Pierrick explains that in 2017 because of the relatively small berries and limited quantity of crop, the juice is more concentrated and more exotic than normal. There is certainly a great intensity and lovely texture here. It is a richer, riper style than the 2016, but this is brilliantly balanced by the edge of grip and lick of acidity that runs straight through the middle. Not quite exotic - but richly citrus and with great broad appeal. Drinking range: 2019 - 2022 L&S (Nov 2018)
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Classic dusty/stony Chablis nose. I really like the slightly grainy texture here, moreish and mouth-watering and very long in a linear style. GV Drinking range: 2019 - 2025 Rating: 16 Julia Harding MW, www.JancisRobinson.com(Jan 2019)
There a suggestion of the exotic lurking in the background of the softly petrol-inflected white-fleshed fruit aromas that introduce attractively textured, succulent and utterly delicious middle weight flavors that display perfectly good depth and persistence on the lightly citrus-tinged finish. This ever-so-mildly warm effort could easily be enjoyed now or held for a few years first. In sum, this is a quality villages. 2021+ Rating: 88 Allen Meadows, www.Burghound.com(Oct 2018)
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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