Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Domaine ARNOUX-LACHAUX (Vosne-Romanée) -- 2016 tasted from tank and barrel


This estate was my first introduction to the sad fact that losses from the frost and the subsequent mildew were more severe than had previously been stated. In particular, I learned here that counter to what many have said, vineyards in both Vosne-Romanée and Gevrey-Chambertin were affected. Overall, the estate lost 60% of what would be a normal harvest. Two appellations, Nuits-Saint-Georges, Les Poisets and Clos-de-Vougeot, were not made in 2016 because damage losses there were so severe. Vosne-Romanée, Aux Reignots was the estate’s only appellation that did not suffer losses.

Harvesting began on 22 September with the Reignots. There was then a pause, and the harvesting of the remaining vineyards began on 26 September. There was no triage here, and only a minor amount of chaptalization in order to extend the fermentations. Malolactic fermentations began in late November and early December and finished in January, except for the Vosne-Chaumes, which took a bit longer.

These are dazzling wines with great finesse, precision, and fidelity to terroirs. Charles Lachaux continues to do wonderful things since he took over this already much-esteemed domaine.

The first four wines were racked three weeks prior to my tasting them and had been transferred to tanks to await bottling. (Continue reading here.)