Chardonnay, IGP Pays d’Oc – 2017
“La Chevalière,” or “the knight’s lady,” is a reference to “Mas La Chevalière” which is literally the “farmhouse of the knight’s lady,” the Laroche winery in southern France where this wine is produced.
Minervois, Béziers, Agde, Bédarieux, Montpellier, Nîmes: encompassing both the western and eastern Languedoc regions. A wide range of origins to build complexity in the wine. All areas are under maritime influence which provides cooler, fresher conditions. Vineyard orientation is to the west and northwest. The soil is varied, with clay and limestone predominant.
- Viticulture: “Lutte raisonnée,” or “reasoned protection,” (using chemical intervention only when required); primarily cordon pruning with fruit thinning and high trellising in the vineyards
- Size: Purchased grapes from vineyard partners; estimated 80 hectares (198 acres) total; vineyard size varies based on source and location
- Vine Age: 15-25 years
- Density: 4,000 vines/hectare (1,619 vines per acre)
The 2017 vintage is surprising. Weather conditions were unusual: frost in winter, good amount of rain in spring and a very dry summer. These conditions moved the harvests 7 to 10 days earlier, giving a lower yield in comparison with the previous years. Yet, quality is here. The harvested berries showed a nice balance between sugar and acidity, and the must presented a complex and lovely aromatic structure. White wines are fresh and elegant; Shiraz and Grenache have a gorgeous potential. 2017 is as great as 2010!
- Harvest Date(s): Late August to early September
Supervised at the property of origin by the Laroche team; whole bunches crushed in pneumatic press, then 24 hours settling at 12°C to 15°C (53°F to 59°F) to allow the aromas to be absorbed into the must.
- Fermentation: 12 days of fermentation at 15 C (59 F) in stainless-steel tanks
- Malolactic: None
- Aging: 6 months in stainless-steel tanks, no barrel aging
- Filtration: Minimum filtration to preserve maximum natural character of the wine
- Bottled: January 2018. Under low pressure on a bottling line designed to protect quality
Appearance: Clear pale straw color
Aroma: Strong citrusy aromas on the nose, with yellow-fruit richness
Taste: Bright flavors of ripe fruit; good balance and aromatic finish
- Varietal Composition: 100% Chardonnay
- Alcohol: 13%
- TA: 3.16g/L
- p H: 3.54