In Burgundy and elsewhere, 2021 was a cool and frosty year. Despite using fire and circulating fans in the vineyards, the results of the April frost and summer rains were low yields and serious challenges with the health of the grapes.
Domaine Arlaud, however, has done remarkably well, producing pure, vivid, and delightful wines. Lovely wines indeed.
A reminder: Domaine Arlaud is certified both biodynamic (BioDyvin) and organic (Agriculture Biologique). It has had full biodynamic status since 2014.
The 2021s: battling nature
The ’21 vintage was not easy, even after the frost took its share. Being biodynamic demanded both experience and persistence. The harvest was all about sorting, and judging by the wines presented below, Arlaud did a tremendous job at both the table de tri and in the vineyards.
Tasting notes from November 21
The Bourgogne Roncevie 2021 is, as always, a perfect introduction to the Arlaud line-up. It’s from Gevrey-Chambertin, coming from a parcel just outside the Gevrey appellation that produces 29,000 bottles annually (not quite that many in 2021). This is on the cooler side, offering good drinking, but in the end perhaps lacking a bit of the generosity found in the hotter years. I do like cooler years however, with their lightness and fresh fruit.
(Drink from 2023) – Good (86-87p) – tasted 21/11/2022 –
The Morey-Saint-Denis 2021 is lacking a bit of the depth needed to match the big vintages. This is where the limitations of a vintage like 2021 becomes visible. Still, it has a lot of good things going for it, including vivid, energetic fruit.
(Drink from 2029) – Very Good (87-88p) – tasted 21/11/2022
The Chambolle-Musigny 2021 has more density and is vivid, with an intense mid-palate for its level. Currently not very forward on the nose, in the end it’s a better compromise than the Morey. This comes from four lieux-dits in the northern part of the appellation: Les Bussières, Les Chardannes, Les Herbues, and Les Gammaires.
(Drink from 2028) – Very Good (88p) – tasted 21/11/2022
The Gevrey-Chambertin 2021 is deeper and more expressive in its flamboyant style. There is a significant share of grapes from La Justice in this cuvee that offer lovely fruit and the delicate notes of this terroir. Not a hugely complex wine, but who cares? A vin de soif, please.
(Drink from 2029) – Very Good (88-89p) – tasted 21/11/2022 –
The Vosne-Romanée Aux Reas 2021 is surprisingly open and ready to rock. Forward, with delightful spicy Vosne notes, this is delicious, on the light-footed and enjoyable side.
(Drink from 2029) – Very Good (89-90p) – tasted 21/11/2022 –
The 1ers crus of Morey-Saint-Denis are overlooked, and it’s always a treat to taste Domaine Arlaud’s beautiful collection of these wines.
The Morey-Saint-Denis Les Millandes 2021 is deep and expressive; this is a good year for the Morey 1ers crus. It’s pure, and quite brilliant for the vintage, with good intensity; very nice intensity indeed. The extraction is perfectly judged.
(Drink from 2032) – Fine (90-91p) – tasted 21/11/2022 –
From the northern end of the appellation on the border with Gevrey-Chambertin comes the Morey-Saint Denis Aux Chezeaux 2021. This is slightly more extracted, but also deeper and even somewhat flamboyant. The question here is do you want power or finesse? This is more on the power side.
(Drink from 2032) – Fine+ (92-93p) – tasted 21/11/2022
You need to login as a Premium subscriber to read the rest of this article. If you are not a Premium Subscriber, use the subscribe function and sign-up.