Le Domaine D’Henri - Chablis “Les Allées Du Vignoble”, Chablis, France (2019)
The Chablis Les Allées du Vignoble is an easy-drinking, fruitier style of Chablis - halfway stylistically between Chablis and Bourgogne. Grapes come from a mix of estate vineyards and from reputable growers. This is a clean, fresh Chablis with flavours of fresh lemon, lime, mango, green apple; with a chalky mineral finish.
Laroche is a famous name in Chablis, with family history dating as far back as 1695. Michel Laroche is the patriarch of the family and after decades as the director of Domaine Laroche, he decided in 2010 to sell his stake in the business and set up a smaller domaine, named after his father Henri. Michel had been leasing his private vineyards to the Laroche brand for many years and these vineyards now form the core of the D'Henri range, including the 1er Cru Fourchaume vineyard where the oldest parcel was planted in 1937.
The vineyards are farmed according to organic principles and the domaine has undertaken a study of its terroirs, with the help of renowned soil specialist Claude Bourguignon. Farming techniques are now adapted to different soil types to help fully express the specific qualities of each site. Any new plantings are done using cuttings from the oldest vines in Fourchaume.
Vinification is done on a parcel by parcel basis and with minimal intervention and focus on expressing the aromatic intensity of each parcel. The grapes are carefully whole-bunch pressed and fermented in stainless steel, followed by long lees ageing. Oak is used sparingly and more as a seasoning, barrel ageing varies between 10% - 35%. Michel is a fan of high acidity and as such some of the wines only undergo partial malolactic fermentation. The result are creamy, round and savoury wines with tension and chalky minerality running through. The domaine also produces easy-drinking and fruitier styles of Chablis under the 'Les Allées du Domaine' label, with grapes coming from a mix of own vineyards and from reputable growers.