Massive yields of 2018 here in Chablis mean that all producers have to get rid of anything more than 60HL/HA harvested. Inevitably they get rid of the excess from the bottom up. This means the great quality filters down: - excess Grand Cru juice goes into 1er Cru, excess 1er cru goes in to Chablis etc. Which helps explain why this is quite so good. Nice and clean core of sleek fruit dominates proceedings. There is a good peppy acidity too which carries nicely the full and supple fruit. All really well delivered in a polished neat jolt - well done Pierrick this is great drinkers' Chablis. L&S (Nov 2019)
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A cool, pure and ripe nose displays reasonably good Chablis character long with notes of various white-fleshed fruit and quinine. There is good verve and precision if only average concentration to the delicious and lingering finish. This is clean and agreeably dry if not especially complex and given how forward it is, I doubt much more will develop. Drinking range: 2021 - Rating: 87 Allen Meadows, www.Burghound.com (Oct 2020)
To refresh and accompany fish on a hot summer evening from the generous 2018 vintage the almost electrically charged but exquisitely polished Domaine des Hâtes Chablis 2018.David Williams, The Observer (Jul 2020)
Clean and precise though not a knock-out. Sturdy and correct with a hint of fatness. Drinking range: 2024 - 2032 Rating: 16 Jancis Robinson OBE MW - www.JancisRobinson.com (Jan 2020)
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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