Domaine Arlaud Chambolle Musigny Vieilles Vignes 2014
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Barrel Sample: 88-90
Barrel Sample: 87-90
Domaine Arlaud Pere et Fils was created in 1942 when Joseph Arlaud, a man from the Ardèche (northern Rhone Valley), and Renée Amiot, a woman from a family with deep roots in Burgundy, were married. The bride’s dowry included parcels in some of Burgundy's top grand cru vineyards, which Joseph then added to, parcel by parcel, through the years.
Their son, Herve, assumed the reins of the estate in 1983. Together with his wife Brigitte, he continued to grow the family's vineyard holdings, primarily in the Cote de Nuits. Their three children, from 2004 to 2012, worked alongside Herve to learn the family business.
The Arlauds began to cultivate their vineyards organically in 2004. In 2009, they were inspired to push further, establishing biodynamic viticultural practices across all their holdings. As of the 2014 vintage, the estate holds both organic and biodynamic certification, the very first estate to do so in Morey-Saint-Denis.
In 2013, Cyprien Arlaud assumed full control of the family estate. Today Domaine Arlaud manages over 30 acres of land, consisting of 19 separate vineyards in top appellations, as well as choice plots in four grand crus: Clos de la Roche, Clos Saint Denis, Charmes Chambertin, and Bonnes Mares.
Chambolle-Musigny represents the charm of the Côte de Nuits district of Burgundy. But you’ll find that term mainly in reference to the vineyards in its southern stretches, which border Clos Vougeot: the Grand Cru of Le Musingy and in part, its neighboring and most exceptional Premier Cru, Les Amoureuses. Some producers argue for the primacy of Les Amoureuses and its eligibility for Grand Cru status given its wines can sometimes surpass other Grands Crus.
Le Musigny ranks on par with the most acclaimed Grands Crus for Pinot Noir: Romanée-Conti, La Tâche, Richebourg, Chambertin, and Chambertin-Clos de Bèze. It is also the only Grand Cru in Côte de Nuits for Chardonnay. All of the others are in Côte de Beaune.
This village can in fact claim only two Grands Crus vineyards and—in the context of breaking down the minutiae—they are markedly different. Bonnes-Mares, the other one at the far northern end above the village, bordering Morey-St-Denis, offers power, strength and great aging potential. But Chambolle-Musigny includes a nice handful of exceptional Premiers Crus, as noted above with Les Amoureuses as the finest. Le Fuees and Les Cras are other noteworthy Premiers Crus.
Overall, a top Chambolle-Musigny offers pure aromas of violets, dark cherry and damp earth, coupled with a velvety elegance, supple mid-palate, an abundance of black and red berry, and finesse and power through a long and fine-grained finish.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”