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Domaine Laroche owns 1.12 hectares (2.77 acres) of the 25.81 hectares (63.78 acres) of Les Clos grand cru vineyard. Les Clos is located straight in front of the village of Chablis at an elevation of 139 to 166 meters (456 to 545 feet) with a southern exposure. This favorable sunny exposure allows the grapes to achieve excellent ripeness.
Definition: This vineyard was once completely surrounded by a stone wall, hence the name “Les Clos,” meaning “enclosure” or “walled vineyard” in Burgundy. Monks from the influential Abbey of Saint Martin at Tours planted vines here in the ninth century.
Viticulture: One man, one plot: There are more than 30 people who are dedicated to caring for the 90-plus hectares (222.39 acres) of Domaine Laroche vineyards, with each person responsible for only one plot. This tailor-made approach allows them to manage the vineyards with precision, speed and accuracy. Everyone at Domaine Laroche practices “lutte raisonnée,” or “reasoned protection,” (using chemical intervention only when required): The vineyard is plowed to aerate the soil and encourage development of the root system, as well as the organic life in the soil. Vines are pruned and trained by hand, with a strict pruning and debudding regimen. Leaf plucking occurs to aerate the canopy and avoid the development of botrytis, while trellising aerates the grapes and provides them with favorable exposure.
Vine Age: Planted 1969, 1987
Clones: Sélection massale
Soil: Les Clos’ well-draining soil means that water retention in the vineyard is quite low, causing the grapes to be concentrated in both aroma and acidity.
The appellation, usually a slow-ripening one, benefited from an extraordinary end-of-summer: Blue skies, sunny and dry conditions, light winds and cold nights...all the elements required for a complete and perfect ripening of Chardonnay grapes. The condition of the grapes — which were less abundant than in 2011 due to coulure and millerandage — was perfect, enabling the development of impeccable aromas. This vintage of cold maturation, which implies neither heat excess nor heaviness, has developed elegant, aromatic, well-balanced and generously mineral wines.