In 1946, Guy Larue founded his family’s estate in the small hamlet of Gamay, in Saint-Aubin, located just behind the famed Montrachet and Chevalier-Montrachet slope. Much like its neighbor Chassagne-Montrachet to the south, Saint-Aubin was historically known for red wine, though the Larues have specialized in the great white crus of Saint-Aubin. In 1976, Guy’s son Denis assumed the reigns of Domaine Larue and was joined by his brother, Didier, in 1982. In 2006, Denis’s son Bruno joined the Domaine, thus continuing the family’s winemaking lineage.
The Larue holdings are spread between the two villages of Saint-Aubin and Puligny-Montrachet, with a large concentration at the southern portion of the Saint-Aubin appellation. These holdings include seven premier cru climats, on south, southeast, and southwestern facing slopes, grown on variations of clay soils with a high concentration of limestone. Combined with the varying grades of slope and elevations ranging from 800 to 1200 feet, the Larues have a truly magical diversity within Saint-Aubin, one of the under-rated gems of Burgundy. The domaine's premier cru vineyard in Puligny-Montrachet, La Garenne, sits at a high altitude in the Hameau de Blagny, bordering Meursault. Their largest parcel, Saint-Aubin premier cru “Murgers des Dents de Chien,” shares its name with the Dents de Chien lieu-dit of Le Montrachet that is right around the corner and is the domaine's prized vineyard, capable of producing wine that can age and improve in the bottle for decades.
Wines from Larue possess purity, energy, and an invariable minerality derived from the predominant limestone soils of Saint-Aubin. The Larues are meticulous and precise in all aspects of winegrowing and winemaking and their wines reflect these qualities. Tasting the full range is a veritable tour of the appellation, with each terroir’s individual and striking signature clearly evident. These wonderful white Burgundies have the additional benefit of being approachable young, although they are tightly wound and can always benefit from a few extra years of bottle age.
Puligny-Montrachet “La Garenne” 1er Cru
The vineyard is located near the hamlet of Blagny. Four plots exposed to the east at an altitude of 330 meters, based on the hillside on a basement composed of limestone slabs. Fine surface soil is mixed with a multitude of white stones. After plowing, there are many fossilized shells. These old vines of Chardonnay were planted in 1946/1950/1963 and 1975 at a density of 10,000 vines per hectare.
Grapes are harvested by hand and taken to the winery in small containers. The grapes are lightly crushed, the juice flows into a pneumatic press and are racked. The wine is fully housed in 228 liter barrels, 20% new each year. These barrels are produced by coopers in the region - the winery chooses fine-grained staves from the forests of Allier. The wine is aged 10 months on the lees.
St. Aubin “En Remilly” 1er Cru
The terroir lies in the southern part of the Saint-Aubin appellation bordering the Chassagne-Montrachet appellation and very close to the Montrachet Grand Cru. The vines face south-east at an altitude of 300 metres. The lie in a mid-slope position on a very limy soil covered with white pebbles. These Chardonnay vines were planted in 1989 at a density of 10,000 plants per hectare. Surface area 0.36 ha.
After maturity has been carefully checked, the grapes are harvested and taken to the vatting house in small bins. There they are lightly crushed, put through a pneumatic press, and the juices allowed to settle. The must is then transferred to oak barrels by gravity and fermentation follows. All barrels are of 228 litres capacity and 20% are new each year and are made by local coopers. The wine is aged 10 months on fine lees.
St. Aubin Rouge “Sur le Sentier du Clou” 1er Cru
This terroir lies in the heart of its appellation between the little hamlet of Gamay and the village of Saint-Aubin. The east-facing plots lie on a slope at an altitude of 280 metres. The soil is clay-limestone. These 1.1 hectares of Pinot Noir vines were planted between 1966 and 1995 at a density of 10,000/ha.
After maturity has been carefully checked, the grapes are harvested and taken to the vatting house in small bins. All fruit is destemmed. After 3-5 days of cold maceration, alcoholic fermentation begins. During active fermentation, cap-punching takes place three times a day.
After fermentation the whole cuvée goes into 228-litre barrels 50% of which are new. After 12 months' maturation on fine lees the wines are blended and kept for several months in stainless steel tanks. The wine is bottled without filtration.