64 acres)
- Vine Age: Average of 30 years
- Density: 6,600 vines/hectare (2,670 vines/acre)
A year like 2013 requires much attention. From springtime onwards, weather conditions were particularly demanding, requiring careful intervention. Bud removal, cane positioning and leaf plucking were done to aerate the canopy and limit the development of diseases. Flowering took place under varied weather conditions, and coulure (poor fruit setting) was significant, resulting in a reduction of grape clusters. The human factor was crucial right up to the harvest period. Harvest took place over a very short time span, when the grapes were both ripe and healthy. In the final analysis, 2013 was a very demanding year, but the wines have harmony and the typical slaty finish of Chablis.
- Harvest Date(s): End of September to beginning of October
- Yields: 55 hl/ha (4.07 tons/acre)
Pressing: Whole bunches in a pneumatic press, then 12 hours settling at 12°-15°C (53°-59°F) in specially designed wide tanks that accelerate the natural settling process
- Fermentation: 21 days fermentation at 17°C (62°F) in stainless steel
- Malolactic: None
- Aging: 8 months on fine lees in stainless-steel tanks; no barrel aging
- Filtration: Minimum filtration to preserve the maximum natural character of the wine
- Varietal Composition: 100% Chardonnay
- Production (in cases): 25,000 cases
- Production Case Pack: 12/750ml
- Cases Imported: 2,275
- Alcohol: 12%
Appearance: Pale gold color
Aroma: Intense with hints of ripe white fruit and flowers; aromatic richness, typical of the Laroche style
Taste: Powerful fruit expression and freshness on the palate; the minerality gives a lingering finish