Domaine Laroche

Bourgogne, France

Chablis Premier Cru L’Homme Mort — 2020

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  • Introduction

    • L’Homme Mort (dead man)? What a strange name for a wine! Some actually suggest a linguistic corruption, referring to “l’orme mort” (the dead elm), an old tree used at the time to delimit the vineyards. Another, less joyful explanation, stems from the presence of a small cemetery at the entrance of the valley. A few sarcophagi containing skeletons from the Merovingian era were uncovered there. As with many other places in France, this discovery gave rise to the name of “l’Homme Mort”.

  • Vineyard Profile

    • L’Homme Mort is a well-known subplot within The Premier Cru Les Fourchaumes. 80% of Domaine Laroche’s Les Fourchaumes vineyards are located within the L’Homme Mort area, which is the most northerly area of this climat on the right bank. 70 year-old vines are planted on a slope well exposed to the South and West. Soils rich in Kimmeridgian limestone.

    • 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: Up to 70 years;
    • Density: 5,880 vines per hectare (2,380 vines per acre); massal selection from Laroche old vines for the new plantings.
  • Vintage Report

    • Harvest 2020 started on August 25th. The harvest was impacted by drought, particularly the yields of certain plots that were well exposed to the sun. The Blanchots and Chablis Vieille Voye were the first plots to be harvested, followed closely by the Premiers Crus.

  • Vinification

    • The grapes are harvested and sorted by hand. Whole bunches are pressed in a pneumatic press, and then the must settles for 12-14 hours at 12° C to 15°C (54° F to 59° F) in large vats.

    • Fermentation: 2-3 weeks of fermentation at 17°C (63 F)
    • Aging: 9 months aging on fine lees in stainless steel tanks and French oak barrels ranging from 1 to 7 years old.
    • Filtration: Minimal filtration is used to preserve and maximize the natural character of the wine.
  • Technical Information

    • Alcohol: 12.5%
  • Tasting Notes

    • Aromas of citrus, green apple, and spice. Typical minerality is balanced by a vibrant acidity which leads to a long, harmonious finish.