2017 Chablis, Fourchaume, 1er Cru, Le Domaine d'Henri, Burgundy

2017 Chablis, Fourchaume, 1er Cru, Le Domaine d'Henri, Burgundy

Product: 20171510854
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2017 Chablis, Fourchaume, 1er Cru, Le Domaine d'Henri, Burgundy

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About this WINE

Le Domaine d'Henri

Le Domaine d'Henri

Ancestors of the Laroche family owned vines in Chablis as long ago as 1695. Today, with Michel Laroche as patriarch, they are among the most respected winemaking dynasties in all of France. Michel has steered a wise yet bold path since his first vintage in 1967. In 2010, he sold the family’s stake in Domaine Laroche in order to establish a new, smaller, quality-oriented domaine, which he would name after his father, Henri. The winery at Domaine d’Henri may have been constructed from scratch, but a significant proportion of the domaine’s holdings is venerable. Of particular note are the 80-year-old vines in the Premier Cru Fourchaume vineyard, which produce the fruit for their Héritage cuvée.

The domaine is currently converting to organic viticulture, while the objective in the winery is to allow each different terroir to express itself. Each parcel is therefore vinified separately, using only natural yeast. Between 10 and 35% of any given wine is aged in barrel depending on the vintage and cuvée – just the right amount to highlight, rather than mask, the startling purity of the domaine’s wines.

Michel’s daughter Margaux, who shares her father’s dynamism, is increasingly responsible for the commercial side of the business.

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Chablis

Chablis

One of the most famous wine names in the world, Chablis has suffered from numerous imitators. Fifty years ago there were just 400ha of vineyards in Chablis, but today there are 4,900ha. Both the generic and Premier Cru vineyards have doubled since the early 1970s, and now include areas of Portlandian as well as traditional Kimmeridgian clay. 

Being further north than the rest of Burgundy, and on a different type of limestone (the aforementioned Kimmeridgian, with some Portlandian), the wines are subtly different in style – a touch more austere with a beautiful fresh minerality that makes them so suited to seafood. Purists believe that only the Kimmeridgian soils, with their traces of marine fossils, should be used.

The outlying Portlandian vineyards are designated as Petit Chablis, although the vast majority of production is classified as Chablis, without any vineyard name. Forty vineyards are classified as Premier Cru, however several of these are grouped together to make 11 more commonly-used Premier Cru designations. The seven Grands Crus are clustered together in a group that overlooks the town of Chablis and the River Serein.

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Chardonnay

Chardonnay

Chardonnay is the "Big Daddy" of white wine grapes and one of the most widely planted in the world. It is suited to a wide variety of soils, though it excels in soils with a high limestone content as found in Champagne, Chablis, and the Côte D`Or.

Burgundy is Chardonnay's spiritual home and the best White Burgundies are dry, rich, honeyed wines with marvellous poise, elegance and balance. They are unquestionably the finest dry white wines in the world. Chardonnay plays a crucial role in the Champagne blend, providing structure and finesse, and is the sole grape in Blanc de Blancs.

It is quantitatively important in California and Australia, is widely planted in Chile and South Africa, and is the second most widely planted grape in New Zealand. In warm climates Chardonnay has a tendency to develop very high sugar levels during the final stages of ripening and this can occur at the expense of acidity. Late picking is a common problem and can result in blowsy and flabby wines that lack structure and definition.

Recently in the New World, we have seen a move towards more elegant, better- balanced and less oak-driven Chardonnays, and this is to be welcomed.

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