Wine Spectator: Burgundy: Exploring the Côte d’Or and Chablis – Featuring Domaine Laroche
Opening the first seminar of this year’s New York Wine Experience, senior editor Bruce Sanderson turned to a real-estate aphorism: “Location, location, location.” The refrain applies particularly well to Burgundian winemaking: “The entire hierarchy of quality in the region is based on the location of vineyards,” he said.
A taste of four grand cru Burgundies awaited the room—two Chardonnays and two Pinot Noirs. Sanderson noted that only 1% of all Burgundy wine is classified as grand cru, the region’s highest quality designation. “In addition to the vineyard and its attributes, the human input is important,” he noted, introducing presenters Albéric Bichot of Albert Bichot, Grégory Viennois of Domaine Laroche and Dimitri Bazas of Champy.
Next, Grégory Viennois, technical director of Domaine Laroche, presented the estate’s Chablis Les Blanchots 2014 (93, $110). The domaine maintains a 9th-century cellar and employs biodynamic practices.
The name Les Blanchots comes from the word for “white” and refers to the vineyard’s marl soil, a blend of clay and limestone. Eastern exposure limits sunshine to morning hours, begetting wines of elegance and concentration. Viennois called 2014 one of the decade’s best vintages, and he noted the wine’s purity, with flavors of white flowers and salt. Sanderson commented that it was more delicate and floral than the Moutonne.