Launay Horiot / Pommard, France

Launay Horiot

Pommard, France

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Despite Launay-Horiot having been producing wines in the Côte d'Or and Côte de Nuits since the 18th century, current owner Xavier Horiot only released his first vintage in 2014. This has everything to do with the legal battle that arose after the death of Xavier's grandfather, Raymond Launay (6th generation winemaker). Since Raymond's daughter appeared to have no interest in the estate, it was up to Xavier to follow in his grandfather's footsteps. Unfortunately, this did not go without a hitch. After much legal wrangling, Xavier managed to acquire half the vineyards and was able to continue the wonderful history of the winery.

One problem. Xavier had no experience at all as a winemaker. In fact, he worked not undeservingly for 18 years as a fighter pilot in the French Air Force. So for the first few years, he decided to sell grapes to learn the ropes and invest the proceeds back into the business. Then in 2014, the first vintage with the new weapon. The blue "X" represents his past in the air force and the swords represent legal combat and as a symbol of the plough his ancestors used to work the land.

The four hectares are divided into six different plots. In Pommard, these are the premier cru vineyards: Les Rugien Bas, Les Perriès, Les Chaponnieres and Clos Blanc. The other two are located in Chambertin and these are the grand cru plots Gevrey-Chambertin and Latricieres Chambertin. At the latter, the vines are next to those of none other than Lalou-Bize-Leroy. Work in the vineyards is limited to only necessary operations. After the Pinot Noir bunches are harvested manually, they are checked again for quality in the cellar. Thus, only the best grapes are used. Each plot is fermented and bottled separately, these are also called single vineyard cuvées. After fermentation, the wines mature in French oak barrels for a period of 12 to 16 months. The proportion of new wood varies by appellation and cuvée.

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