2010 Domaine Laroche Chablis Saint-Martin

Year: 2010
Appellation: Chablis
Country: France
Wine Advocate: 89
Vinous Media: 89
Burghound: 85
White Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 12.0%
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"The qualities of the year come through beautifully in the 2010 Chablis Saint Martin. Layers of silky, polished fruit flow with gorgeous length and persistence. The 2010 is another overachiever among the entry-level wines of this great Chablis vintage. Anticipated maturity: 2012+.

Domaine Laroche is back in the US market after an absence of several years. The house style is marked by a search for considerable textural richness, which makes these some of the deeper, more opulent wines made in Chablis. Over the last few years, Domaine Laroche has begun to focus on organic viticulture and increased the use of indigenous yeasts, both of which are rare in Chablis. All of the Domaine Laroche wines are bottled under screwcap, also rare in Chablis, especially at this level. Winemaker Gregory Viennois told me the 2011 harvest started on September 12, towards the later side for the village. Viennois noted that potential alcohols and acidities were quite similar for both 2010 and 2011, which is unusual among the top domaines in Chablis." (WA)

"(from vines from ten different villages; there are 35,000 cases of this cuvee, which is typically bottled in five batches): Pale, bright yellow. Dusty stone, lemon drop and wild herbs on the nose. At once rich and penetrating, with strong acidity and mineral spine intensifying the flavors of grapefruit, lemon drop and wild herbs. Classic steely Chablis with very good grip. A superb village wine, especially if subsequent bottlings are as strong as this." (IWC)

"A high-toned and airy nose of primarily citrus zest and mineral reduction merges into clean, crisp and attractively vibrant flavors that terminate in a very dry and ever-so-slightly bitter finish, which may or may not dissipate with a year or two in bottle. At the moment, this is a bit difficult." (BH)

Winery Notes:
Vineyard Profile
Cuvée Saint Martin is a blend of the best plots of Domaine Laroche in the Chablis appellation. All plots are located on Kimmeridgian soil with a west to northwest orientation. Thanks to the diverse nuances of these sources, they bring richness and complexity to the final cuvée.

Saint Martin, the patron saint of Chablis, was a Roman cavalry officer who converted to Christianity, lived as a humble monk and was elected Bishop of Tours. After his death in 397, his body was brought back to the Abbey of Marmoutier in Tours, where his relics (his famous cloak, in particular) were kept. In 877, as the Normans were invading the Touraine, monks took his relics to Chablis to avoid destruction. Saint Martin’s relics were kept for a decade in the Obédiencerie, the prayer hall in the ninth-century monastery in the town of Chablis.

Converting toward organic viticulture: 2010 is the first year of organic cultivation for these vineyards. Domaine Laroche will require four consecutive years of organic cultivation (one more year than EU regulations prescribe) before their viticulture will be considered 100% organic. Traditional Chablis pruning system with strict pruning and debudding. Trellising to aerate the canopy and leaf plucking to avoid compact canopy and avoid development of botrytis.

63 hectares (155.68 acres)

Vine Age:
Average of 22 years

6,700 vines/hectare (2,711 vines/acre)