Pierrick Laroche Chablis Les Chatillons is village-level Chablis but from a single 1ha site. Pierrick Laroche feels the grapes grown here offer something special compared to his other 7ha of Chablis AC. Therefore, Pierrick Laroche ages and bottles this as a separate wine.
Pierrick Laroche Chablis Les Chatillons shows classic aromas of oyster shell, wet stone, and citrus. The palate has tangy acid, mineral/flint/iodine, lemon and grapefruit. It has a long and crisp finish. The palate of Pierrick Laroche Chablis Les Chatillons is just starting to build some fat on the bones and will evolve with more time.
Domaine Des Hates Pierrick Laroche Chablis Les Chatillons 2017 Wine Review
John Gilman, View from the Cellar.
“The les Châtillons bottling hails from a one hectare parcel of vines that Monsieur Laroche owns in the commune of Fontenay, where the soils are more chalky than in his other, more heavily clay-based villages parcels, so Pierrick bottles this wine on its own. Fifteen percent of the cuvée is raised in older oak casks and demi-muids, which is then assembled with the portion raised in stainless steel, and the wine is given a full year and a half of elevage prior to bottling. The 2017 les Châtillons is really a lovely wine, with the nervosité of the 2017 vintage beautifully synthesized to the limestone character of these parcels. The bouquet offers up a bright and youthful blend of lemon, green apple, a superb base of chalky minerality, spring flowers and a bit of citrus zest. On the palate the wine is fullish, focused and racy, with good mid-palate depth, excellent mineral drive and a long, zesty and complex finish. This does not have the early generosity of the 2018 straight villages bottling, but it is inherently more complex and mineral and will be the slightly superior bottle with a bit of cellaring. 2021-2035.” August 2020.
Pierrick Laroche is relatively new to the winemaking game but hasn’t let that stop him from making great wines. Using his family estate that is situated in Chablis’ northernmost village, Pierrick Laroche was awarded three stars (top score) in the French Guide Hachette.
The classic part of Burgundy known as the Cote D’Or (the slope of gold) is essentially one vineyard that is 60km long and maybe 5km at its widest. From this limestone ridge, some of the most complex, long-lived and aromatic wines produced from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Cistercian monks who owned the land codified the entire region, and so each small plot has a name.
The Kimmeridgian soils that make Chablis taste like Chablis are evident in these wines. They have more definition of the region and more structure than a Petit Chablis. But without the fruit weight and intensity of the better sites. Great wines for drinking young or youngish.
The grape that you can plant anywhere, in any climate and do anything to and it will still taste like an OK wine. When people hit the sweet spot of site, climate, cropping and winemaking, Chardonnay becomes a magical wine that will age gracefully but charm you at any age. Chardonnays can range from cool-climate lean and citrusy to warmer climate tropical and overt. Oak and lees can add flavouring as can malolactic fermentation.
The land that some many New World (not European) wine producers look to emulate. To generalise about French wine, I would say it is savoury, lighter-bodied wines. They are the definition of elegant, complex. There are many styles, though. And there is a French wine for every palate. They lead the world in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in Burgundy. Sparkling Wine in Champagne. Cabernet and Merlot in Bordeaux. Syrah(Shiraz) and Grenache in the Rhone Valley. Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Pinot Gris in Alsace. Sauvignon Blanc, and Chenin Blanc in the Loire Valley. Gamay in Beaujolais.
Wine is the result you get from fermented grape juice. There is proof of wine production dating back 8000 years ago. Fashions, innovations and many other factors have influenced the way wine has evolved over the years.
The wine grape is impressive. It contains everything you need to make grape wine except for the yeast, which lives on the outside of the skins.
Human inputs can influence the final product, including the viticulture (growing) choices. And the winemaker can shape the wine to a point too.
The best wines of the world often refer to terroir. Terroir is a French term that refers to all the climatic, geological and topographical influences on a specific piece of land. And it is true that neighbouring vineyards, grown identically, can taste noticeably different.
It is interesting to know that you can make white wine from almost any grape. The colour comes from the skins, and if there is no contact, there is no colour. White wines tend to be delicate, perfumed, higher in acid and lower in alcohol. It seems for this and many other reasons, it is hard to make an incredibly impressive white wine. But those that have mastered the art are indeed some of the best winemakers in the world.
It is a falsehood to think that white wine does not age as well as red wine. But it is correct that white wine, as a rule, doesn’t age for as long.
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I, Phil, have been running The Wine Depository since 2011. The Wine Depository exists to make sure you are drinking the good wines. You can browse and pick what is interesting to you. Or you can make contact with me. I’ll make sure you get what you want, to your palate, to your budget and to your door.