2008 Olivier Larochette Bourgogne Vieilles Vignes
Mission Codename: Love Of Tradition – Part II
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Acquire a limited production and exclusive Pouilly-Fuissé
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Olivier Larochette
Wine Subject: 2008 Bourgogne ‘Vieilles Vignes’
Winemaker: Olivier Larochette
Backgrounder: Bourgogne is the generic regional appellation for all the wines produced in the Burgundy region. Like the higher-rated appellations (with the exception of the Beaujolais with allows Gamay) the reds are 100% Pinot Noir, the whites are generally Chardonnay (sometimes Pinot Blanc or Pinot Gris). It is a misconception that these wines are of lesser quality than specific village or vineyard designates as the winemakers and négociant use the generic label when they cannot produce wines that qualify under the stricter guidelines.
Today’s selection is 100% Pinot Noir from vines that are about 40 years old with and grown in a traditional high density, east faced chalky soil vineyard just northwest of Macon.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dark and brilliant ruby red with a clear core that shows subtle garnet hints. Brighter and more pale ruby along the edges and when swirled, medium-thick and widely-spaced legs ring the glass.
Smell – Classically aromatic with layers of red fruit, sweet and brown spice, soft earthiness and hints of anise and green herbs. Complex and pleasant with a touch of black tea as well as some savory notes leads you into the wine.
Feel – Extremely smooth and supple, almost cool water-like upon entry then at mid palate, this wine’s delicate and fine tannins and vibrant acidity linger with notes of powdery and chalky minerality that dries the tongue and lingers long into the finish.
Taste – A blend of ripe red cherry, dark plum and tart black raspberry make up the fruit component while flavors of black tea, wild anise and dried herbs, savory and brown spice notes blend with earthy and toasted oak flavors.
Finish – Very long, clean and textured, this wine’s chalky minerality dries the palate and lasts for several minutes.
Conclusion – The 2008 Olivier Larochette Bourgogne ‘Vieilles Vignes’ is a delicious value oriented Burgundy that has a lot finesse for a wine in its price range. An extremely smooth entry, fantastic texture with lively acid and minerality on the palate, delicious ripe fruit indicative of the warmer southern portion of Burgundy and a clean finish. A great food wine that will compliment any ripe cheese or even generously spiced grilled seafood.
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Olivier Larochette
WINE EDUCATION: Lycé Viticole Davayé 1985/1987.
WINE JOB BRIEF: Started in 1989 to be a simple producer on a very small estate. My first vintage was 1992, I created my own brand Domaine Larochette-Manciat, I started to sell my production abroad in 1993. Step by step the estate grew up until 2002. I was the manager and the wine maker of Domaine Larochette-Manciat, selling all my production over several countries, US, UK, JAPAN, HOLLAND, BELGIUM…
In 2003, I took over the estate from my ex family in law, which was Domaine Manciat Poncet until 2007. I have been the manager and the wine maker for the two brands, selling also in Canada, Denmark, Sweden…In 2007 I got divorced and I sold my part of the property to my ex wife. I started again in at the end of 2008 a new company on my own name : Olivier Larochette. I don’t produce any grape now, I take advantage of my knowledge and my excellent relationship with my ex-colleagues, all of them are friends that I know from primary school. I select my grapes amongst the best terroirs from the best producers all over Maconnais’s area. I got a “coup de Coeur” on the 2011 HACHETTE GUIDE for my selection of VIRÉ-CLESSÉ 2007.
I’m working now on the development of my new brand, I got stated again in USA, Canada, Denmark with new distributors.
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: I work with people I know perfectly, I need to trust people and that people trust me as well. On that way it’s easier to find agreement with producers who respect the nature by using as less as possible of chemical on vines. Some of them are approved as organic producers. My way of thinking is to always propose the very best quality at the very best price.
We are parts belonging to the same chain, we have to work together in order to make this chain working, from the producer up to the final consumer.
FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE: Pouilly-Fuissé 1992
AGENT WHITE: Greetings, Olivier. We are thrilled to be showing your 2008 Bourgogne ‘Vieilles Vignes’ today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
OLIVIER: Thank you for featuring another one of my wines.
WHITE: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
OLIVIER: I was born in 1967 in the Pouilly-Fuissé’s area. A part of my family were producers. When I was a teenager, I used to work in vines with my grand-fathers and uncles as a summer job. I really loved this time, working outdoor and seeing buds becoming leaves and grapes, it was a kind of magic in that! It’s also a question of flavors, blossoms of the grapes have a so delicate perfume… The smell of the freshly cut grapes arriving in the press machine, and the smell of fresh pressed juice are such amazing. The following stages with the atmosphere of fermenting juices were also great moments. I have been in this world for ever, It belongs to me and I belong to it.
WHITE: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
OLIVIER: I don’ think I got influenced by any style. I was born at the place, I could have been born in Chile or South Africa, I brought my personality and my sensibility to my wines. I love wines from all over the world…as long as they are well done of course.
WHITE: Who do you make wine for?
OLIVIER: I work now alone and only for myself in the wine business.
I’m also part of my time a filterer and adviser for some very well known estates in Pouilly-Fuissé’s area. Some of these people trust my experience of a wine maker and ask me to give the final touch to their products, but I can’t make advertisement for them, I hope you will understand.
WHITE: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
OLIVIER: This wine was made with grapes from an old vine,picked by hand.Pressed with a pneumatic press. Racking takes place after 36h in order to get a very clean juice,Im always looking for pure typicity.Then the juice is ready for fermentation.It will be done at 16 degree celcius in stainless still tank.Malolactic is 100% achieved to get a delicate freshness.So it balances perfecly with the high ripness and concentration of grapes.
WHITE: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
OLIVIER: This wine is perfect to be enjoyed now as an aperitif served at 12 deg c.You will find taste of ripe grape fruits ending on a nice minerality.
WHITE: In your opinion, what makes Burgundy so special?
OLIVIER: Well this region is made of hundreds of small plots and almost as much different wine makers. The soil is uniquw and the knowledge is transmitted with pride and secrete from one generation to the next one. Each generation tries to improve what the previous generation has done, but with a lot of respect. I believe that this appellation will surprise us again for many years.
WHITE: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
OLIVIER: I propose a range of wines, each one has its own personality. I believe you will probably find one that you especially like. I suggest to take it easy, relax, it’s pleasure! and only that!
WHITE: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
OLIVIER: I hope you will enjoy this wine as much as I enjoyed making it.
WHITE: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of Mâcon in Burgundy can be seen in this satellite photo.