Domaine Laroche

Burgundy, France

Chablis Saint Martin – 2018

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  • Introduction

    • Saint Martin, the patron saint of Chablis, was a Roman cavalry officer who became 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 (such as his cavalry cape, which he had torn in half for a beggar) 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 of the ninth-century monastery in the town of Chablis. The Saint Martin cuvée is the flagship wine of Domaine Laroche, a symbol of the Laroche values of sharing and conviviality.

  • Vineyard Profile

    • Saint Martin is a blend of the best plots of Domaine Laroche vineyards in the Chablis appellation. All plots are located on Kimmeridgian limestone soil with a west to northwest orientation. Thanks to the diverse nuances of these sources, they bring richness and complexity to the final cuvée.

    • Grape Source: 100% Chardonnay
    • Viticulture: One-man, one plot cultivation at Laroche, meaning one person is completely in charge of his section of the vineyard, from pruning through to harvest. 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% 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. Green harvesting when needed.
    • Size: 60 hectares (148.26 acres)
    • Vine Age: Average of 30+ years
    • Density: 6,600 vines per hectare (2,670 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
  • Vintage Report

    • The summer conditions are dry with temperatures above seasonal norms (> 37 °C) which favored the advanced veraison of 8 days compared to the last year. Autumn and mild winters. After 2 complicated years, going up to -50% of the harvest, we are looking forward to a nice 2018 harvest in quality (a vintage similar to 2015) with a return to normal in terms of the amount.

    • Harvest Date(s): Mid- September
    • Yields: 54 hectoliters per hectare (4 tons per acre)
  • Vinification

    • Fermentation: 21 days fermentation at 17˚C (62˚F) in stainless steel vats
    • Malolactic: Yes
    • Aging: 8 months on fine lees in stainless-steel tanks and “foudres”— large oak casks—of 55hl (8%)
    • Filtration: Minimum filtration to preserve the maximum natural character of the wine
  • Technical Information

    • Varietal Composition: 100% Chardonnay
    • Alcohol: 12.5%
  • Tasting Notes

    • A vintage that reveals the limestone and the singularity of the terroirs of Chablis. Dress, pale yellow, limpid and brilliant. The nose opens on notes of chalks, flowers white and fresh fruits like the apple. Fermentation’s partly in lightning oak (30 years) bring subtle and complex notes of fresh undergrowth and of cedar. Taste and mineral mouth, long and saline finish.