TASTING NOTES: A vintage that reveals the limestone and the singularity of the terroirs of Chablis. Dress, pale yellow, limpid and brilliant. Lez nose opens on notes of chalks, flowers white and fresh fruits like the apple. Fermentations 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.
2018 VINTAGE: 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.
GRAPE VARIETY: 100 Chardonnay
VINEYARD: 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 cuve.
VINE AGE AND DENSITY: Average of 30+ years; 6,600 vines per hectare (14,523 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
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.
PRESSING: Whole bunches in a pneumatic press, then 12 hours settling at 12C to 15C (53F to 59F) in specially designed wide tanks that accelerate the natural sedimentation
FERMENTATION: 21 days fermentation at 17C (62F) in stainless steel vats
MATURATION: 8 months on fine lees in stainless-steel tanks and foudres large oak casksof 55hl (8)
FILTRATION: Minimal filtration is used to preserve and maximize the natural character of the wine.
Domaine LarocheView all from Domaine Laroche
The name Domaine Laroche is virtually synonymous with Chablis. For more than 160 years, the Laroche family has been dedicated to producing top quality wines from the Chablis region. The history of Laroche dates back to 1850, when Jean Victor Laroche purchased his first parcel of land in Chablis. In 1967, Michel Laroche, who represents the fifth generation, joined the family business at the age of 21. Convinced of the appellation's potential for high-quality wines, Laroche embarked on a period of expansion, taking the holdings from six hectares (14.83 acres) in 1967 to nearly 100 hectares (247.11 acres) of prime Chablis vineyards today.
Vineyards: Like all white Burgundy, only Chardonnay grapes are grown in Chablis. The region is at the northernmost section of Burgundy, separated from the Côte d'Or by the hills of the Morvan and closer in latitude to Champagne than to the rest of Burgundy. Chablis' grand cru and premier cru Chardonnay vineyards are planted primarily on the region's unique Kimmeridgian soil -- a mixture of clay, chalk and fossilized oyster shells -- renowned for producing crisp, minerally, precise and elegant wines that have become prized throughout the world.
Domaine Laroche owns a total of nearly 100 hectares (247.11 acres) spread out across the entire region, including 6 hectares (14.83 acres) of grands crus, 29.66 hectares (73.29 acres) of premiers crus, 63.02 hectares (155.72 acres) of Chablis, plus 2.25 hectares (5.56 acres) of Petit Chablis.
Michel Laroche passionately believes that the best wine can only be made using the finest grapes. His approach to viticulture is to create optimal conditions to achieve top-quality fruit -- purity and typicity being the heart of the Domaine Laroche philosophy. Grégory Viennois, technical director of all Laroche estates, along with his team, shares this view, working in tune with nature, encouraging low yields and natural ecology in order to produce fruit that is true to its vineyard origins. Domaine Laroche relies on one-man plots, meaning that one person is wholly responsible for the care of a single vineyard parcel, from the pruning, soil conditioning and control of yields to the sorting of the harvest. Domaine Laroche is currently undergoing active conversion to organic viticulture.
Winemaking: The gentlest-possible methods are used in the winery to protect the fruit's natural characters and maintain the purest expressions of each vineyard plot. Fermentation is usually carried out in stainless-steel tanks, except for the premiers and grands crus, which are partly fermented in barrels in order to impart delicate oak flavor and additional oxygen. As part of Michel Laroche's goal to retain purity and minerality in the finished wines, he was the first Burgundian producer, in 2001, to switch to screwcap closures, even for his grand cru wines.