2019 Laroche La Chevaliere Pays d’Oc Chardonnay



We here at Waterford love Laroche Chablis and have enthusiastically sold it to you over the years. Chablis’s story starts with the soil, a tradition started by Saint Martin 1000 years ago of making delicious, mineral-driven wines.

But this wine isn’t Chablis. And here is why –

Many producers that I’ve talked to in Chablis believe in this thing called global warming. Now you may ask, “Chablis is one of the northernmost growing areas of the world, so shouldn’t global warming help them?” Well… to avoid the argument somewhat, in the last decade Chablis been experiencing more and more variable weather. Early frost and hail, and late frost and hail, sometimes cause a loss of 90% of the grapes. And if you’re a winery with no grapes, you have a problem.

So what to do? Well, you could scream at the sky or do a mystic dance to try and change the weather. Or you can find another path to making great wine. And that’s what many Chablis producers have done – they’ve start exploring other regions to try and produce great Chardonnay. And for Laroche, that is in the Pay d’Oc, of France.

Now whoa. The Pay d’Oc is on the Mediterranean coast and one might assume quite hot. But, you also have to consider altitude. As you move inland, and therefore much higher in altitude, it gets cooler. The vineyards stay cooler, thus resulting in still beautifully balanced grapes, producing wines of freshness and verve. And this, the La Chevaliere Chardonnay, is one of them:

Its crystal-clear color can quench your thirst just by looking at it. On the nose, its complexity is mesmerizing: White floral aromas mingle with high-toned stone fruits, chalk dust, citrus zest and hints of white truffle. The palate is intense and exceptionally balanced, with a mineral/saltwater/grapefruit-flesh flavor that refreshes the senses with brilliance and grace. The finish is lithe and beautiful, leaving notes of pears, flint and candied lemon as it rises to conclusion.

Now just one more thing. Maybe you’re looking at that price and getting a little bit scared. I can explain Laroche, Chablis, and Pay d’Oc Chardonnay. But why the great spreadsheet in the sky decided to close-out a current vintage of a wine specifically made to help a producer through low-yielding vintages – that I can’t explain. So let’s just go for it and enjoy a sensational deal on this tasty wine.

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