Domaine Arlaud Morey-St-Denis Les Ruchots Premier Cru 1999
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.
While Morey-St-Denis might not get the same attention as its neighbors, Gevrey-Chambertin to the north and Chambolle-Musigny to the south, there is no reason why it shouldn’t. The same line of limestone runs from the Combe de Lavaux in Gevrey—all the way through Morey—ending in Chambolle.
There are four grand cru vineyards, moving southwards from the border with Gevrey-Chambertin: Clos de la Roche, Clos St-Denis, Clos des Lambrays, Clos de Tart and a small segment of Bonnes-Mares overlapping from Chambolle. Clos de la Roche is probably the finest vineyard, giving wines of true depth, body, and sturdiness for the long haul than most other vineyards.
Pinot Noir from Morey-St-Denis is known for its deep red cherry, blackcurrant and blueberry fruit. Aromas of spice, licorice and purple flowers are present in the wines’ youth, evolving to forest and game as the wine ages.
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.”