Profile of Domaine Laroche

Domaine Laroche is one of France’s finest producers, justly proud of their status as a key founding pioneer of the Chablis style and heritage. Indeed, their historical headquarters are based in the beautiful Obédiencerie in the heart of Chablis, which was originally a monastery dating back to the ninth century. In fact, this site can claim to be the birthplace of Chablis; the Saint-Martin monks established Chablis’ first vines here and lay the groundwork for what would become one of the world’s finest and most elegant white wines. Today, Laroche export their superb range of wines across the globe, with the Grand Crus being particularly highly sought-after in the world’s most famous restaurants. For if ever a wine was designed to accompany food then it is Chablis – balanced, appetizing, flavorsome and very moreish. Not to mention far easier to obtain than the revered white wines of the Cote d’Or further south.

Laroche dates back from the mid-19th century, when Jean Victor Laroche, a laborer, purchased his first parcel of vines a short distance from the village of Chablis. As the decades went by, the business was passed from generation to generation and its fame and size steadily grew, reaching 6 hectares in the 1960s. At this time, the region totaled a mere 600 hectares, having been badly affected by the phylloxera epidemic of the late 19th century. It is during this period that Henri Laroche inherited the domaine in 1967, just as confidence was returning to the Chablis region. Henri, and later his son Michel, instigated major expansion projects and quality enhancements at the domaine, purchasing the best possible vineyards and increasing their holdings of the lauded Premier and Grand Crus. Yields were kept to a minimum, and installing the latest, high-tech equipment was considered a top priority.

The 21st century saw yet more change, with Michel Laroche founding the Union des Grand Crus de Chablis, with the mission statement of promoting their great wines to the unbaptized. Laroche was also the pioneer of using screw cap closures for Chablis, to great applause but also controversy in the world. In recent years, Michel has passed over control of Laroche to current president Thierry Bellicaud, under the ownership of the Advini group. But although Michel now spends his time in the south of France, he still takes a keen interest in the fortunes of Chablis and remains an active member of the Union.

Today, Laroche is managed by an incredibly talented team, including winemaker Grégory Viennois and cellar master Stephane Barras. Their expertise and dedication to understanding their terroirs shine through in the range of wines, which are always supple, gently creamy and never green. Laroche’s calling card is producing wines that clearly show a sense of place and that quintessential minerality, whilst offering more fruit and body than typically austere young Chablis. But the undoubted star of the show is their deluxe cuvee Reserve de L’Obedience; using the best wines from the Blanchots Grand Cru, it is one of the region’s finest examples, classy, complex and profound. But like the domaine itself, all the wines show great form in recent vintages. Formidable!

Wines produced

  • Laroche Chablis Saint Martin (Purchased grapes)

    100% Chardonnay. Fermented in stainless steel tanks and aged for 8 months on fine lees in tank. A great introduction to the Laroche selection of wines.

  • Laroche Chablis Mont de Milieu (Purchased grapes from Premier Cru vineyards)

    100% Chardonnay. 65% of the wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks, 35% in oak casks. Aged on the fine lees in stainless steel tanks and oak casks for 6 months, then transferred to oak barrels for further 6 months ageing.

  • Laroche Chablis Montmains (Purchased grapes from Premier Cru vineyards)

    100% Chardonnay. 70% of the wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks, 30% in oak casks. Aged on the fine lees in stainless steel tanks and oak casks for 6 months, then transferred to oak barrels for further 6 months ageing.

  • Domaine Laroche Cote de Lechet (Premier Cru)

    100% Chardonnay. The wine is fermented in oak casks and then aged in barrel for a further 15 months ageing. Produced from Domaine Laroche's own vineyards, a superb example of the Cote de Lechet style.

  • Domaine Laroche Les Beauroys (Premier Cru)

    100% Chardonnay. 78% of the wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks, 22% in oak casks. Aged in stainless steel tanks and oak casks for 9 months, then transferred to tanks for a further 6 months ageing on fine lees. Produced from estate vineyards.

  • Domaine Laroche Les Vaudevey (Premier Cru)

    100% Chardonnay. 74% of the wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks, 26% in oak casks. Aged in stainless steel tanks and oak casks for 9 months, then transferred to tanks for a further 6 months ageing on fine lees. Produced from estate vineyards.

  • Domaine Laroche Les Fourchaumes Vieilles Vignes (Premier Cru)

    100% Chardonnay. 60% of the wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks, 40% in oak casks. Aged in stainless steel tanks and oak casks for 9 months, then transferred to tanks for a further 6 months ageing on fine lees. Produced from old estate vineyards.

  • Domaine Laroche Blanchots (Grand Cru)

    100% Chardonnay. 60% of the wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks, 40% in oak casks. Aged for 15 months on fine lees. One of the best examples of Blanchots from the region.

  • Domaine Laroche Les Clos (Grand Cru)

    100% Chardonnay. 50% of the wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks, 50% in oak casks. Aged for 14 months on fine lees. Suitable for extended cellaring.

  • Domaine Laroche La Reserve De L'Obedience

    100% Chardonnay. The wine is fermented in oak casks and then aged in casks for 9 months on the fine lees. A blend of the best wines from the Blanchots Grand Cru vineyard, the final blend is aged for a further 6 months in tank on fine lees. The icon wine of the property, suitable for extended cellaring.

Winery details

Domaine Laroche

22 Rue Louis Bro
89800, Chablis
France
Tel + (33) 0386 42 89 00
Fax +(33) 0386 42 89 29

Appellation
AOC Chablis
Founded
1850
Area under vine
90 hectares
Age of vines
35 years+
Oak barrel origin
French
Winemaker
Grégory Viennois
Owner
Advini
Production
600,000 bottles
Grape varietals
Chardonnay

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