Domaine Arlaud Gevrey Chambertin Premier Cru Aux Combottes 2014
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
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.
This small village is home to the Grands Crus in the farthest northerly stretches of Côte de Nuits and is famous for some of the deepest and firmest Burgundian Pinot Noir.
Gevrey boasts nine Grands Crus, the best of which are arguably Le Chambertin and Chambertin-Clos de Bèze. As with all of the fragmented vineyards of Burgundy, it isn’t easy to differentiate between the two, which are situated adjacent with Clos de Bèze slightly further up the hill than Le Chambertin. Clos de Bèze has a shallower soil and if you’re really counting, may produce wines less intense but more likely to charm. Some compare Le Chambertin in both power and plentitude only to the prized Romanée-Conti Grand Cru farther south in Vosne-Romanée.
Two other Grands Crus vineyards, Mazis-Chambertin (also written Mazy-) and Latricières-Chambertin command almost as much regard as Le Chambertin and Chambertin-Clos de Bèze. The upper part of Mazy, called Les Mazis Haut is the best and Latricières-Chambertin offers an abundance of juicy fruit and a silky texture in the warmer vintages.
Other Grands Crus are Ruchottes-Chambertin, Charmes-Chambertin, Mazoyères-Chambertin, Griotte-Chambertin and Chapelle-Chambertin.
The most respected Pinot Noir wines from Gevrey-Chambertin are robust and powerful but at the same time, velvety and expressive: black fruit, black liquorice and chocolate come into play. After some time in the bottle, the wines are harmonious with bright and sometimes candied fruit, and aromas of musk, truffle and forest floor. These have staying power.
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.”