I was unintentionally 1 hour early for my appointment this morning – always better than 1 hour late! – so took the opportunity to have a wander in the still freezing vines…
A superb pic, courtesy of fellow Burgundy tour-guide, Sue Boxell.
Updated: With feedback from Charles Lachaux.
For a long time, and particularly in early spring, the Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru of Aux Reignots could easily be spotted above Romanée-Conti and La Romanée – because towards the bottom of the 1er cru was an ‘amandier’ (almond) tree – full of white blossom. At its worst, this was just a tree on a hillside of vines, at it’s best, for a couple of weeks per year – as above – it was resplendent.
Well, there was a tree.
I was told by a third party that one evening in the late summer, about 18h30, that it was chopped it down. It’s not hard to guess who the somebody was, as the tree was on an un-planted piece (en friche) of Aux Reignots owned by Arnoux-Lachaux. Charles was quite open about this when I visited two weeks ago to taste 2015s. They now plan to plant this area to vine, an area that Charles Lachaux says has never before been planted with vines. They will make a ‘high-density’ planting which will eventually bring another barrel of wine.
One of Vosne’s very well-known producers confided in me – ‘Well it’s pretty clear why they cut it down in the evening, because if they’d tried to cut it down at ten in the morning, they would have been spotted and we would have tried to put a stop to it – after-all with UNESCO World Heritage status, we have to protect all the countryside. And you know they could have been more subtle about it, it’s easy to kill a tree..‘
But Charles tells me “The tree was cut at 9:00 am in full light, it took the whole day.”
I actually prefer that Charles is quite upfront about this and chose not to be devious either in his timing or by resorting to poison.
But spare a thought for one of the tiniest producers of an Aux Reignots – Gilbert et Christine Felettig, who in a good year make 1 barrel of this wine. They have just designed a new label for their bottles of Aux Reignots – and it has the tree on the label…
Pictured last Friday…