Country, Region: France, Burgundy
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.
'The les Châtillons bottling hails from a one hectare parcel of vines that Monsieur Laroche owns in the commune of Fontenay, where the soils are more chalky than in his other, more heavily clay-based villages parcels, so Pierrick bottles this wine on its own. Fifteen percent of the cuvée is raised in older oak casks and demi-muids, which is then assembled with the portion raised in stainless steel, and the wine is given a full year and a half of elevage prior to bottling. The 2017 les Châtillons is really a lovely wine, with the nervosité of the 2017 vintage beautifully synthesized to the limestone character of these parcels. The bouquet offers up a bright and youthful blend of lemon, green apple, a superb base of chalky minerality, spring flowers and a bit of citrus zest. On the palate the wine is fullish, focused and racy, with good mid-palate depth, excellent mineral drive and a long, zesty and complex finish. This does not have the early generosity of the 2018 straight villages bottling, but it is inherently more complex and mineral and will be the slightly superior bottle with a bit of cellaring. 2021-2035. 90+' John Gilman, View from the Cellar, August 2020.
Pierrick Laroche and Domaine des Hâtes
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.
Beginning with vintage 2016, Pierrick began a tiny négoce operation to augment his range, buying must from friends farming predominately on the left side of the river. These wines now include the premier crus of Beauroy, Beauregard, and Vau de Vey, along with the grand cru of Bougros. In 2019, Pierrick inherited 8 acres of vines from his father-in-law in the southern sector of Chablis around the village of Courgis. This includes Petit Chablis, 5.5 acres of Chablis, and just over half an acre of the premier cru Les Butteaux.