Pierrick Laroche (Domaine des Hâtes)

Pierrick Laroche (Domaine des Hâtes) Burgundy, France.

Located in the north-west sector of Chablis in the village of Maligny, Pierrick Laroche now runs this family estate which was established by his father in the 1970s. His father gradually gained planting rights and slowly added to the family vineyard holdings over time. Today the current size of the estate is around 25 hectares. In 2010 Pierrick produced his first vintage to great acclaim (his father had previously sold the grapes to La Chablisienne).

Pierrick has a degree in oenology from Beaune and after graduating he travelled the world, doing various internships to gain experience before returning home to start making wine and take over the family vineyards for himself.

His cellars are built into the side of a hill in the village enabling much of the work to be done by gravity. Vinifications are done classically in stainless steel tanks with some of the Premier and Grand Cru wines aged in used barrels for a small portion of each cuvée where the wines undergo full malolactic. His oldest plot of vines is Les Châtillons, which was planted in early 1970s and is located just behind the hill of Grand Crus. This cuvée also has a small portion of barrel ageing, employed to great effect.

2015 Domaine des Hâtes Petit Chablis   
The domain has nearly 12ha of Petit Chablis, classified as such because the limestone tends to be the younger Portlandian rather than the older Kimmeridgian, and as such typically occupies higher sites (Portlandian overlies Kimmeridgian) and has less clay. Pierrick is convinced that his largest parcel of Petit really ought to be classed as Chablis; it makes wine like Chablis and indeed is surrounded by AOC Chablis vines.

 2015 Domaine des Hâtes Chablis
As with the Petit Chablis, the domain has nearly 12ha planted in the Chablis classification, all of it (like the Petit) planted in the Maligny commune except for 1ha in the little valley of Fontenay heading toward the Grand Crus. He has eight parcels ranked Chablis, and the average age of the vines is 25 years.

‘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 salivating. I like the uncompromising nature of this Chablis village. This really is quite superb for a village cru. Drink 2017-2025.’ 90 points, Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, September 2017.

2014 Domaine des Hâtes Chablis Les Châtillons
Les Châtillons is located in the valley of Fontenay, to the southeast of Maligny and is the most calcareous of Pierrick’s eight Villages sites. Pierrick’s parcel was planted in 1972-73 and makes for an elegant, long, especially mineral wine and for that reason he bottles it separately. Roughly 15% is aged in wood (both barriques and demi-muids) and this is blended with the steel-aged remainder.

‘Domaine des Hates’ (pronounced “hut”) first vintage was in 2010 and owner winemaker Pierrick Laroche is regarded as a rising star of the region. It’s easy to see why from this little gem. Brilliant appearance with youthful lime highlights. Classic aromas of oyster shell, wet stone, lemon and lime citrus. The palate has excellent nervosite, with the flavours showing complex fruit notes of lemon and grapefruit coating a backbone of iodine tang, all of which finishes long and oh so crisp. Yardstick village Chablis.’ Frank Wilden, Business Insider Australia, February 2018.

2015 Domaine des Hâtes Chablis 1er Cru Fourchaume l’Homme Mort
The domain farms 1.1ha in this subsection of Fourchaume, a top Premier Cru vineyard noted for growing on similar contours as the Grand Crus above the right bank of the Serein. Pierrick’s vines average 25 years.

‘The 2015 Chablis 1er Cru l’Homme Mort comes from 35-year-old vines and sees 15 months in 75% stainless steel and 25% wooden barrels. It has a complex and engaging bouquet, with subtle wax and honeysuckle aromas that combine neatly with the cold stone/flint scents. The palate is well balanced with a fine thread of acidity that counterbalances the viscous texture. It is a typical 2015 Chablis: quite rich and opulent and eschewing mineralité for depth and extravagance, and to be honest, it does that with some panache. Drink 2019-2029.’ 92 points, Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, September 2017.