HENRI & MADELEINE LAROCHE

Henri and Madeleine Laroche
harvest lunch in Fourchaume

September 1961
Henri and Madeleine dedicated
their lives to the creation
of this estate.
We thank them
from the bottom of our hearts.
Michel Laroche and his children 

Deeply rooted in the Chablisien terroir

The winemaking origins of the Laroche family can be traced back through several generations. Delving deep into the family history, we have found ancestors, born in 1695, who owned vines. The very first “vigneron” in the family was Louis Laroche, born in 1781...

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Minerality is the true signature of Chablis.

The Chablis vineyards lie on the Kimmeridgian stratum of clay-limestone soils. The combination of these soils and Chablis' continental climate result in a uniquely mineral, chalky expression of the Chardonnay grape. 

The continental climate of Chablis results in bitterly cold winters and summers that are generally dry and warm, but not excessively hot, which helps preserve the fresh aromas of the Chardonnay grape grown here.
Officially, Chablis is classified as part of Burgundy, despite the fact that the vineyards are 130kms North of Beaune and only 50kms South of Champagne...

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Romain Laroche 

The youngest of the family. Romain has just finished studying Design in Paris and Milan. His ambition is to become a furniture designer, however, one never knows what the future holds … so the door is wide open for him to one day join us. 

Michel Laroche

The patriarch. Since 1967, Michel has devoted his life to the wines of Chablis, proudly flying the flag in the four corners of the world.  Michel is the “gardien du savoir-faire” - a perfectionist who checks the finest of details, from the vineyard to the winery, constantly tasting and re-tasting the wines. As well as overseeing the vinification, Michel meets the clients.

Thibaud Baudin

Thibaud is a graduate of Vinification and Viticultural Science and Oenology and after several years working at one of the most beautiful domains in Burgundy, Thibaud is now in charge of applying our philosophy to our vineyards and winemaking. Thibaud has also spent time in New Zealand, so is able to explain our winemaking philosophy to our English-speaking clients.  

Cécile Laroche

The eldest daughter. Cécile works full time at the estate, tending to the vineyards with the help of our vignerons, even in the bitterly cold winter months when the vines need pruning. In addition to looking after clients and their orders, Cécile also handles the mountain of thankless administrative tasks. If everything is in order, it is thanks to her.

My grandfather Jean …

In his younger days, my grandfather, Jean Laroche, was able to eat 100 snails at special family gatherings. Yes, that’s right … 100 snails in garlic butter. And guess what he drank to help digest all of those snails? It was, of course, a bottle of his favourite Fourchaume. I can still see his eyes, excited as he came up from the cellar and opened a bottle, tasted it and declared “liquid gold!”. It was at a time when all Chablis was fermented and aged in 132-litre feuillettes, which were the traditional barrels of the Chablis region. The wines had a far more oxidative character than the wines we make today and they were the perfect accompaniment to the rich food of the era … an era when we didn’t talk about diets and low fat food!!

Margaux Laroche 

The youngest daughter. Margaux has completed her business studies at ESCE in Paris and joined the domaine in 2013. Although she already has a strong working knowledge of wine (the family trademark), she first went through an extensive learning to the Wine & Spirit Education Trust. Margaux’s main mission is to take care of our customers and support them in the market. She is also an epicurean and gourmet cook!

Parcels are vinified separately in order to allow the personality of each terroir to be fully expressed.

We also believe in minimum intervention in the winery. We use natural yeasts and want our wines to achieve 12° naturally, without the addition of sugar to boost the alcoholic degree, in order to express the full aromatic potential of each parcel...

 

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The genetic heritage of our vineyards

In 2012, we started a massal selection from our oldest plants in Fourchaume that were planted in 1937, before the existence of clones. These vines have a biological and genetic diversity that we are determined to preserve...

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Only the best grapes will make great wines

Like the previous generations, we know that quality begins in the vineyard and as a result, we treat our vineyards with the utmost respect...

