Tasted in Maligny with Benjamin Laroche, 17 January 2018.
7, Rue des Maisons Rouges
Tel: +33 6 45 42 30 78
Benjamin’s view today:
“In 2016 the volume was low. We were particularly touched in St.Bris and Prehy, Beines – actually most places! Many places were not protected because they haven’t been frosted since the 1950s – but it came!
“Prices rose a lot in 2015 such that now the bulk market is completely incoherent – because domaine prices are much lower. It’s getting to stage where, like milk production, only the industrial (volume) producers will prosper at the expense of small boutique producers.
“My aim is for stability in both quality and price. I had some luck that 2017 was slightly better than 2016 because certain contracts weren’t affected by losses in 2017 – and that’s also important for the small regional complexity of Chablis.
“I think of 2016 as a classic year – some places could do with a little more acidity, I think, but it’s very classic.”
A very fine set of wines this vintage, showing a beautiful underlying complexity.
DIAM5 used for everything. 6 wines are bottled now – which we taste. There are a number of 1ers and grands still in tank and barrel. A couple of new cuvées are to come in 2017.
From Ligorelles, Beines, Maligny
Nice width of aroma, a faint salt and pepper impression. Lovely volume, fresh, direct flavour but nothing angular – this is delicious and mouth-watering. Great PC – Bravo.
Not yet begun selling this. A little (~10%) demi-muids in elevage.
Fresh, pure, a little lime style – really super. Fresh, really classic – direct and pure, deliciously complex with small points of complexity and a little salinity. Love this – but not a big wine, but beautiful, elegant wine.
2016 Chablis Vieilles Vignes
‘I think this the best quality-price wine we have’ 30% elevage in demi-muids of 500 litres
Round, a faint oak spice, this nose needs some extra air. Nice volume in the mouth, just a little more muscle here and a more insistent salinity too. This has extra complexity and little less elegance at this stage – but there is more wine here. If you want to pour some wine today than take the PC or Chablis – if you want to pour in 2 years, this will take prime position. Super wine!
2016 Chablis 1er Forêt
Bottled 8 days.
Also a nose that’s a little tight and suggesting salt and pepper – that’s the bottling I think. Nice volume – more complexity, slowly melting over the palate. Love this wine, saline, complex – to drink alone or at table. Super, with a sneaky baseline of minerality all the way through.
2016 Chablis 1er Vau Ligneau
‘Started to sell this one. I think this is a good buy for the consumer’ – me too – ‘because it’s a less well-known 1er with relatively fewer producers, so the price is still not bad. It’s also one of the most versatile 1ers as it works well in most situations.’
Wide, a little riper fruit, a modest veneer of oak too – but after a couple of minutes this oak is gone. A big volume, lots of freshness, saline, long – ooh this is good. Really good. Love this.
This won’t be commercial for a while, still on the 2015 for now.
A deep nose – lots of mineral width at the base – opening a little, more lime than lemon fruit. Plenty of volume, freshness but the key attribute here is the intensity – an intensity of pure, slightly saline flavour – less saline than Vau Ligneau but good. A lovely extra dimension of mineral flavour versus the others. Great for the patient!