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1996 Domaine Laroche Petit Chablis
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- Closure: Cork
Michel Laroche of Domaine Laroche is very enthusiastic about the 1996 Chablis vintage and writes, "I am more than optimistic about the potential quality of the 1996 vintage and believe that this will be considered one of our greatest successes." The season started with a slightly difficult flowering period with spells of heat and cool humidity which resulted in a lot of "hen and chicken" or as the French call it "millerandage". This means that the grapes on the bunches will not all be fully formed resulting in a reduction in crop size. Over summer the weather was ideal and the vineyards remained disease free. The cool weather in September three weeks prior to harvest delayed the start of picking but had no adverse effects on the quality of the crop. The crop was down 10%, however, the quality was superb, with excellent sugar levels and slightly higher than normal acid levels which have produced wines with good cellaring potential. The 1996 Petit Chablis reflects the outstanding vintage conditions and has a generosity of flavour that is not often experienced in Chablis. Fermented in stainless steel with the wine undergoing full malolactic fermentation which has softened the palate.Bright straw colour. The nose has an aroma that is classic Chablis and having said that the next problem is to define the aroma and flavour of Chablis. Firstly, there are the primary fruit aromas of pears and soft fruits, secondly, there is the aroma of slightly dried cut grass, as well as a hint of honey and finally a flinty or mineral quality. Together, these qualities are the profile of Chablis. Certainly they can be found in cool climate Chardonnays elsewhere in the world but not in the same balance. The nose displays aromas of pears, (not quite ripe but not green either) flint and a grassy mineral background that comes to the fore on the palate. The palate has good weight with pear, mineral and grassy confectionery flavours dominating. Mouth filling, yet not over blown, crisp but not lean. The palate flavours make it an ideal food wine providing for a wide range of styles. Clean crisp acidity with delicate grassy confectionery mineral finish. Cellar 3 - 5 years.