In the Burgundian village of Vosne Romanee on the Cote de Nuits sits the famed wine estate Domaine Arnoux Lachaux. To produce their 100% Pinot Noir wines, Arnoux Lachaux uses biodynamic cultivation and natural winemaking techniques. Additionally, the winery makes a small number of white Aligote wines. Over the years, the estate has garnered various honors, including the distinguished title of Vigneron of the Year 2013.
In this post, we’ll quickly examine Domaine Arnoux Lachaux, its top ten wines, and their potential as investments.
A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF DOMAINE ARNOUX LACHAUX’S WINE STYLES
A family-run winery dating back 150 years, Domaine Arnoux Lachaux was once known as Domaine Robert Arnoux.
Charles Lachaux, the late Robert Arnoux’s grandson and the sixth generation of winemakers at this storied estate, is currently in charge of the winery.
Four Grand Crus, five 1er Crus, one regional level wine, and five village Pinot Noir wine labels are produced by the estate:
· Clos Vougeot Grand Cru Quartier de Marei Haut
· Romanée Saint Vivant Grand Cru
· Échezeaux Les Rouges Grand Cru
· Latricieres Chambertin Grand Cru
· Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Chaumes
· Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Aux Reignots
· Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Grands Suchots
· Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru Clos des Corvées Pagets
· Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru Les Procès
· Chambolle Musigny Villages
· Vosne Romanee Les Hautes Maizieres
· Vosne Romanée Villages
· Nuits Saint Georges Villages
· Nuits Saint Georges Les Poisets
· Bourgogne Pinot Fin
Additionally, Arnoux Lachaux creates two labels for white Aligote wine:
· Charles Lachaux Bourgogne Aligote Les Champs d’Argent
· Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux Bourgogne Aligote
Burgundy’s 2017 vintage marked a return to more “typical” conditions, with high potential yields. The goal of Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux was to achieve the most accurate and transparent representation of each region in the glass by maintaining fair yields and employing very high trellises to produce dense, intensely concentrated fruit. In vintages with warm, sunny finishes to the growing season, like in 2017, the high trellising and low yields ensured early-ripening grapes, which usually means the Domaine harvests earlier than most of its neighbors. It offers the extra benefit of maintaining low alcohol levels and fresh acidity while enabling Charles to ferment using a high percentage of intact bunches.
The Domaine was established in 1858, and Robert Arnoux, Charles’ grandpa, who was born in 1931 and assumed control after his father’s death in 1957, was responsible for the introduction of estate-bottled wine. The real architects of the existing Domaine were Robert Arnoux and his wife, Clotilde Truchetet. They bought the 0.35-acre Romanée-Saint-Vivant site from the Domaine in 1984. Pascal Lachaux and Florence Arnoux, Charles’ parents, wed in 1987. Up until Robert’s passing in 1995, Pascal collaborated alongside his father-in-law. In 2005, Pascal and Florence expanded the winery and cellars. In 2008, they added the 0.53-hectare Latricières-Chambertin holding, substantially expanding the estate.
The 14.5 hectares of Pinot Noir owned by Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux are spread among 15 terroirs and six villages. Five premiers crus, five villages wines, four grand crus, and the outstanding Bourgogne “Pinot Fin” are all available. Holdings of Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux vineyards.
Since Charles took charge, the domain’s pruning and canopy management attitude has significantly changed. Today, summer pruning is completed extremely late; once the shoots reach a height of 2.0 to 2.3 meters, they are reduced to 1.8 meters (whereas the norm is around 1.1m). The idea behind this is that the intricate “signaling” that takes place within each vine links the growth of the roots and shoots above and below ground. Trimming the shoots too aggressively could stunt root development and deprive the vine of nutrition.
Because of the resulting natural harmony, harvest typically occurs 7–10 days earlier than it would have under the domaine’s previous, conventional approach. Charles claims that treating the vine with respect results in smaller berries with thicker skins that only need light tannin extraction in the cellar.
Lalou Bize-Leroy, who was stated in the introduction as having become somewhat of a mentor, has influenced Charles’ strategy. This approach is used at Madame Bize-renowned Leroy’s and self-named Domaine Leroy.
Charles claims that the domaine is “90% organic.” According to Charles, even after receiving organic certification, they will not list it on the label. He is right to be skeptical about the impacts on the long-term viability of the soil and the usage of both copper and sulfur, both of which are permitted by the organic framework. As feasible, vineyard and cellar activity is synchronized with the lunar phases per biodynamic principles.
Replanting is under place on a one ouvrée (0.0428 hectare!) parcel of Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Aux Reignots at a density of 20,000 vines per hectare, or double the usual density at the domaine. This high-density planting combines innovation with classic Burgundian techniques. Every member of the 15-person crew does all of the vineyard and cellar labor at the domaine, Charles is careful to emphasize.
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