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Arnoux-Lachaux – 2014

DSC08506Tasted in Vosne-Romanée with Charles Lachaux, 04 November, 2015.

Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux
3, Route Nationale 74
21700 Vosne-Romanée
Tel: +33 3 80 61 08 41
www.arnoux-lachaux.com

Charles on (mainly) 2014:
“Compared to 2010-12 we have a normal crop. they are classic in the sense that the wines are very well-defined and different. I would drink 2011 and then 2014 before 2012 and 2013. There’s less structure in 2014 vs the previous two vintages. As for 2015 – well, 15 was a bit short because of 5 months without rain. I’ve never seen such healthy grapes though, and they were picked at pH 3.25-35 with nothing higher than 13.2°.”

The wines…

90% of these wines were racked about three weeks ago. So now all these are in tanks waiting for bottling in, maybe, January or February. Virtually all malos were done early, in January, that’s why wines are already racked, apart from 3. “For the Reignots everything was done by hand here, its my favourite wine” says Charles. Always practise repicage here, to keep average age higher; the oldest vines are in Suchots and RSV – they are in their nineties. They are also now analysing all their vineyards and tailoring the compost to each parcel.

2014 Bourgogne Pinot Fin
Vines from the communes of Chambolle, Vosne and Nuits but all correct bourgogne vines, there was no declassification. Minimum 40% whole clusters here and for the villages wines, with a mix of tank and 1-year-old barrel elevage
A bright nose, and rather perfumed. Really sweet pretty fruit, in the middle more mineral but with a lovely fresh finish. As usual this is easily villages quality level.

2014 Nuits St.Georges
From 7 different vines between Nuits and Vosne – so all northern Nuits. 20% new oak.
Bright more intense red fruit More intensity, more complexity too, a sweeter intensity to the fruit with a little very fine tannin texture. Excellent – and lovely finishing…
2014 Chambolle-Musigny
Same whole-cluster and oak usage; 8 parcels, all facing north so some of the latest picked but there are rewards for waiting. Lots of limestone here.
Bright precise berry fruit. Lovely high-toned notes, lithe, a little padding, texturally lovely with super-pretty finishing flavour.

2014 Vosne-Romanée
Same oak and whole clusters.
Higher toned but super spicy, with a floral perfume too. Really wide and mouth-filling, more tannin, more whole cluster flavour. Really a long, tasty length. Lovely.

2014 Nuits St.Georges Les Poisets
From 60 year-old vines under Les Cailles – lots of millerandes here. 50% whole clusters, 40% new oak – there are more whole clusters because there are more millerande bunches.
A wide floral and whole cluster perfume. Gorgeous texture here, slowly growing tannin, but beautiful padded freshness and a modestly stony length.
2014 Vosne-Romanée Les Maizières
The vines are on the limit of the Vosne appellation – move a little further and they would be Clos de Vougeot! 40% wc+ oak.
Again the spicy whole cluster note of the last Vosne. Fresh attack of lithe, intense fruit, modestly cushioned texture and a growth of gripping tannin. Again a gorgeous wine.

2014 Nuits St.Georges 1er Les Procès
40% whole cluster and 50% new oak.
A very fine, if discreet top note of perfumed fruit. Muscular fresh fruit but also with a softening texture that’s partly from the ripe, velvety tannin. Lovely finishing. Gorgeous wine.

2014 Vosne-Romanée 1er Les Chaumes
40% whole cluster and 50% new oak.
Tight up top but with darker bass notes. Big in the mouth, lots of texture, lots of flavour seeping through the structure. Here is a sturdy, well-built wine. Very lovely…

2014 Nuits St.Georges 1er Clos des Corvées Pagets
Very small yields and very concentrated. 60% whole cluster, 40% new oak. The most southern appellation of the domaine.
Deep, dark red fruit. A faint airy top note, but less of obvious whole cluster notes. Ooh! – Beautiful concentration and texture. Contemplative, but with a lovely width. Beautiful…

2014 Clos de Vougeot
40% whole cluster, 60% new oak.
Quite large scaled with high-toned perfume. Fresh but not particularly whole-cluster notes. Again a beautiful texture, the fruit is quite floral and Chambolle-like as it escapes the structure. Really more mineral finishing.

2014 Latricières-Chambertin
100% whole cluster and 80% new oak – the first time all wc! Bought this parcel in 07, the first vintage in 09.
A little whole cluster aroma, darkly perfumed, darkly mineral too. Quite large in the mouth with a faint grain. More grain to start, but it smooths out on the tongue. The most discreet wine here despite its size and great texture… The nose grows a dark berried aroma.

2014 Echézeaux
From the middle of Les Rouges du Bas – irony soil. 60% whole cluster, 70% new oak.
Wide, pretty, some whole cluster, lovely weight of fresh, approaching black cherry fruit. The structure is forward and shows a modestly textured base and finishing flavour is just a little behind. Here is a wine to wait just a little longer for, despite gorgeous fruit. The last drops in the glass are particularly attractive.

The following wines from barrel. They are not yet racked, probably will be in December:

2014 Vosne-Romanée 1er Aux Reignots
100% whole clusters in the fermentation and 80% new oak elevage.
Deep whole cluster nose. Super-sexy texture (sorry!), but really attractive before a little grain, possibly oak, makes the ride a little more energetic. Beautiful width of fruit flavour. Rather primary today of-course. But it will be great.

2014 Vosne-Romanée 1er Les Suchots
Again 100% whole cluster and 80% new oak. The vines were planted in 1921.
Wider, brighter, more floral and spicy, full, textured, more overt fruit, followed by a very long diminuendo…

2014 Romanée St.Vivant
The oldest vines here were planted in 1923. 100% whole cluster. 5.5 barrels from 8 ouvrées, ‘no sorting table, just pickers sorting in the vines – I prefer to slow them down and be more efficient.’
Not the most overt nose, but wide and with a crystalline core of red fruit – the key differentiator. Just a gorgeous width of flavour that’s really the thing that sticks in the mind. So similar in style and shape to the others but with a singular extra clarity of fruit in both the aroma and flavour.

A couple from bottle…

2013 Nuits St.Georges Les Poisets
Bottled in April.
Fresh, bright and wide, a more open and redder fruit. Gorgeously sweet and appealing fruit. The structure is rather modest but here is a classic balance that is easy to drink now, but will keep and keep…

2013 Echézeaux
Deep, a little darker fruit, spicy. Ooh that’s nice in the mouth. Really a good weight of flavour below; lovely long and appealing. Again a wine that could keep, but it tastes really great right now… Very yum… I guess VR Chaumes…

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?