Pierrick Laroche grew up in Maligny, the northernmost village in the Chablis appellation. Pierrick got his degree in enology at Beaune, did an internship at Villa Maria in New Zealand, and returned home to start life as a grower. He made his first commercial vintage in 2010—just 2,300 bottles, but they garnered him top billing of three stars in France’s wine magazine the Guide Hachette.
In the southern sector of the appellation, the soil tends to emphasize the calcareous aspect of limestone, which translates into a mineral salinity in the wine. But up around Maligny, the soil emphasizes the clay aspect, which holds water (good in dry years, bad in wet years), and gives weight, body, a flinty, smoky minerality, and forthright acidity to wine.
Pierrick Laroche, who by the way is not related to the region’s famous Laroche family (Michel), organically farms nearly thirty acres planted in the Chablis classification (8 parcels with an average vine age of 30 years). His wines are raised both in steel and oak, but when wood is used, it only serves as a supporting role to oxygenate rather than frame or enhance. The wine undergoes full malolactic and then rests on the lees throughout the élevage. The aim is to express purity and minerality. We think this Chablis represents one of the finest values we have found from the region. 2017 is a great Chablis vintage!
“This wine’s crab apple notes and saline acidity make it aggressively dry, needing air to round its edges and bring up the mellow richness of the fruit. Its power gains focus, yielding a savory, stony Chablis with smoky notes of oranges. Decant it for
roasted sweetbreads.” 90 points –Wine & Spirits, April 2019, “The Year’s Best Loire Wines—Best Buy”