Chablis Grand Cru Les Blanchots – 2012
Domaine Laroche owns 4.57 hectares (11.29 acres) of the total 11.65 hectares (28.79 acres) of Les Blanchots grand cru in Chablis. With eastern and southern exposures on a steep slope ranging in elevation from 155 to 215 meters (509 to 705 feet), these old Blanchots vines ripen with a matchless minerality and aromatic richness due to the Kimmeridgian soil and the vineyard’s eastern orientation, which protects the fruit from the late afternoon sun.
- 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. Everyone at Domaine Laroche practices “lutte raisonnée,” or “reasoned protection,” (using chemical intervention only when required): The vineyard is plowed to aerate the soil and encourage development of the root system, as well as the organic life in the soil. Vines are pruned and trained by hand, with a strict pruning and debudding regimen. Leaf plucking occurs to aerate the canopy and avoid the development of botrytis, while trellising aerates the grapes and provides them with favorable exposure.
- Vine Age: Planted 1950, 1965, 1968, 1986, 1991, 2009
- Clones: Sélection massale
- Soil: Blanchots has a unique soil composition, combining typical Chablis Kimmeridgian limestone with a layer of white clay. Blanchots takes its name from this white clay which retains moisture and protects the vines from hydric stress.
- Density: 5,880 vines/hectare (2,380 vines/acre)
The appellation, usually a slow-ripening one, benefited from an extraordinary end-of-summer: Blue skies, sunny and dry conditions, light winds and cold nights…all the elements required for a complete and perfect ripening of Chardonnay grapes. The condition of the grapes — which were less abundant than in 2011 due to coulure and millerandage — was perfect, enabling the development of impeccable aromas. This vintage of cold maturation, which implies neither heat excess nor heaviness, has developed elegant, aromatic, well-balanced and generously mineral wines.
- Harvest Date(s): September 25, 28; manual harvest; hand-sorted at the winery
- Yields: 50 hl/ha (3.70 tons/acre)
Pressing: Whole bunches in a pneumatic press, then 12 hours settling at 12° to 15°C (53° to 59°F) in specially designed wide tanks that accelerate the natural settling process
- Fermentation: 3 weeks (60% stainless steel, 40% French oak, 15% of which is new)
- Malolactic: 100%
- Aging: 14 months (60% stainless steel, 40% French oak, 15% of which is new)
- Filtration: Minimum filtration to preserve the maximum natural character of the wine
- Bottled: Under low pressure on a bottling line designed to protect the wine
- Varietal Composition: 100% Chardonnay
- Production (in cases): 2,500 cases
- Production Case Pack: 6/750ml
- Alcohol: 13.5%
Appearance: Clear, bright limpid yellow
Aroma: Typical spring blossom aromas with a delicate mineral finish
Taste: A silky mouthfeel supported by lively, racy acidity
Chablis Grand Cru Les Blanchots – 2012 – Domaine Laroche: A Pioneering Spirit in the Heart of Chablis – The SOMM Journal
"Domaine Laroche Chablis Grand Cru Les Blanchots is elegant and smooth with lingering flavors marked by spicy pear, meadow flowers, vanilla, and oyster shells."
Chablis Grand Cru Les Blanchots – 2012 – 95 points – Wine Enthusiast
"This is a textured, steely wine with considerable acidity as much as fruit. Tight and with green apple and green plum characters, this structured wine has a salty, chalky texture. Tasting of the soil, it needs to age."
Chablis Grand Cru Les Blanchots – 2012 – 94 points – International Wine Review
“A big but elegant Grand Cru showing acacia and other white ﬂowers and a hint of stone fruit on the nose. Densely ﬂavored but with a reﬁned, silky mouth feel and a hint of salinity. Has a very long, powerful ﬁnish"
Chablis Grand Cru Les Blanchots – 2012 – 92 points – Wine Spectator
“Rich, with vanilla and sweet spice notes accenting the peach, melon and stone flavors. Balanced, showing power and poise, finishing clean and bracing.”