l’Arlot – 2015

Update 21.12.2019(26.7.2017)billn

Tasted in Premeaux with Géraldine Godot, 07 June, 2017.

Domaine de L’Arlot
21700 Nuits-Saint-Georges
Tel: +33 3 80 61 01 92

The domaine has been here for 2 centuries, belonging to two families – but wasn’t called Arlot until the time of Axa ownership. It was the large Viennot négoce, from Nuits St.Georges, who created the monopolies, but when the business changed generations, it seemed that the son was less competent (or less lucky?) in business, eventually being forced to sell to the Belin family – it was they who expanded the domaine out from the two monopoles. The question then comes about the change to ownership by Axa – an insurance company, rather than a true wine family. Géraldine has quite a strong viewpoint here “Yes, of-course many of the locals also wanted to buy after the Belins, but they were only interested in the parcels, not interested in the house, et-cetera. So Axa was the only one who would take the whole domaine and the house – effectively they saved the domaine – the other options entailed it being dismantled.

A word from Géraldine on 2016:
Because of the frost, we lost more than 60% in some places. Luckily we escaped the frost in 2017, but it was close!

Géraldine on 2015:
Nice grapes with no triage. The volume produced in 2015 is lower than 2014, and lower than the average, but it has given the wines more density, structure and depth. We have good maturity without too much sugar and alcohol. It was only a few weeks that were hot, in fact 2016 was, on average, warmer and gave us a little more alcohol. I had more confidence with the whole-clusters in 2015. We started our harvest on the 3rd of September, our 15 hectares taking 7 days.

The wines…

We started with the whites – I was really interested to see how they would show, because the 2014s, for Côte de Nuits whites, were simply brilliant – and the whites are important for this domaine, accounting for 3.5 hectares from their total of 15.

A fine set of wines. Last year the whites shone brightly, this year it is more the reds – no surprise from the vintage perspective. There is no overt 2015-ness to the reds – save for an extra fineness to their structures. A super range of 2015s…

2015 Côte de Nuits Villages Au Leurey Blanc
A 0.25 ha parcel that was planted to pinot but being partly north-facing was replanted with chardonnay in 2006.
Modest depth but seemingly textured with a faint oak. Bright, lovely incisive, flavour, direct acidity and mouth-watering interest. Lovely!

2015 Nuits St.Georges La Gerbotte Blanc
Now 19 years-old, forming the southern part of the Clos l’Arlot – next to the Clos Marechale. 30cm of soil here over a ‘huge plate of limestone.’
A little more aromatic vibration, a hint of toast. A nicer, more luxurious texture. Really super balance. Excellent wine!

2015 Nuits St.Georges 1er Clos l’Arlot Blanc
Actually a mix of La Gerbotte and others in the Clos l’Arlot – Gerbotte being the coolest location – temperature-wise!
Also a classic but fresh toasted white nose. More salinity, more complex yet still easy to appreciate. There’s certainly more wine here. I have a slight preference for the Gerbotte today, but from experience, I know that this will get better and better – there is definitely something more here, just a little patience is required.

Les rouges:

2015 Hautes Côtes de Nuits Le Mont
These vines almost touching those of le forets – less than 10 year-old vines. 100% whole cluster.
A smoky nose whole-cluster nose – and with roses. Fine, fresh flavour. This is complex and delicious wine with only a faint tannin. Just a very easy drink to appreciate today.

2015 Côte de Nuits Villages Clos du Chapeau
A 1.6 hectare plot in Comblanchien.
Deeper, rounder aromas with more darkness of fruit. A more silken texture, more depth too, with serious weight for the label – a faint tannin – really a much higher level here than Haute Côtes wine – Bravo!

Now a change:

2015 Nuits St.Georges 1er Mont des Oiseaux
This is the old ‘Petite Arlot’ but Géraldine explains that ‘The quality was really 1er Cru in this vintage – helped by some changes in training’ – so a new name and a 1er cru on the label.
A tighter, deeper nose, super at the base though a bit more limited higher up. Larger scaled, a little more structure but finely packaged and very fine. Lovely complexity in the finish – Very clearly 1er cru! Very yum too but a baby…

2015 Nuits St.Georges 1er Clos de l’Arlot
The vines now average over 70 years – marl is a characteristic of the clos. 50% whole cluster in 2015.
More overtly floral – rose aromas. More depth and a little more fineness of texture too. Waves of radiating flavour. This is very yum!

2015 Vosne-Romanée 1er Les Suchots
From 0.85 hectares at the border of Richebourg, vines planted in 45, 50 and 87.
Ooh, really deep aroma, heavier roses and gorgeous fruit. Wide, vibrant, growing intensity, more saline and spiced in the finish. Long and simply super wine! Bravo.
2015 Nuits St.Georges 1er Clos des Fôrets
A relatively massive vineyard monopoly of 7.2 hectares – it’s half of the domaine – with three distinct soil types, all harvested and vinified separately. 50% whole cluster here.
Here is a higher toned florality, not just roses. Wider, more open, a base of fine, not a bit drying, tannin. Vibrant finishing flavour. This is very different but equally absorbing as the Suchots – Bravo! ‘You can’t appreciate the elegance of the Suchots if we drink it after the Fôrets.’
2015 Romanée Saint-Vivant
From 24 rows of vines that face Romanée-Conti and run only half-way to the village.
Ooh, beautiful, elegant, floral, fabulous aromas – I’m smitten. Hmm, this has more direct freshness and drive after the Fôrets, it’s actually got a more overtly structural stance today – it is really a wine to wait for – but such a great wine to wait for, it’s really RSV, not 2015!

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