Chablis Premier Cru Les Vaudevey – 2012
Domaine Laroche is one of only three proprietors in Les Vaudevey, owning 9.96 hectares (24.61 acres) of the 41.33-hectare (102.13 acres) premier cru vineyard. Planted on steep slopes of 195 to 235 meters (640 to 771 feet) with an eastern to southeastern exposure, the wines enjoy morning to early afternoon sun. They are, therefore, protected from excessive heat and mature slowly, developing a delicate flavor profile.
- Definition: Vaudevey can also be written in three words: “Vau,” “de,” and “Vey.” These words refer to the “Valley,” or “Vau,” of the “Vey,” which comes from the Latin word “Vadum,” which translates to “humid place” because of the river that used to flood the entrance of the valley.
- 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 1980
- Clones: Sélection massale
- Soil: Vaudevey is planted on Kimmeridgian limestone with a very rocky topsoil providing good drainage and aeration. The limestone and clay soil contains a multitude of tiny fossilized oyster shells. This unique soil structure delineates the grand and premier cru areas of Chablis, imparting a finesse to the Chardonnay that is precise, elegant and exceptional.
- 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): October 5-7; 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 (74% stainless steel, 26% French oak)
- Malolactic: 100%
- Aging: 9 months (74% stainless steel, 26% French oak); the wine is then blended and aged on fine lees for 8 to 9 months.
- Varietal Composition: 100% Chardonnay
- Production (in cases): 2,500 cases
- Production Case Pack: 6/750ml
- Alcohol: 12.5%
Appearance: Clear, bright limpid yellow
Aroma: Lots of mineral hints over a layer of lemon peel
Taste: Nervy, racy, lively
Chablis Premier Cru Les Vaudevey – 2012 – 90 points – Wine Spectator
“Peach, apple, lemon and mineral aromas and flavors converge in this harmonious white. Focused and persistent, with a well-delineated finish.”
Chablis Premier Cru Les Vaudevey – 2012 – 90 points – The Tasting Panel
“Elegant and crisp with juicy acidity and racy citrus; fresh, bright and lengthy.”
Chablis Premier Cru Les Vaudevey – 2012 – 90 points – Vinous
"A rich, ample wine, the 2012 Chablis Les Vaudevey is laced with hazelnut, dried pear, spice and licorice notes that meld together in an attractive, resonant wine... The 2012 is ample, generous and quite open..."
Chablis Premier Cru Les Vaudevey – 2012 – (90-91+) points – The Wine Advocate
"...delivers a lusciously juicy, engaging amalgam of lime, grapefruit and white peach suffused with saline, alkaline, and chalky mineral matter as well as pungent nettle and sage. Polished in texture, stony and bright without being hard-edged."