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 Orb Valley, home of Mas La Chevalière, benefits from a variety of landscapes, all shaped and cultivated over centuries. Viticulture has played an important part in the history of the region and the well-designed plots and structured slopes offer perfect conditions for a wide range of grape varieties. Famous for its water springs, The Orb Valley has the perfect microclimate to ripen grapes without losing balance and freshness, with wide sun exposure during the day and cool night-time temperatures. The Syrah grapes for this wine are sourced from vineyards in Carcassonne, Montpellier and Cévennes. The Grenache comes from vineyards in the Béziers region, Vellée Dorée and Sud Du Gard.
2020 had an exceptionally rainy spring, especially in May and June. This was followed by a hot summer with temperatures above 30°C, this was without excess due to the sea entrance offering a sea breeze which protect fragile areas. The rains at the end of August and the temperature differences between day and night were favourable to the phenolic ripening of the reds. This vintage will be balanced for both the whites and reds, with in particular a very good ripeness on the Pinot Noir.
Délestage was carried out daily with pumping over in stainless steel vats. Fermentation at 26-28°C lasted 12 days, with 100% malolactic fermentation. The wine was then kept in stainless steel tanks for six months before being lightly filtered and bottled to preserve the wine's natural character.
Tasting Notes & Technical DetailsThis wine is deep ruby red in colour with a youthful purple rim. On the nose, it is intense with red berry and cherry fruit aromas and touches of spice leap from the glass. It is rich and fruity on the palate with smooth, velvety tannins, and a full body with an elegant, lasting finish.