Domaine Laroche Saint Martin Chablis 2011
Chardonnay from Chablis, France
Saint Martin Chablis is a pale gold color. The aromas are intense with hints of ripe white fruit and spring blossoms. With flavors of ripe fruit balanced by zesty acidity; lingering fruity finish.
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "I tasted a wide range of wines during my visit at Domaine Laroche. The estate is back in the US market after an absence of several years. These are rich, textured wines that generally show the more opulent side of Chablis. Over the last few years, Domaine Laroche has begun to focus on organic viticulture and a greater reliance on indigenous yeasts, which is rare in Chablis. One of the unique aspects of these wines is that they are all bottled under screwcap. Winemaker Gregory Viennois told me the 2011 harvest started on September 12, which was towards the later side for the village. Viennois noted that potential alcohols and acidities were quite similar for both 2010 and 2011, which is quite unusual among the top domaines in Chablis."
Domaine Laroche Winery
For five generations, the Laroche family has produced top-quality wines from the Chablis appellation, and today Domaine Laroche ranks among the most prestigious of Burgundy’s wine producers. In 1998, Laroche’s Les Clos 1996 was named “The Best White Wine in the World” by Wine Spectator.
The origins of the estate date back to 1850, when a vineyard worker names Jean-Victor Laroche bought a small plot of vines. Three generations of modest expansion were followed by a boom in the 1960s when, father and son Henri and Michel Laroche expanded their holdings considerably in the region. The past three decades have seen the domaine flourish under the guidance of Michel, whose commitment to authenticity, purity and typicite has popularized the steely, elegant wine in general – and the Laroche brand in particular – the world over. View all Domaine Laroche Wines
Notable FactsThe northernmost region of Burgundy, Chablis' location is closer to Champagne than its Burgundian neighbor, Cote d'Or. This northern proximity gives Chablis a cool, continental climate. The soil is a limestone base, and in the best vineyard sites that limestone is covered with Kimmeridgian clay, a material that is very high in marine fossils. The climate, paired with these distinctive soils, makes the area particularly suited for Chardonnay - the almost exclusive white grape of the area.
Those who claim not to like Chardonnay will be pleasantly surprised by the uniqueness of Chablis. The winemakers of the region almost always stick to stainless steel for fermentation, and many use no oak at all. If oak-aged, the wine will only be in large French oak barrels, which give the wines flavors that are a far cry from your typical California Chardonnay.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.