Domaine Laroche

Burgundy, France

Chablis Premier Cru Les Vaillons Vieilles Vignes — 2020

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  • Vineyard Profile

    • Domaine Laroche owns 2.17 hectares (5.34 acres) of the 104.26 hectares (311.57 acres) Vaillons Premier Cru appellation. Les Vaillons is a well favored site with an elevation of 180 to 200 meters (590 to 656 feet), a generous southeastern exposure and well-drained soil. During sunny vintages, the grapes attain perfect ripeness in this premier cru vineyard and produce wines with bright fruit flavors.

    • Definition: “Vaillons” refers to the smaller valleys or climats that the larger climat of Les Vaillons can be divided into: Roncières, Beugnons, Les Lys, Les Epinottes, Châtains, Sécher and Mélinots.
    • 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.
    • Vine Age: 60+ years
    • Density: 5,880 vines per hectare (2,380 vines per acre).
  • Vintage Report

    • The harvest 2020 started on August 25th. The harvest was impacted by drought, particularly for the yields of certain plots that were well exposed to the sun, such as the Blanchots and Vaillons. The Blanchots and Chablis Vieille Voye were the first plots to be harvested, followed closely by the Premiers Crus Côte de Léchet (August 27th), L’Homme Mort (August 30th), and the Vaudevey (September 1st).

  • Vinification

    • Pressing: The grapes are harvested and sorted by hand. Whole bunches are pressed in a pneumatic press, and then the must settles for 12 hours  at 10° C to 12°C (50° F to 54° F) in large vats.

    • Fermentation: Alcoholic and malolatic fermentation in French oak barrels and in stainless steel tanks (15% in oak barrel and 85% in stainless steel).
    • Aging: The wine is matured in a combination of used oak and stainless steel tanks, with 9 months aging on fine lees.
    • Filtration: Minimal filtration is used to preserve and maximize the natural character of the wine.
  • Technical Information

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

    • There is a velvety character in this wine that comes from the sunny character of the vineyard. Perfectly ripe Chardonnay grapes grown on old vines give Vaillons a typical oriental spice overtone. On the palate it offers intensity but never lacks the elegance of the best premier crus of Chablis.