Domaine Arlaud Bourgogne Oka 2014
Cyprien Arlaud took the reins of the domaine in 1997 with the simple and unwavering vision of making pure, benchmark Burgundy. He knew the only way to achieve this goal was to be forward thinking in the cellar, and most importantly in the vineyards. The same year he was put in charge, he began the conversion of the estate to biodynamics (certified in 2014). He also began using horses to plough domaine vineyards in order to keep the soils as healthy and alive as possible. With top holdings in Morey St. Denis, Chambolle-Musigny, Gevrey-Chambertin, and Vosne-Romanée, he immediately saw the difference in the health of the vines between those that were horse ploughed and those that were ploughed by tractor. As Cyprien notes, “It’s hard to get good grapes from vines planted on a cement highway.” Luckily for him, his sister Bertille has become one of the most important horse ploughers in all of France. With her two horses Nougat and Okapi, she ploughs every single vineyard herself, while also ploughing and training horses for many top estates across the country. The results from this intense care for the vines became evident very quickly, with wines that spoke of terroir in the clearest of voices.
In the cellar, intervention is kept to an absolute minimum. Under Cyprien’s stewardship, elegance has been the focus with lower levels of extraction and the reduction of new wood to zero on the Bourgogne and 15-30% on the rest of the lineup. Partial whole cluster is used on the upper level wines (maximum 30%), purely on the nature of the vintage and if the stems are perfectly ripe. The cellar in Morey St. Denis is one of the coldest in the Côtes de Nuits, helping Cyprien pursue a slow, non-interventionist vinification, with minimal use of SO2. All of his wines are also bottled unfined and unfiltered. Meeting Cyprien makes it clear how in touch he is with every meter of vines he farms. He is immensely talented, but also has an insatiable curiosity that allows him to keep learning and keep getting better. We are absolutely sure that his name, and the wines he is crafting today and in the future will go on to live in Burgundy lore.
Celebrated as some of the best wine in the universe, red wine from Burgundy, otherwise known as red Burgundy, is Pinot noir. In fact Burgundy is the birthplace of Pinot noir and the source of the planet’s most sensual, delicate, valuable and sought-after Pinot noir wines.
Understanding and enjoying red Burgundy can stay simple, with a basic knowledge of its subregions, become more intricate by dialing down to the villages and vineyards or become a life-long passion, exploring climats (plots of vines), vintages and the post French Revolution land ownership laws. In any case, a fine red Burgundy will display refined nuances of black currant, red fruit, earth, spice, alluring floral aromatics and have great elegance, complexity and longevity.
Most famous, praised and collected of Burgunday are those from the Côte d'Or. Hundreds of millions of years ago, the area now called Côte d'Or was under a warm ocean whose sea floor has, over time, shifted and decomposed into various layers of limestone, sandstone and clay interspersed with ancient fossilized sea creatures. This is what is referred to as the famous escarpment upon which all of the highly sought-after Grands Crus and Premiers Crus vineyards can be found. In other words, from north to south, the best vineyards of Gevrey-Chambertin, Morey-St-Denis, Chambolle-Musigny, Vougeot, Vosne-Romanée, Flagey-Echezeaux, Nuits-St-Georges, Aloxe-Corton, Pommard and Volnay follow the path of this ancient sea bed.