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For our first two harvests (2012 and 2013), our vineyards covered 3,24 ha of Chablis and 4,50 ha of Premier Cru Fourchaume. In Spring 2014, we were able to double our vineyard holding by acquiring an additional 3,41 ha of Petit Chablis and 5,21 ha of Chablis. 

When the current rental agreements on our remaining vineyards expire in 2019, our vineyard holding will exceed 22 hectares (Petit Chablis: 4,41 ha, Chablis: 11,05 ha, Premier Cru Beauroy: 1,48 ha and Premier Cru Fourchaume: 5,17 ha) – a nice little family estate.

Chablis Chablis Vieilles vignes Fourcheaume Fourcheaume Héritage Petit Chablis Petit Chablis chablis chablis vieilles vignes fourchaume héritage

Chablis

The combination of the Kimmeridgian soils that are so typical of the appellation, and a continental climate allow the Chardonnay grape to produce this fine, elegant and racy Chablis, with a distinct minerality.  Made from vines planted in 1988, 1989 and 2001 and vinified uniquely in stainless steel tanks, this is a great example of grapes harvested at full maturity.
Marked by a beautiful acidity, this Chablis can be drunk as soon as its first year, but will continue to improve for 5 to 7 years.
Serve at 12-13°C. Perfect as an aperitif or with oysters, shellfish, grilled fish and charcuterie.

Download the back label (pdf)

Chablis Premier Cru Fourchaume

Planted half in 1964 and half in 1999, this is an elegant, refined fruit-driven wine with a good structured impression on the palate.
The Kimmeridgian escarpment of Fourchaume is reputed to produce some of the best Chablis wines and the South West exposure of the vines means that they bask in the warm afternoon sun.
Vinified in stainless steel tanks (89%) to preserve the minerality and freshness, and in oak barrels (11%) of 228-litres to add more complex notes, this wine will continue to improve for the next 15 years or so.
Serve at 13-14°C, opening 15 minutes before serving to allow the aromas to develop. Perfect with a seafood platter, langoustines or sole.

Download the back label (pdf)

Chablis Premier Cru Fourchaume Vieilles Vignes

Planted in 1970, this parcel reflects the nobility of the Fourchaume appellation, with notes of forest floor and a racy, balanced palate, underlined by a good acidity.
The Kimmeridgian escarpment of Fourchaume is reputed to produce some of the best Chablis wines and the South West exposure of the vines means that they bask in the warm afternoon sun.
Vinified in stainless steel tanks (79%) to preserve the minerality and freshness, and in oak barrels (21%) of 228-litres so as to add more complex notes, this wine will continue to improve for the next 15 years or so.
Serve at 14-15°C, this wine will benefit from being decanted 15 minutes before serving to allow the aromas to develop.  The perfect partner for turbot or a grilled côte de veau.

Download the back label (pdf)

Chablis Premier Cru Fourchaume Héritage

Our Cuvée Héritage is dedicated to the memory of Henri. Hand harvested and hand selected, this is a “première trie”, or selection, of the finest grapes from our oldest parcel of vines, planted in 1937.
Vinified and aged in stainless steel tanks (63%) and 228-litre oak barrels (37%), this is an elegant, precise yet racy wine, that expresses the tension and refreshing minerality associated with the great Chablis terroirs.
For Henri, this was the purest expression of the Chardonnay grape. A grand vin that will start to reveal its full potential between five and twenty years.
The Cuvée Héritage encapsulates our savoir-faire. By selecting only the very best grapes, the production is limited to only a few thousand bottles per year an the volume will vary each year, depending on the quality of the vintage.
Serve between 14-15° and decant for 15 minutes before serving. This is a bottle for special occasions. Appreciate on its own with fellow wine lovers, or enjoy with fish, lobster, guinea fowl or even an aged Comté.

Download the back label (pdf)
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