- Tasting Notes & Technical Details
Michel Laroche purchased the Mas la Chevalière vineyards in 1995, following a 10 year search for a site suitable for Chardonnay in the Languedoc. Located near Béziers, Laroche has made significant improvements to the vineyards and established a winery there, which stands out for its innovative approach to energy management.
Géraud Blanc heads up the winemaking team here along with Grégory Viennois, who oversees the winemaking at all of the Laroche estates. 45 hectares of vines have been planted or replanted across three different vineyards with the varieties that are best suited to each parcel and microclimate. Yields have been reduced and organic practices are now being used in many of the vineyards. Irrigation is used to avoid water stress, and it is because of this that the wines are classified as ‘IGP Pays d‘Oc’. The estate vineyards are supplemented by fruit from long-standing relationships with local growers who meet Mas La Chevalière’s rigorous quality standards.
The Chardonnay vines grow at 400m above sea level, resulting in wines of great freshness and finesse. This wine is unoaked, in keeping with the purity and precision inspired by Chablis. The Viognier is harvested in the early hours in order to retain delicate aromatics and fermented in stainless steel with no malolactic fermentation. It is a fresh, fruit-driven Viognier true to the varietal’s flavours and texture. Fermented 100% in stainless steel, the Pinot Noir is ruby red in colour with ripe cherry and strawberry aromas on the nose and supple, velvety tannins on the palate. The Syrah and Grenache grapes are fermented in stainless steel and produce a vibrant wine with a core of bright red berry and cherry fruit with a hint of peppery spice and smooth tannins.
The grapes are predominantly sourced from organic vineyards of growers with whom winemaker Géraud Blanc has long-term purchasing partnerships. The Pinot Noir grapes come from Northern Gard at the foothills of Cévennes. Only natural products are used in the vineyards with no pesticides or herbicides from chemical origin. This approach in the vineyards is particularly demanding due to the fact all the work must be done by hand. The results, however, are apparent in the purity of fruit and the extra depth and refined balance achieved in the final wine.
2021 is a vintage that keeps the promises of the very satisfying sanitary state of the crop, despite a particular year. This vintage has been marked by the spring frost, resulting in significant disparities among plots and a decrease of the harvest volume. The summer then recorded moderate temperatures, without excessive heat during the day and with cool nights. The harvest began at the right time on August the 18th.These conditions contributed to a slightly later ripening of the grapes than previous vintages, with a significant heterogeneity in terms of plots, but perfectly controlled thanks to a daily follow-up. The first juices immediately unveiled good acidity and a high potential aromatic profile, which was confirmed during the winemaking process.
The grapes underwent 12 days of fermentation at 26°C - 28°C with daily pumping over in stainless-steel tanks, with 100% malolactic fermentation. The wine was then aged for six months in tanks before bottling, with minimal filtration to preserve the natural character.
This Pinot Noir is bright ruby red in colour. On the nose, it displays ripe cherry and strawberry aromas. The bright palate combines juicy fruit with supple, velvety tannins.