Arnoux-Lachaux – 2015


dsc01691Tasted in Vosne-Romanée with Charles Lachaux, 09 November, 2016.

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

Charles on 2015 (mainly):
“Most of the wines are still in barrel, but 4 of our 5 villages have now been transferred into tank.

“The 2015s started out not so ‘burgundian,’ as they were rich wines, but they became more and more classic as they went through their elevage. Seven of our cuvées are 100% whole-cluster, and we averaged 60% across the range. We changed our pruning to Guyot-Pousard in 2015, and at the same allowed the height of our training to increase, to add maturity and seemingly some freshness too. My impression is that it seemed to allow harvesting 1 week earlier – which is also one week less for the sun to burn off some of the acidity!

“I really think it’s a grand millessime.

“As for 2016, it was a catastrophe. Chambolle lost 70%. We had almost double the number of people working in the vines, and whilst the grapes that we harvested showed a really splendid quality, we were strongly impacted by the frost, losing roughly 60% of a normal year’s volume, and two appellations completely – including Clos de Vougeot. In the end we had volumes not that different to 2015 where we lost half.”

The wines…

35% is the maximum amount of new oak this vintage, and that’s for the Romanée St.Vivant. Despite that, all these wines will need their oak (mainly) texture to fade, but in 6 months its probably gone, or 3 months after its racked onto tank! Truly one of the great addresses in 2015!

2015 Bourgogne Pinot Fin
Usually the grapes of vines from the communes of Chambolle, Vosne and Nuits but all correct bourgogne vines
A bright red fruit nose – silky fruit. Bright and fresh, a layered delivery. Long and very faintly bitter chocolate length, but super length…

2015 Nuits St.Georges
From 7 different vines between Nuits and Vosne – so all northern Nuits. 20% new oak, 80% whole cluster
A faint reduction and some florals – fresh and transparent. More structure finer, more intense floral fruit. Intense, here with a little bitter chocolate finish (oak), but really, really long.

2015 Chambolle-Musigny
8 parcels, hillside north-east, all facing north so some of the latest picked but there are rewards for waiting. Lots of limestone here. 70% whole clusters.
Flowers and floral stems – very pretty. A bright burst of gorgeously fresh and floral fruit – wow – then the slightly more austere finish, but wow this is good! Super impressive persistence again.
2015 Vosne-Romanée
Also 70% whole-clusters.
A deeper fruit, of-course spiced fruit. Bright, wide and with plenty of volume, bigger in the mid-palate and to finish. Long and beautiful finishing, similar to the previous but with less overt austerity.
2015 Nuits St.Georges Les Poisets
From 60 year-old vines under Les Cailles – much whiter soil and lots of millerandes here. 100% whole clusters.
Ooh, what a depth of heavenly, floral fruit. Bigger in the mouth, just a little more density, and a fine base of tannin too – what a great wine! Mouth-wateringly long finishing.
2015 Vosne-Romanée Les Maizières
The vines are on the limit of the Vosne appellation – under Echézeaux next to Clos de Vougeot – move a little further and they would be Clos de Vougeot! 80% wc.
Transparent red fruit, only modest spice but more than modestly attractive. Lithe, live, layered and giving ever more in waves, again a fabulous length. Keep it up!

2015 Nuits St.Georges 1er Les Procès
Vines in front of the Louis Max winery, behind Faiveley
Wide and fresh aromas – complex and faintly oaked. Super depth of flavour here – oaked and a little more structured but it has the material too. Long, long, long…

2015 Nuits St.Georges 1er Clos des Corvées Pagets
The most southern appellation of the domaine. Good draining with some white soil and old vines – 100% wc.
Vibrant nose, deep with flowers too. Hard to describe a flavour that grows in such waves, fading then increasing. Absolutely fabulous wine – super floral finishing…

2015 Vosne-Romanée 1er Les Chaumes
A wider nose, still some aromatic vibration, cooler fruit. Ooh, still some texture from tannin but not dry. A classic Vosne that’s beautifully proportioned.

