Some people think that the vin d’émotion attribution is given only to a specific type of wine. Nothing could be further from the truth.
What unites these wines is the hedonistic pleasure they give, the tension and energy they have to offer, the dynamic feeling that makes you want another glass – and ultimately another bottle.
Normally we don’t pop a second bottle. But the urge to do so is well known to most collectors. It certainly is to me.
Some wines render immediate joy; others need understanding and maturation for careful enjoyment years later. These latter, when young, show their energy, yet the fruit is saying, “Give me time. Give me years.”
The vin de soif experience
Charles Lachaux of Domaine Arnaux-Lachaux is making changes to the estate’s style, including vinification and operations.
I have not followed his negociant brand closely, but with the 2019s I taste what I can get, as Lachaux’s wines from this vintage almost explode with hedonistic energy. These are wines to enjoy while you are waiting for the more substantial, deeper Arnaux-Lachaux wines to reach their full potential.
This week I enjoyed two different wines that each in their way gave me pleasure and hedonistic joy. That said, the two expressed their hedonism quite differently.
The Charles Lachaux Gevrey-Chambertin En Reniard 2019 has the ultimate glou-glou quality, and the bottle seems to disappear without much reflection other than hedonistic pleasure. It will stand up to the ‘Hog’s scrutiny, but this is not its purpose. It aims to thrill and provide enjoyment with its tension and elegance. The fruit and depth are there, but this is built for traveling lightly and joyously – not for years and decades of cellaring.
The Roumier thrill
The other wine – with little doubt also a better one – is the Domaine Roumier Chambolle-Musigny Les Cras 2015.
It’s also an open, accessible wine currently, intense, complex, and deep. This is a wine that will fill you with pinot pleasure and depth; it’s fulfilling, and you know it’s only at the beginning of its journey. This takes time to enjoy; it is not a glou-glou wine at all. It will require 20 years or more to fully reveal itself – perhaps not even in my lifetime. But once you have tasted a mature Roumier wine, you know the pleasure and intellectual depth Burgundy can deliver.
Two wines at opposite ends of the spectrum, but both hedonistic and vins d’émotion, even if viewed from very different perspectives time-wise. If you don’t understand the virtues and rewards of cellaring a Roumier wine for decades (20 years is rarely enough for the bigger wines), then it is of course your right to enjoy it young. But if you have the time, keep them, mature then, give them cellar love, and they will reward you mightily.
The Lachaux Gevrey-Chambertin is vinified relatively lightly, with a short elevage. It’s built for pleasure and joy – you can drink it young, but it will keep, although it won’t necessarily benefit from ten years or more in the cellar. But is is a joy currently, with its lively fruit and beautiful tension.
Helping to understand vins d’émotion
I hope the examples above help demonstrate the range and diversity of vins d’émotion. All good wines, regardless of origin and grape variety, can have the qualities we look for in a vin d’émotion.