Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux Echezeaux Grand Cru 2014
The vineyard is situated in the lieu dit Rouges du bas, a parcel of just under one hectare situated in the heart of the Echezeaux, in the middle of the slope. The vineyards are planted on a north-south axis; average age of the vines is about 60 years old. Fermentation for this wine is 70% whole cluster; the fruit is put in tank without any crushing. A cold soak follows, then the alcoholic fermentation takes place with very little intervention,with pump-overs and punch-downs as needed. The wines are then gravity-fed into French oak barrels (100% new) for malolactic fermentation and aging.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Earlier in the year, the Bowler team tasted the 2014’s from barrel with Charles’s father, Pascal – who is still very much present in the winery. It was unanimously a highlight of our trip in 2016. We’ve always been impressed when tasting at Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux. After all, they have some of the most prized vineyards in Vosne-Romanee and equally high-quality vineyards in Nuits-Saint-Georges.
It's no doubt that Pascal Lachaux must have gone through the same pressure when he took over from his father-in-law, Robert Arnoux, in the early nineties. Pascal worked side-by-side with Robert for more than ten years. The changes that Pascal made in the nineties were a natural progression at the time: pruning for lower yields, working the soil, destemming grapes 100%, and using more new oak for aging. The reputation of Domaine Robert Arnoux soared with Pascal Lachaux at the reigns. In 2010, Remington Norman and Charles Taylor MW said, “This is one of the very best domaines of an exceptional village.”
Charles Lachaux gives an immense amount of credit to his father for the work that he has done over the last thirty years. He said that if he has elevated the wines to a new level today, it is thanks to the health of the vineyards and the organization of the winery when he started in 2012.
Claiming the two famous Grand Crus, Echezeaux and Grands Echezeaux, the identity of this village, Flagey-Echezeaux, rides predominantly on the glory of those two crus. All of the village or Premier Cru status vineyards in Flagey-Echezeaux market themselves under the name of their neighbor, Vosne-Romanée.
Echezeaux Pinot noir tends be light, bright and full of finesse, whereas those of Grands Echezeaux typically have more heft and complexity.
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.”