From 25-30 year old vines this is classically shaped Chablis. Yes 2015 was a long warm vintage and there is good weight here, lovely ripeness to the pert fruit gives a broadish feel, Pierrick describes it as 'solaire' and 'gourmande'. He's right of course, but everything is relative - this is bigger and richer than his usual releases but still retains a great mineral crispness and is brighter than many 2015s made by his neighbours. This is an exciting new signing for us from a bright, rising star. L&S (Nov 2016)
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The 2015 Chablis Villages, matured for 14 months in stainless steel, has a detailed, wet-stone bouquet that unfolds nicely in the glass. The palate is well balanced, with crisp acidity, fine tension and admirable sappiness that keeps the taste buds sali-vating. I like the uncompromising nature of this Chablis village. This really is quite superb for a village cru. Drinking range: 2017 - 2025 Rating: 90-90 Neal Martin, www.robertparker.com(Aug 2017)
From the northern part of the region around Maligny, this is a young producer to watch. Quite a forward style but very Chablis with crisp acidity and purity. Very good value too. Drinking range: 2017 - 2023 Rating: 92 Andrew Howard, Decanter(Apr 2017)
Racy and cool. Very forward but obviously Chablis. VGV Drinking range: 2017 - 2022 Rating: 16+ Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com(Jan 2017)
Domaine des Hâtes
It is no surprise that Domaine des Hâtes has been recently hailed as '...one of the new Chablis growers to watch out for...' by the Robert Parker team. Our first visit there in November 2016 was very memorable and the work going on here is hugely impressive.
Pierrick Laroche is a charming young man and a very talented winemaker. He currently manages 25 hectares of vines in Petit Chablis, Chablis and Premier Cru, with additional fruit being bought to make his Grand Cru Bougros.
Pierrick's father farms cereals, and was not very concerned with his family's vineyard, the production of which was sold to the co-operative. Pierrick took them out of the co-operative, and 2010 was his first vintage making wine under his own label. Even then he continued to sell much of his wine to the négociants - this made cash-flow easier in the early years. As his reputation has grown demand has seen him bottle more under his own label.
In preparation for bottling under his own name from 2010 onwards Pierrick stopped using pesticides and herbicides in 2009 and has since then manually worked the soil - this great change in practices has seen superb results in the quality of fruit he is now picking.
It is all about freshness and precision here. Classical, deeply mineral wines. Picking perhaps earlier than some of his neighbours Pierrick captures beautiful acidity and brightness of fruit - he then loves giving the wine a long élevage in tank to build texture and weight and complexity. He is not averse to using oak - but it is done at a very minimal level with just the 1er Cru wine having less than 25% oak ageing. The results are bright, elegant wines but with a real shape and feel - classical, but interesting Chablis. An exciting addition to our Burgundy list.
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