2015 Clos de Vougeot
A deeper nose, directly this appears more structured, slowly starts to add beautifully transparent red fruited notes. Larger scaled – just fabulous complexity here, growing intensity. Just great stuff. Slowly fading with a little lick of tannin….

2015 Echézeaux
From the middle of Les Rouges du Bas – iron-red soil.
A hint less colour . A little tighter nose, but gorgeously transparent. Growing sweet wc and rose aromas. Wide in the mouth and with beautiful sweetly mouth-watering notes. Narrower in the mid-palate but long, long and gorgeous – these higher appellation wines have none of the austerity of the villages cuvées…

2015 Latricières-Chambertin
Bought this parcel in 07, the first vintage in 09.
Beautiful nose – it even makes me think of Latricieres. Cooler fruit. Narrower of line and width, but bubbling with complexity. Just a hint more oak texture than the last, but the fresh and persistent flavours are beautiful!

2015 Vosne-Romanée 1er Les Suchots
The vines were planted in 1921. From les grands suchots!
A very different nose, a little heavier, some florality. A little more gas. Weight and layers of flavour. Very concentrated, faintly spiced. Really much more impressive to taste than to smell today. A little oak bitterness then the more characteristic, beautiful, fading flavours.

2015 Vosne-Romanée 1er Aux Reignots
This nose is like a blend of all the other wines together – with a fabulous depth. Big, vibrant, kaleidoscopic flavour. One of the best wines of my tastings so far…!
2015 Romanée St.Vivant
The oldest vines here were planted in 1923.
A deeper nose, less higher tones but more weight and a little more spice below. Wide, almost a ginger spice, some oak tannin, very wide, and long, long. Fabulous but maybe not better than many others in this vintage.

A couple from bottle…

2014 Chambolle-Musigny
A big bright and seemingly quite dense aroma after the 15s. Wide and with very fine layered flavour of good freshness – the difference is the lack of line into the finish like all the 15s, yet here is still a very good finish. Very, very good!

2014 Vosne-Romanée 1er Les Chaumes
A heavy floral note. More layered and more weight of flavour plus plenty of tannin – but not a dryness. A very fine weight of finishing flavour. Yum!

2014 Nuits St.Georges 1er Clos des Corvées Pagets
A deeper nose, with more clarity of dark fruit and quite some depth. Quite dark fruit in the mouth too, but with a fine mouth-watering aspect bringing more freshness. Plenty of structure but a beautiful clarity of finishing flavour – bravo!
2014 Vosne-Romanée 1er Aux Reignots
This is a deep nose, some whole cluster and a vibrancy of aroma that slowly widens at the base, bringing a hint of wc effect. More structure, but more complexity of flavour and with some fabulous clarity of fruit too. Long, long, long…. bravo again!
2014 Romanée St.Vivant
Now here is something that’s aromatically very special – wide, round, complex, never heavy, always showing something new. Mouth-filling – seemingly more of everything here except, perhaps, tannin – just a little more grain to the texture, but ripe grain.

2003 Vosne-Romanée 1er Les Suchots
Deep, impressive brawny with the first elements of sous bois – big wine, with ripe solar red fruit. Plenty of tannin, lots. Some dryness too. The finish – if you pull the flavours out from the tannins – is really super with a fine clarity.

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

There is one response to “Arnoux-Lachaux – 2015”

  1. dansamsoe4th January 2017 at 11:32 amPermalinkReply

    Hey Bill, how would you describe the style of Arnoux/Lachoux?? Are they wines that drink well in their youth? I’m thinking about buying some of these 🙂

    • billn4th January 2017 at 3:37 pmPermalinkReply

      Hi Dan
      These are really top wines that hardly show either their stems or oak and were delicious, but I’m expecting 15 to behave similarly to 05 – so I expect plenty of tightening – in general – it’s hard to say more than that, as some 05s never closed and others did and still are…

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