Domaine Laroche

Burgundy, France

Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos – 2016

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  • Vineyard Profile

    • Chablis – Les Clos Grand Cru Domaine Laroche owns 1.12 hectares (2.77 acres) of the 25.81 hectares (63.78 acres) of Les Clos grand cru vineyard. Les Clos is located straight in front of the village of Chablis at an elevation of 139 to 166 meters (456 to 545 feet) with a southern exposure. This favorable sunny exposure allows the grapes to achieve excellent ripeness.

    • Definition: This vineyard was once completely surrounded by a stone wall, hence the name “Les Clos,” meaning “enclosure” or “walled vineyard” in Burgundy. Monks from the influential Abbey of Saint Martin at Tours planted vines here in the 9th century.
    • 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 in 1983
    • Soil: Les Clos’ well-draining soil means that water retention in the vineyard is quite low, causing the grapes to be concentrated in both aroma and acidity.
  • Vintage Report

    • A mild winter was followed by a cold and rainy spring with frost and hailstone showers on some parts of the appellation. August was warm and dry which favored belated ripening and accelerated the maturation process. The ideal September weather conditions with mild showers and sunshine finally ensured a nice maturation of the grapes. The harvest started on Monday, September 26 and ended on Tuesday, October 4, similar to 2014. The 2016 vintage is precise, fresh, lovely and well-balanced.

  • Vinification

    • Pressing: The grapes are harvested and sorted by hand. Whole bunches in a pneumatic press, then 12 hours settling at 12 C to 15 C (53 F to 59 F) in specially designed wide tanks.
      Fermentation: 3 weeks (35% stainless-steel vats, 65% French oak)
      Maturation: 6 months (35% stainless-steel vats, 65% French oak); the first blending between tanks and casks is done in stainless-steel tanks; the wine is then aged on fine lees for an additional 6 months
      Filtration: Minimal filtration is used to preserve and maximise the natural character of the wine.

  • Technical Information

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

    • The influence of this exceptional terroir appears in the pure mineral character and the intensity of aromas. Quite restrained at first, this Grand Cru offers finesse, complexity and a superb length.

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Reviews

  • Domaine Laroche Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos – 2016 – Jancis Robinson – 17.5 Points

    Yoghurt, mint, apple – much more interesting than their Blanchots. Gorgeous mixed-peel character on the palate with a long, layered finish giving loads of chalky flavour as well as pure, succulent apple fruit.

  • Domaine Laroche Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos – 2016 – Vinous – 94 Points

    The 2016 Chablis Les Clos Grand Cru comes from the bottom and mid-slope part of the vineyard and is aged 100% in used demi-muids. It is blessed with one of my favourite bouquets from Laroche this year: beautifully entwined scents of white flower, oyster shell and gunflint, touches of wet granite and struck flint coming through with aeration. The palate is very well balanced with crisp acidity, the wood exquisitely enmeshed with the fruit and delivering a wonderful, precise, slightly nutty, smoky finish. Superb!

  • Domaine Laroche Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos – 2016 – The Wine Advocate – 91+ Points

    The 2016 Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos from Domaine Laroche plays its cards very close to its vest, only unwinding with extended aeration to reveal a pretty bouquet of crisp white peach, lemon oil and citrus blossom. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, glossy and delicately textural, with a deep, stony core and vibrant acids, concluding with a stony, almost saline finish. This is a Les Clos that's going to insist on several years' patience, but it's pure, discreetly concentrated and well-balanced, so I wouldn't bet against it.

  • Domaine Laroche Chablis Les Clos – 2016 – Wine Spectator – 90 Points

    Lemony and lilting, this white offers green plum, apple, honey and mineral flavors. Sleek and focused on the finish. Drink now through 2023.

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