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.
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.
2017 Petit Chablis Domaine des Hâtes
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.
2017 Chablis AC Domaine des Hâtes
’The 2017 Chablis Village wafts from the glass with an expressive bouquet of ripe Meyer lemon and honeycomb, followed by a medium-bodied, elegantly glossy palate with an open-knit core of sun-kissed fruit, succulent acids and a nicely defined finish. This is already drinking well. Drink 2018-2028.’ 89 points, William Kelley, The Wine Advocate, May 2019.
’There a suggestion of the exotic lurking in the background of the softly petrol-inflected white-fleshed fruit aromas that introduce attractively textured, succulent and utterly delicious middle weight flavors that display perfectly good depth and persistence on the lightly citrus-tinged finish. This ever-so-mildly warm effort could easily be enjoyed now or held for a few years first. In sum, this is a quality villages. Drink 2021+’ 88 points, Burghound, December 2018.
2015 Chablis AC Domaine des Hâtes
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.
2015 Chablis Les Châtillons Domaine des Hâtes
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.
2017 Chablis 1er Cru Fourchaume ‘l'Homme Mort’ Domaine des Hâtes
’The 2017 Chablis 1er Cru Fourchaume L'Homme Mort unfurls in the glass with aromas of lemon oil, fennel, wet stones and white flowers. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, ample and incisive, with an elegantly textural attack, a bright spine of acidity and a penetrating finish. Drink 2020-2033.’ 92+ points, William Kelley, The Wine Advocate, August 2019.
2017 Chablis 1er Cru Beauroy Maison des Hâtes
’This was 25% fermented in oak, some new. Subtle richness, amplitude, plate filling, made over clay soils. Suave texture, opening up already with the aerating oak. Skilled winemaking.’
92 points, World of Fine Wine, April 2019.
”Aromas of honeycomb, ripe citrus oil and oatmeal introduce the 2017 Chablis 1er Cru Beauroy (Maison), a medium to full-bodied, satiny-textured wine with a fleshy core of sun-kissed fruit, bright acids and a saline, expansive finish. It will need a year or two in bottle to come together, but it shows promise.” 90+ points, William Kelley, The Wine Advocate, August 2019
2017 Chablis Grand Cru Bougros Maison des Hâtes
’100% oak, some 228 liter pieces, some 600 liter demi-muids. Quite simply the best Bougros I’ve ever tasted. The robustness of this Grand cru meets the elegance of 2017: a true Grand cru in the modern enlightened world.’ 97 points, World of Fine Wine, April 2019.
2016 Chablis 1er Cru Fourchaume ‘l'Homme Mort’ Domaine des Hâtes
The domain farms 1.1 ha in this subsection of Fourchaume which is located towards the northern part 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 with some up to 35 years old. The wine is aged in stainless steel for 75% and in aged barrels for 25% giving a wine of excellent complexity and depth.
”Texturally compelling, this wine’s layered richness has the abrasion and stony depth of chardonnay grown in limestone and clay. Its peach ripeness is fresh and fragrant, heightened by scents of chamomile, green pear and crisp notes of parsley. Hints of toffee and caramel create an ornate layering, a combination of fresh and ripe. Decant it for braised rabbit or other gamey stews.” 93 points, Wine & Spirits, April 2019
2016 Chablis 1er Cru Beauroy Maison des Hâtes
Produced from vines around 30 year age which are not owned by the domaine but from a producer who is a friend of Pierrick. Premier cru Beauroy has a cooler more north and eastern exposition facing Fourchaume on the other side of the Serein river giving wines which are typically finer and more mineral than those from Fourchaume which mostly faces south-west often yielding riper wines. This wine is raised in stainless steel and shows notable precision and detail finishing with real persistence and a finely chiselled structure.
2016 Chablis Grand Cru Bougros Maison des Hâtes
Bougros is the last Grand Cru on the western side of the hill and enjoys a south to south-westerly exposition. Pierrick’s parcel comes from the western end of Bougros, towards the top of the hill where the slope is only about 5%. Vinified in stainless steel, it was matured for 8 months in one old 800 litre barrel, adding an extra dimension of complexity to complement the profoundly concentrated fruit from this exceptional site. An outstanding Grand Cru.