We are very excited to be working with the wines of fifth generation winemaker, Laurent Habrard of Domaine Habrard. Hailing from the village of Gervans on the eastern side of the River Rhone, north of the town of Crozes-Hermitage, Laurent took over the family domain from his mother, Marie-Therese and father, Marcel, and has been making wine since 1998. While the bulk of what Laurent makes at this family run estate is red and white Crozes-Hermitage and a red from a small parcel in St. Joseph, the family also farms a very small 0.5 hectare plot in Hermitage.
It is this small postage stamp parcel that provides the exceptional fruit for Domaine Habrard Ermitage Blanc – using the alternative spelling without the “H”. The Marsanne grapes for this wine come from the highly regarded Les Rocoules vineyard, which also happens to have a tiny amount of Roussanne scattered about in the vineyard,. Half of Laurent’s vines in Les Rocoules were planted in the 1950s and 60s and the other half were planted around 1900. These vines are worked organically, painstakingly harvested by hand and the grapes fermented using only indigenous yeast. The soil in Les Rocoules is a mix of sand, stones and limestone. Les Rocoules is considered one of the top sites in Hermitage to farm Marsanne. Other notable vignerons with holdings there include Domaine Marc Sorrel who produces a single vineyard Hermitage Blanc from this site and Domaine Chave, which has a neighboring plot in Les Rocoules which is key to their Hermitage Blanc. This prime parcel of well-aged vines and Laurent’s philosophy of allowing the place to show through in the glass yields a stunning example of classic white Hermitage.
In the words of David Schildknecht from Vinous, “Austria’s 2013 Rieslings and Grüner Veltliners display exceptionally bright acidity, clear flavor definition and uncanny complexity.” 2013 has given us the stunning combination of healthy, ripe grapes that remain light on their feet as the alcohol levels stayed in check, married with focused, tense acidity.
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