Domaine Arlaud is producing some magnificent wines – and despite they are both Biodynamic and improving quality each year they still are somewhat under the radar. In my view they certainly don’t get the deserved credit and acclaim.
In a sense the estate is quite low key .. located in a relatively new building located across the RN974 and away from the main part of the Morey-Saint-Denis village … for me it was actually not easy to find despite having the address.
I did however manage to find the large winery .. and reach my appointment just in time … hate being late … old habits die hard and even spending quite some time in France and Burgundy can’t erase my background in a Maersk related company – “constant care” – be on time and plan ahead.
To be honest I quite adore the wines of Domaine Arlaud, as they offer such lovely enjoyability and pleasure. They are forward, expressive, balanced – and as they have improved over the years more and more defined and detailed.
Domaine Arlaud is now certified biodynamic – the BioDyvin certificate and also organically certified with the Agriculture Biologique certificate (AB). This means the viticulture is organic and they employ the biodynamic methods and preparations of the vineyards. The estate was certified biodynamic in 2013 …
The wines are quite ligthfooted, airy and organic with a forward and floral fruit – but still not extreme stylewise – with a fine link to thet more traditional style produced in the appellation.
A bit about Domaine Arlaud
Domaine Arlaud is a relatively new estate by Burgundian standards – as it was established just after WW2 by Joseph Arlaud originally from Ardèche who married a local gal, Renée Amiot. As a wedding gift they got some vineyards from her family and Joseph expanded those in 1949. In the beginning Joseph was not a full time vigneron but from 1970 he focused on the estate. His son Hervé succeded his father in 1982 – and expanded the domaine further. In 2004 they took over the vineyards from Guy Coquard – presumably a fermage/matayage agreement – and the estate reached 15 ha with this significant addition.
From 2004 Hervé Arlaud was joined by his three children and they refined the quality of the wines and began to work organic and biodynamic in the vineyards.
From 2012 the young generation has taken over and Cyprien Arlaud – born in 1976 – is now in charge with the support from the family – namely his father and his sister Bertille Arlaud who also is in charge of the horse ploughing.
This is now a fairly large estate .. producing truly delisious wines … to the notes!
Tasting notes from January 24th 2017
Starting out with the Bourgogne Roncevie 2015 a delightful glass. Its produced in Gevrey-Chambertin and the yearly production is around 29000 bottles .. a healthy quantity. Slight reduction (prepared for bottling) on the nose currently but lovely expressive fruit underneath .. fine berry notes and floral. On the palate tremendous weight for this level – zappy and juicy red fruit with a fine midpalate tension – furthermore fresh with some red currant notes .. a truly delightful generic Burgundy ..Good (86 – 87p).
Moving on and up to the Chambolle Musigny 2015 – a lovely cool village from four lieu-dits in Chambolle “Les Bussières”, “les Chardannes”, “les Herbues” et “les Gammaires” in the lower northern part of the appellation. The bouquet is showing very well bursting with cool red and dark fruits – detailed and expressive. On the palate juicy fruit – vibrant with a lovely tension – elegant and lightfooted for the vintage. A charming village Very Good (88 – 90p).
The Gevrey Chambertin 2015 is a step up weight wise but more backward at this stage. From Four parcels situated in the lieu-dits “la Justice” and “les Sevrées” located below the RN973 in Gevrey. Slightly reduced .. lovely red fruit – ripe but fresh with a nice floral touch. On the palate fresh rich and balanced with a nice expression of terroir. A lovely Gevrey in the making. Very Good (88 – 90p).
The 1er crus of Morey-Saint-Denis are a bit overlooked – so a treat to taste three different at Domaine Arlaud.
The Morey-Saint-Denis Les Millandes 2015 is a lovely juicy wine from this 1er cru located just below Clos de la Roche. The nose offer charming red and dark fruit and a deep earthy minerality – a bit reduced. On the palate quite rich and balanced – with at nice cool balance. Fine (90 – 91p)
From the northern end of the appellation on the border to Gevrey-Chambertin we find the Morey-Saint Denis Aux Chezeaux 2015. This is clearly a step up – very juicy indeed. The bouquet offer vibrant red fruit – expressive with a nice mineral note. On the palate very balanced and zappy .. very juicy indeed with a lovely tension between ripe and rich fruit and the more fresh red currant and pomegranate notes. Fine+ (91 – 92p)
Talking about pomegranate – the Chambolle-Musigny Les Sentier 2015 is a magnificent wine taking it a full level up. The bouquet is bursting with red juicy fruit – detailed and expressive with a lovely Chambolle minerality. On the palate vibrant with a core of zappy pomegranate fruit – such a delightful wine – Very Fine (93 – 94p)
One of the most interesting Morey 1er crus is Les Ruchots – a vineyard located just below the southern end of Clos de Tart. The Morey-Saint-Denis Les Ruchots 2015 – slightly reduced but with a very juicy fruit and a fine and filigree limestone mineral note. On the palate expressive fruit – cool and vivacious fruit brought forward by a filigree earthy minerality – a treat
Very Fine (93 – 94p)
One of the highlights of the lineup is however the Gevrey-Chambertin Aux Combottes 2015 – a truly spirited and vibrantly energetic wine. The bouquet is an explosion of red fresh fruit – red currant, strawberries and pomegranate. On the palate strikingly vivid red fruit – core of sweet fruit and balancing pomegranate fruit – so cool and energetic with all he best qualities of the 2015 vintage – it’s from a plot on the border to Latricières-Chambertin … this is a true delight – chapeau! Very Fine+ (93 – 95p)
The Charmes Chambertin 2015 does have a challenge coming after the Aux Combottes. The Charmes is more lush and velvet but do not have the vivid energy of the Aux Combottes. The bouquet offer rich and sweeter berries .. layered, expressive and juicy. On the palate rich and slightly opulent lacking the focus and definition of the Combottes. It’s a charming Charmes .. and has a nice balance between ripeness and freshness – Very Fine (93 – 94p)
The Clos de la Roche comes from Les Mochamps climat in the lower part of the vineyard (note Clos de la Roche include several sub-terroirs). The Clos de la Roche 2015 is a big and quite weighty wine – yet still with the airy and juicy qualities found in the other Arlaud 2015s. The bouquet offer ripe red and dark berry fruit – hints of prune as other 2015s from this vineyard – layered fruit and lovely depth – a classic Clos de la Roche. On the palate considerable weight and length – very juicy and zappy with a nice vibrant feel. Outstanding (94 – 96p)
Moving up slope to the original part of Clos St. Denis. The Clos St. Denis 2015 is cooler than the Clos de la Roche – seem to be the tendency in 2015. The bouquet is balanced more towards red fruit – more vivid and expressive with a detailed filigree minerality lurking underneath the lush berries. On the palate very vibrant and airy with a effortlessly energetic mid-palate fruit – with charming notes of pomegranate. This is a truly magnificent and exquisite wine – Outstanding (95 – 96p)
The last and certainly not least wine of the lineup – the mighty Bonnes Mares 2015. This offer some of the best sides of the Clos St. Denis and the Clos de la Roche. The bouquet offer layered red and dark berry fruit – intense with a impressive depth – delightful cool red notes are offering a lovely contrastfull display of the deep darker fruit. On the palate deep and weighty with a gorgeous freshness and vivid display of red pomegranate notes on the midpalate. A charming but serious wine .. will need time to unfold .. a hedonistic treat for those lucky enough to get some bottles Outstanding+ (95 – 97p)