We made a very short stop at the estate Arnoux-Lachaux in Vosne-Romanée, Burgundy back in 2012 and met with Charles Lachaux in their cellar. The estate trails back to 1858 and was formerly known as Robert Arnoux, but in 2008 the estate´s name was changed into its current name by the married couple Pascal Lachaux and Florence (Arnoux). From the 2012 vintage, their oldest son Charles joined his father after finishing enology studies by taking over vinification and stopped de-stemmig and since then gently presses 30-100% ripe grape bunches depending on vintage and vineyard. Pascal has done a lot to increase the quality of the vineyard through the years by hard pruning, removing buds, thinning out and keeping about six bunches per vine. They are typically non-intervenists type of vintner that put all their efforts into the vineyard. The kind we really like.
This premier cru Clos des Corvées Pagets is located at Premeaux-Prissey in the southern part of Nuits-Saint-George. It is very rocky, with lots of sand and sand stone. It produces a wine with soft, but solid tannins and some structure. The yield is naturally low, but always very concentrated due to the 60 years old vines. However, the oldest vines here were planted in 1921.
The grapes for this wine was harvested on the 28th of September in this non-classic quite warm vintage that the french refers to as sexy since it in general is fleshy, packed with forward fruit and charm. Grape bunches were 100% de-stemmed for this wine and then went through cold soak for a few days and then after being very gently pressed, the grape juice went into fermentation with skins (cuvaison) for 14 days with punch-downs (pigeage) and pumping over. The juice was then raised in 30% new wood.
The colour is dark, translucent cerise-red middle with light-orange and pink edges.
After only two hours in the decanter, a quite deep and big nose with sturdy notes of saline mushroom, dry herbs, raspberry jam, candy, overly intense dried red flowers and prominent burnt, detailed lime stone.
This is a powerful wine, but weightless with deep layers of ripe, chalky fruit, but as can be the case with wines from Nuits-Saint-George, this is not rustic and flat. Palate offers dry distinct blood orange, very ripe strawberries, anise, clove, cinnamon, some savoury notes and chalky lime minerals. Texture is soft, velvety and tannins are ripe providing a very good backbone and grip in the just a little dry and austere, but persistent finish. Acidity is really great, fresh and filled with balsamic oils, deep minerals and distinct grape-peel.
A very rich, a little sturdy and full-bodied wine and for a Burgundy wine it is powerful. Except for the comparably less solid and not equally as chewy tannins, this resembles me of a really good, but much lighter version of a fresh Barolo from Serralunga d’Alba which is a great rating in my view. I am surprised by the building structure of the tannins here for being a pinot and from Burgundy.