CHABLIS | FRANCE
After 45 years at the helm of Domaine Laroche, Michel Laroche embarked on a new project with Margaux,his daughter. Beginning with the 2012 vintage, Domaine d’Henri is named after Michel’s father Henri.Reclaiming the Laroche family vineyards of 22 hct which include 17 plots across Petit Chablis, Chablis, 1er CruFourchaume and Beauroy.
Perhaps their pièce de résistance is the vineyard holdings in the 1er Cru of Fourchaume, this escarpment ofKimmeridgian bedrock which flows North through the Grand Cru sites situated just a km or so south.Fourchaume alongside Montee de Tonnerre are arguably the most sought after 1er Cru vineyards, or at leaston the right bank of the appellation. I asked Margaux whilst on a visit to the Domaine on how she woulddefine the the differences between these two Cru’s:
Montee de Tonnerre = More chalk in the soil than Fourchaume – more salty/shell aromatics
Fourchaume – Greater percentage of clay than MDT – Gives the wine a little more weight/density,smoky/flint aromatics
Margaux is very passionate about organics and is hopes for certification from the 2020 vintage. She tells methe hardest part of Organics in Chablis is the grass which equals humidity and this can be dangerous duringfrost season alongside the threat of mildew (late April to Mid June in Chablis can be rainy)
She is also forging her own path in terms of winemaking philosophy, working with natural yeasts (pied decuve), 100% malolactic on all cuvees and varying degres of oak for village + 1er Cru.
LAROCHE ET ENFANTS CHABLIS TERROIR 2018
Sourced from 3 different lieu dits from the villages Fleys, Beine & Maligny, average vine age of35 years across the parcels. Fermented using a pied du cuve exclusively in tank, both primaryand malolactic. Left in tank post ferment for 11 months on fine lees before bottling.
CHABLIS SAINT PIERRE 2019
This is named after the one of the two churches in the village, a wink to his days at Larochebottling Saint Martin, the other church. Selection of 4 plots of Chablis with 30 years of age,light clay and limestone soil bringing richness and minerality to this excellent vintage. 12months of ageing. 85% in stainless steel and 15% in oak barrel.
Margaux outlines the differing styles then blend together in this wine based on location ofwhere they own village lieu dits. Maligny village (where Le Domaine d’Henri is based) in theNorth and is populated with light clay creating a richer style of Chardonnay. Can even beyellow/exotic fruits styles from here. Their other site in Fye, just next to Blanchot in the SouthEast has very white, chalky rocky soil, offering citrus and the classic saline notes.
CHABLIS 1ER CRU FOURCHAUME 2018
Sourced from their 5 hectares in Fourchaume, average vine age of 40 years old. Wildfermented, 85% in tank with the remainder in barrel. Wine spends 15 to 19 months of ageingbefore bottling – Margaux thinks it essential to keep aging in these larger vessels beforebottling. Having a second winter means the wine settles slowly via temperature, meaning noneed for filtration or fining when bottled.
CHABLIS 1ER CRU FOURCHAUME HERITAGE 2017
The Cuvée Héritage is dedicated to the memory of Henri. Hand harvested and hand selected,this is a “première trie”, or selection, of the finest grapes from the oldest parcel of vines,planted in 1937, now over 80 years old. Vinified and aged in stainless steel tanks (63%) and228-litre oak barrels (37%), this is an elegant, precise yet racy wine, that expresses the tensionand refreshing minerality associated with the great Chablis terroirs. For Henri, this was thepurest expression of the Chardonnay grape. The production is limited to only a few thousandbottles per year and the volume will vary each year, depending on the quality of the vintage.