Chateau Laroque has a very long track record and history in the Saint Emilion appellation. Chateau Laroque dates back to the 12th century. In fact, a small remnant remains of the original tower built in the 12th century. The estate as we know it today, with its magnificent, chateau, was constructed in the 17th century by Marquis de Rochefort-Lavie.

The property remained in the hands of the same family until the depression struck in 1929. Like many families and companies at the time, the owners did not have the funds to maintain the estate and the vineyards. Wine ceased to be produced at Chateau Laroque for several years.

The modern era for Chateau Laroque starts in 1935, when the property was purchased by the Beaumartin family from the descendants of the Marquis de Rochefort-Lavie.

In 1962, the vineyards of Chateau Laroque were completely replanted and the wine making facilities were updated as well. The situation remained about the same for close to 50 years.

By that time, the chateau was in need of repairs, the cellars demanded updating and the vineyards required extensive replanting. Positive changes began taking place starting with the 2015 vintage as you will see. Today, Chateau Laroque is probably better known for the architecturally stunning, chateau and its perfectly manicured gardens.

It truly is one of the most beautiful structures in the Right Bank. However, with all the improves taking place here, and their willingness to spend the funds needed to turn things around, you can expect things to begin to change rapidly.

Winemaking 

The 61 hectare vineyard of Chateau Laroque is planted to 87% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon. The terroir is clay with limestone soil. The vineyard is situated northeast of the Saint Emilion village in the commune of St. Christophe des Bardes. Chateau Laroque owns the largest vineyard in St. Emilion.

However, only 40 hectares of vines are classified as Grand Cru Classe. The remaining 21 hectares vines are considered to be St. Emilion Grand Cru. Back to those 40 hectares, only 27 hectares of vines are used to produce their top wine, Chateau Laroque. As you can see, selection is important here, especially since it’s such a large vineyard.

Their best 27 hectares, are located in the deep, clay rich soils close to Chateau Troplong Mondot. They have another outstanding parcel of vines on clay, close to their neighbor, Chateau Rocheyron.

The vines are on average 40 years of age. However, they have old vines. 14 hectares of vines are almost 55 years old. The vineyard of Chateau Laroque is planted to a vine density of 6,000 vines per hectare.

At Chateau Laroque, the vineyard is managed using 100% organic techniques. But they choose not to be certified organic, allowing them to make a wider variety of choices. They are also biodiverse, meaning they are HVE certified.

Laroque Vats 300x220 Chateau Laroque St. Emilion Bordeaux, Complete Guide

To produce the wine of Chateau Laroque, the wine is fermented in traditional, temperature controlled, cobalt blue, cement vats that vary in size to help with parcel by parcel vinification. The wine is aged in 50% new, French oak barrels for 12 months before bottling. About 11,000 cases of Chateau Laroque are produced in an average vintage.

Chateau Laroque remains relatively unknown as the wines have not sold been en primeur by negociants. The wines were often released a few years after the vintage had been in bottle. Most of the production is sold in France. But that is slated to change.

Chateau Laroque announced they were ready to start producing quality wine starting with the 2015 vintage. Earlier that year, they hired David Suire as the director of the estate. David Suire is experienced and well-known in Bordeaux, especially in Saint Emilion for his work with the team of Nicolas Thienpont and Stephane Derenoncourt.

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