Grape(s): Pinot Noir
Localization: Languedoc, South of France, France
Tasting Notes: Bright ruby color. The ripe and pulpy cherry aroma on the nose. Juicy mouthfeel combined with supple, velvety tannins.
Food Pairing: Enjoy it with salt crust baked chicken, stuffed mushrooms or soft cheese.
The Domain: While Michel Laroche knew he was fortunate to be a successful winemaker in the magnificent region of Chablis, he was a natural-born explorer, and the physical boundaries of his vineyards felt too limited for him. He had a great desire to broaden his horizons, travel beyond his native hills and create wines from different grape varieties in other regions.
In the early 1980s, Michel toured the vineyards of Central Europe and California and then the South of France. In the Languedoc in 1985, he did his first “surgreffage,” or “top grafting,” with Chardonnay, a virtually unknown variety in the region. The experiment met with immediate success, largely because Michel placed equally high standards on his winemaking in the South of France as he did in Chablis, with special emphasis on the purity of fruit that is so essential to all Laroche wines.
A decade later, in 1995, he was so certain of the region’s quality potential that he decided to purchase Mas La Chevalière, close to Béziers, with more than 40 hectares (98.8 acres) in production. The location represents a strategic spot in the middle of the vast Languedoc region, where in every direction one can discover an infinite variety of different soil types and microclimates. It was this diversity that lured Laroche to acquire the Peyroli vineyard, with a cool climate ideal for growing white wine grapes, and Roqua Blanca with its much warmer climate, dedicated to red wines for Mas La Chevalière and La Croix Chevalière, the most elegant wine of Mas La Chevalière, which is produced only in the very best vintages.
In 2003, Laroche built an ultra-modern winery on the property, equipped with all of the facilities to fulfill a winemaker’s dream, driven by an obsession to produce great wines. Prior to converting his vineyards to organic viticulture, Laroche designed a winery specifically for organic winemaking. Mas La Chevalière is considered a reference point in the region for the quality of its winery equipment, which allows for the thorough expression of each grape variety and each vineyard parcel.