Laroche – 2014


DSC09192Tasted in Chablis with Thierry Belicaud and Grégory Viennois, 14 January 2016.

Domaine Laroche
22 rue Louis Bro
89800 Chablis
Tel: +33 3 86 42 89 00

Gregory on 2015:
“A particular vintage because it was a long period off heat, some hydric stress but only really for the young vines – say those of 3-4 years old really struggled. Water seemed to come at the right moments, the leaves stayed green for a long time – even after the vintage. Early harvest, of course because of the hail. We triaged and the juice was super, not oxidative or brown so really not a qualitative effect. We had already decided to go just a little early for an element of ‘croquant.’ Acidity to start was below 12 and even increased a hint during the alcoholic fermentation – so given the modest mallic acid was not bad when finished. The degrees ranged between about 12.3° for the cool areas and more like 12.9° for the others. Certainly a less cold character than 2014, more acid than 2009 – at least here. Good tonicity and a little jovial.”

Gregory on 2014:
“Less yield here vs 2015. We have a lot of old vines between 40-60 years old. Only 48 hl/ha for Chablis, of-course less for the other levels. I like to think it was good conditions for the flowering, because it was quite hot so no chance for botrytis later in the year, of-course on the other hand a little coulure. Really much better than 2013 and really September made the vintage after two darker months. 14-29 September harvesting – unlike 2015 or 2013 we could take our time to harvest. A dream vintage – c’est top!”

The wines…

”A dream vintage’ says Grégory – given these wines, it’s hard to disagree…

2014 Bourgogne Chardonnay
All bought in must from Mâconnais. All in stainless steel.
A hint of toastiness. Round, delicious mouth-watering flavour – a certain opulence but never with unnecessary weight. Fine tasty flavour in the finish.

2014 Bourgogne Reserve Chardonnay
Basically the same juice as the previous wine, but here with 20% old foudre elevage.
A little tight but little real aromatic difference. A hint more roundness, a little more silk and seemingly more mineral. Bright and tasty growth of mid-palate flavour. Tasty wine.

2014 Domaine, Chablis St.Martin
An assembly of about 42 hectares from 60 hectares, with separate elevage – many terroirs – blended March and bottled in July. 2% wood!
Really quite a tight nose. Mouth-filling, brilliant combination of texture and layers of flavour. Bright but measured mid-palate delivery. A real honey.

2014 Domaine, Chablis Vieille Voye
6.5 ha below Les Lys, here a selection of 1 ha. First time separated. Vines are 75 years old. Elevage in foudre then finished in stainless steel with all the lees. Vieille Voye reflects the nearby Roman Road.
Much more open, some agrume notes here, a modest and attractive reduction. Wow this is wide, mineral, attractive, indeed delicious. Fine minerality too – totally tasty!

2014 Domaine, Chablis 1er Les Vaudevey
Also a nice width of faint agrume and reduction. Classic, fresh, slightly cool, flavour of dimension joy and not a little minerality. The agrume finish is almost towards mandarin Very tasty.

2014 Chablis 1er Beauroy Selection (i.e. négoce)
100% Troisoems fruit.
A core of ripe fruit supported by a little minerality. Here is a fruit quality that’s a little cool and reminds slightly of a decent 08 but with fine clarity. Tasty but not my favourite style.

2014 Domaine Chablis 1er Beauroy
A little wider, actually similar fruit impression but submerged by a very attractive width of saline freshness. The fruit flavour is actually heightened in (again) the direction of 08 but the finish is really lovely.

2014 Domaine, Chablis 1er Côte de Lechet
Will be bottled in 2 weeks. Almost the smallest parcel of the domaine – 0.2 ha. In wood but nothing new.
Subtle but wide and fresh. A touch of gas but is quickly gone, melting flavour over the palate and a certain impression of caramel in the background from the sweetness. Nice length with a certain sweetness of wood.

2014 Chablis 1er Vaillons Selection
Still in tank, probably until the end of the month.
A little tight but with a faint sweetness of yellow fruit too. Bright, wide, cool fruit, lots of flowing flavour – layers of mouth-watering flavour. A little sweetness to the next layer – agrume fruit – also sweetened. Tasty wine.

2014 Domaine, Chablis 1er Vaillons Vieilles Vignes
Bottled end of last year.
A relatively tight nose – slowly evolving fresh mineral notes. Wide, cool, slowly growing sweetness but a little more classic intensity and precision. Lovely wine here, I think definitely higher level. Super.

2014 Chablis 1er Montmains Selection
A modest reductive background to a similarly modest minerality. Wow – this is big and really mouth-watering – so much energy and mouth-watering flavour. Really delicious wine, long too.

2013 Domaine, Chablis 1er Montmains
A modest reductive quality that suggests toast. Wide, very fresh too, an extra dimension of fruit flavour – cool but interesting fruit. Really mouth-watering – hard to tell it’s the same terroir. Much as I liked the selection, this is the finer.

2014 Chablis 1er Vaucopins Selection
Very old vines here.
Also a reductive note that’s almost toasty. Again a slight bead of CO2. A very much more mineral width on the palate, agrume too – but they come more to the fore after you swallow. Very fine.

2014 Domaine, Chablis 1er Les Fourneaux
Fresh, almost exotic white fruit – an inviting nose. Again a slight petillance, but bright width, bubbling fresh and complex mouth-watering flavour. Really absorbing, captivating length – mmmm…
2014 Chablis 1er Mont du Milieu Selection
Really from the heart of the appellation.
A subtle extra ripeness of fruit, a suggestion of seashore too. Fresh, complex, joyous flavour, just a hint strict – but we all need that sometimes – gorgeous flowing, mouth-watering flavour. Bravo!
2014 Chablis 1er Montée de Tonnerre Selection
Mainly Chapelots.
A depth of freshness and interest, guarded by some oak notes. Super texture, fresh waves of flavour, gorgeous, delicious despite some oak notes. Almost wider after swallowing, lingering well – a certain sweetness from the oak without seeming sugared. Excellent.
2014 Domaine, Chablis 1er Fourchaume
Really, 80% from L’Homme Mort.
A discreet nose – vibrant – this seems a buy! Okay more info, there’s width and a fabulous energy that doesn’t overpower. Long, involving but always a certain fabulous freshness.

2014 Domaine, Chablis Les Bougros
A little more power here. Here is a more round but finely weighted and energetic wine.There’s a suggestion of agrume but it’s just one part of a whole scheme of complexity. Excellent energy too. Very yum!

2014 Domaine, Chablis Les Blanchots
7 different parcels – 4.5 hectares.
Wide, almost a suggestion of fumé to the nose, slowly adding a little fresh roundness. Ooh I like this! A good energy but here is flavour complexity with a modest but supporting energy. Really a super extra dimension as you head into the finish. Excellent.
2014 Domaine, Chablis Les Clos
A little toasty reduction, slowly adding some fruity dimension. Mmm. Really super dimension of fresh flavour – big but no fat, brilliant mid-palate – just brilliant.
2014 Domaine, Chablis Blanchots Reserve de l’Obediance
Always the best tasting parcels – blind.
A big, impressive vibrancy, almost a little texture to the nose. Bigger but beautifully detailed, complex wine – it’s not a fat or rich wine though certainly richly flavoured. Just a brilliant long-lasting finish.

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