I was very impressed when I tasted the 2015s from Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux in January 2017. I was therefor eager to get back to taste the 2016s to see if Charles Lachaux has progressed further.
At my last visit Charles Lachaux eagerly began to explain about the changes they have made at the estate in recent vintages. Explained about less use of new oak, less extraction and furthermore the introduction of a quite high percentage of whole cluster grapes in the wines.
For the village wines only 15% new oak is used, around 20% is used for the 1er crus and for the Grand Crus only 30% … so quite moderate use of oak compared to the wines made earlier. For the top wines 100% whole cluster are used – this apply to Nuits-Saint-Georges Clos des Corvées Pagets, Vosne-Romanée Les Suchots, Aux Reignots, Echezeaux, Latriciere-Chambertin and Romanée Saint-Vivant.
So in fact this is a completely new style of wines – and I was very pleased to see this continued in the 2016 vintage.
To go back – changes began in the 2013 vintage when Charles took over, but was so to speak fully implemented in 2015 when most of the major details were in place. To be honest this was a big change and it was not possible to get all organised within one year.
The style was pretty much in place with the 2014 vintage – have tasted quite a few of those – and the details seemed more in place with the 2015s – but what about the 2016s?
The cooler 2016s .. vs. the 2015s
It was a very hot day in Beaune – around 38 celsius – way more than I need – and I was therefore happy to taste the 2016s from cask in the cool cellar.
Charles Lachaux seems very clear and focused in what he is doing – and this certainly corresponded well with the 2016s he has produced. Style wise it’s a cooler year offering a more classic Burgundian balance than the generously rich and slightly decadent 2015s. The 2016s offer a more delicate balance and energy it seems – at this stage – but do not quite match the quite abundant fruit found in the 2015s.
I think Charles has refined the style and detail in the wines even further since the 2015 vintage – i.e. improved the vinification and presumably also the viticulture in the 2016s vintage – and the question was therefore if they could challenge the 2015s – or if the mighty 2015s would prevail.
In the end it’s not a contest or a clash between vintages – but hopefully a friendly banter where the two vintages are showing of their different virtues.
As with other estates the April 2016 frost did quite severe damage at Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux, some places more so than others. In some cases the low yield seems to offer more intensity and concentration in the wines – not meaning the sort of concentration obtained by extraction or technical solutions – this a natural concentration of the grapes in the vineyards.
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Tasting Notes for this producer
- Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux, Romanee-Saint-Vivant 2008 May 23, 2018
- Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux, Romanée Saint-Vivant 2015 July 11, 2017
- Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux, Vosne-Romanée Aux Reignots 2015 July 11, 2017
- Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux, Vosne-Romanée Les Suchots 2015 July 11, 2017
- Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux, Latriciere Chambertin 2015 July 11, 2017
- Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux, Echezeaux 2015 July 11, 2017
- Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux, Clos de Vougeot 2015 July 11, 2017
- Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux, Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Procès 2015 July 11, 2017
- Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux, Vosne-Romanée Les Chaumes 2015 July 11, 2017
- Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux, Nuits-Saint-Georges Clos de Corvees Pagets 2015 July 11, 2017
- Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux, Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Poisets 2015 July 11, 2017
- Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux, Vosne-Romanée Maizieres Hautes 2015 July 11, 2017
- Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux, Chambolle-Musigny 2015 July 11, 2017
- Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux, Vosne-Romanée 2015 July 11, 2017
- Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux, Nuits-Saint-Georges 2015 July 11, 2017
- Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux, Bourgogne Pinot Fin 2015 July 11, 2017
- Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux, Romanee-Saint-Vivant 2014 February 13, 2017
- Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux, Romanee-Saint-Vivant 2006 January 10, 2017
- Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux, Vosne-Romanee Aux Reignots 2008 December 18, 2014
- Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux, Romanee-Saint-Vivant 2008 February 19, 2013
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- The Burgundy year 2019 The Burgundy year 2019 is moving rapidly towards its end after many memorable moments. To be honest, I hate mission statements and other statements of objectives, but in the end they can be a useful rounding out of the year. The vins d’émotion – what’s in the glass Missions and statements are fine, but in the end, ...
- Tasting the 2018s at Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux Charles Lachaux is taking some giant leaps for, if not mankind, then at least for the hedonistic pleasure of yours truly and other connoisseurs. His 2018 wines are another clear step towards the very top echelon of Burgundy and Vosne-Romanee. They are airy, energetic, and vivid, with tremendous joie de vivre – true vins d’émotion. And Charles ...
- Terroir View: Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux, Echezeaux Echezeaux is a complex vineyard, and actually only quite a few of the wines that are produced from one climate within the large Echezeaux vineyard. Many are wines from two or even several areas in the Echezeaux vineyard. There are however some prominent single vineyard Echezeaux’s .. and one is the Echezeaux made by Charles Lachaux ...
- Terroir View: Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux, Vosne-Romanée Les Suchots Today rules and classifications are followed relatively strictly and names like Grands Suchots and Les Hautes Suchots are now glorious labels of the past. They are names signalling greatness especially of the upper part of Vosne-Romanée Les Suchots One of the best Les Suchots from the upper part of the vineyard is made at Domaine ...