Domaine Arnoux-Lacaux, whose seat is in Vosne-Romanée, Burgundy, has a centuries-old history, having been founded by the Arnoux family patriarch in 1858. Nevertheless, the most important date remains the beginning of the ’60s when Robert Arnoux decided to choose the private bottling of his own grapes, starting the official history. In 1987 Robert’s daughter, Florence Arnoux, married Pascal Lachaux who joined his father-in-law in the management of the domaine, becoming the owner at the death of this last, in 1995. Since 2015 the domaine has passed into the hands of Pascal and Florence’s son, Charles Lachaux, already present in the company since 2011 and true architect of a second revolution, at least as important as that of the ’60s.
The 14.5 hectares of vineyards, spread over 15 different terroirs, are managed by Charles according to biodynamic principles, with works in the vineyard and cellar conducted following the lunar phases, with the aim of prolonging life and improving the health of the plants. In addition, Charles has conducted studies that have led him to show reasonable concern about the harmful effects even of traditional treatments based on sulfur and copper, whose doses used decrease year after year. The vines are pruned rather unusually allowing the branches to grow up to more than two meters in length, before being pruned to 1,8 meters, against an average of 1,1. This is because other studies, always conducted by Charles, have shown that leaving the branches longer than average involves a greater effort by the roots to pump nutrients to the vegetative apparatus, and this involves their growth healthier, robust and deep. In the cellar Charles claims that there is no pre-packaged “recipe”, but it can be asserted that the whole cluster fermentation is a technique he used in increasing percentage, becoming a stylistic choice now clearly perceptible. Even the extraction from the skins has no standardized timing, it simply lasts the time necessary, with constant fulling and replacement.
One of the most important wines of the domaine is certainly Echezaux, a Pinot Noir born in one of the most famous Côte de Nuits Grand Cru, on a clay-calcareous soil. After harvesting, strictly by hand, the fermentation takes place with the grapes, 70% whole, placed in the tank without any pressing and left to ferment cold. The wine obtained is racked by gravity in barriques, 100% new, where it undergoes malolactic fermentation and ages for over a year, before being bottled (at the beginning of March) and put on the market.
The 2012 vintage has a shiny ruby color with some garnet streaks just hinted at, and an olfactory range that opens on notes of durone cherry, wild strawberry, red currant and pot pourri, followed by red orange, vinyl, humus and toasted coffee, with concluding echoes of burnt shell, carpentry, graphite and incense. The taste is characterized by a good roundness that is progressively accompanied by balsamic freshness and a savory, almost brackish component, all while elegant tannins denote the sip and, for a retro-olfactory way, you can admire a very wide return of fruity and spicy scents that persist long even after an equally long finish.
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