Mas La Chevalière

Languedoc, France

Chardonnay, IGP Pays d’Oc – 2012

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  • Introduction

    • “De La Chevalière,” or “of the knight’s lady,” is a reference to “Mas La Chevalière” which is literally the “farmhouse of the knight’s lady,” the Laroche winery in southern France where this wine is produced.

  • Vineyard Profile

    • Minervois, Béziers, Agde, Bédarieux, Montpellier, Nîmes: encompassing both the western and eastern Languedoc regions. A wide range of origins builds complexity in the wine. All areas are under maritime influence which provides cooler, fresher conditions. Vineyard orientation is to the east and south. The soil is varied, with chalk, marl and schist predominant.

    • Cultivation: “Lutte raisonnée,” or “reasoned protection,” (using chemical intervention only when required); primarily cordon pruning with fruit thinning and high trellising in the vineyards
    • Size: Purchased grapes from vineyard partners; estimated 80 hectares total; vineyard size varies based on source and location
    • Vine Age: 22 years
    • Density: 4,500 vines/hectare (1,821 vines/acre)
  • Vintage Report

    • Quite unexpectedly, while cool weather in the spring presaged a longer ripening season, dry and hot weather in August changed the prediction. This heat wave increased the pace of ripening significantly. Fortunately, storms brought a moderating effect at the end of August, with cooler nights that favored aroma development. Weather conditions were excellent on the first days of September, and a strong wind from the north with cool temperatures at night had a huge impact on the ripeness of the berries.

    • Harvest Date(s): Early September
    • Yields: 50 hl/ha (3.7 tons/acre)
  • Vinification

    • Pressing: Supervised at the property of origin by the Laroche team: whole bunches in pneumatic press, then 24 hours settling at 12°-15°C (53°-59°F)

    • Fermentation: 12 days at 15°C (59°F) in stainless-steel tanks
    • Malolactic: None
    • Aging: 6 months in stainless steel, no barrel aging
    • Filtration: Minimum filtration to preserve maximum natural character of the wine
    • Bottled: Under low pressure on a bottling line designed to protect quality
  • Technical Information

    • Varietal Composition: 100% Chardonnay
    • Alcohol: 13%
  • Tasting Notes

    • Appearance: Pale straw color
      Aroma: White blossom and juicy summer fruit
      Taste: A delicate, stylish wine with beautiful acidity; mouthwatering, almost salty, finish
      Aging Potential: 3 years