It’s always a pleasure to visit Charles Lachaux from Domaine Arnoux Lachaux. Charles has completely changed the estate for the better since he took over from his father in 2012.

2017 is another cracking vintage at this Domaine, I feel that his 2017 has taken purity and finesse to another level, a massive step up from the 2015 vintage, though I have a soft spot for their 2016 wines, which are utterly delicious. 2017 is approachable and collectors would be able to enjoy the 2017 before the 2016 and 2015. Charles had a yield of 42hl/ha on average. The wines were aged in barrels for 12 months. 62,000bts produced in this vintage.

My favourite Aux Reignot settling comfortably in the tank before bottling

Vineyard Portfolio

Romanee-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru, Latricières Chambertin Grand Cru, Echezeaux Grand Cru, Clos Vougeot Grand Cru, Vosne Romanée 1er Cru Les Suchots, Vosne Romanee 1er Cru Aux Reignots, Vosne Romanee 1er Cru Les Chaumes, Nuits Saint Georges 1er Cru Clos des Corvées Pagets, Nuits Saint Georges Les Procès, Vosne Romanee Les Hautes Maizieres, Vosne Romanée, Nuits Saint Georges Les Poisets, Nuits Saint Georges, Chambolle Musigny, Bourgogne Pinot Fin


Tasting note

Bourgogne Pinot Fin 2017

All the grapes are from Bourgogne appellations, blend of Chambolle Musigny, Vosne Romanee and Nuits Saint Georges. 70% whole cluster. Light and feminine with a soft bouquet of rose petals, vibrant acidity and fresh raspberry. Sweet stems and a hint of spices on the finish. Simple and light bodied but a satisfying Bourgogne. (84/100)

Nuits Saint Georges 2017

The Nuits Saint Georges village is a blend of 7 vineyards close to Vosne Romanee. 34-36hl/ha, 50% whole cluster. Rose petals, crushed strawberries, juicy red cherry and scented spices. Earthy and peppery nose of Nuits Saint Georges. On the light end of village weight but charming Nuits beats concentration. (86/100)

Chambolle Musigny 2017

Their Chambolle Musigny is always their last vineyard to harvest as it comes from north facing vineyard on the upper slope. A step up in concentration and structure from the Nuits Saint Georges. Scented nose of juicy red fruits, hints of floral herbs and spices. Charming with good length. (87/100)

Vosne Romanee 2017

The Vosne Romanee is a blend of 3 plots in Vosne Romanee: Les Communes, Les Saules, and Bossieres. 10-12% new oak and 70% whole cluster. Sweet scented spicy red cherry and lovely rose petals. Good acidity and concentration for a village and transparent of the terroir. Fine tannins with lovely ripeness and sweet finish. (88/100)

Nuits Saint Georges Les Poisets 2017

Les Poisets offers a pretty minerality and scented nose, slightly more elegant than the generic village Nuits Saint Georges. 100% stems. Detectable peppery nose of red berries, hint of green stems yet charming and flirtatious. (88-89/100)

Vosne Romanee Les Hautes Maizieres 2017

I have always had a soft spot for Charles Lachaux’s Hautes Maizieres, a 0.60 ha plot in Les Hautes Maizières right below Echezeaux. 60% whole cluster. Bubbly red fruits of mixed cherry, juicy raspberries, hints of cranberry and smoked minerals. Lovely weight knocking on Premier Cru doors, I like to call Hautes Maizieres a mini-Echezeaux. Airy minerals and rounded red fruits. Well balanced acidity and lively finish. (89-90/100)

Nuits Saint Georges 1er Cru Les Proces 2017

The Nuits Saint Georges 1er Cru is a step up in concentration. Lovely floral bouquet of sweet stems, red berries, and dark earth. Refined structure with tingy spices. 20% new oak mingles well with the 50% whole cluster. A beautiful winemaking style that portraits the feminine side of Nuits Saint Georges. Give it a couple years of ageing before tasting. (90-91/100)

Vosne Romanee 1er Cru Les Chaumes 2017

Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux owns 0.74 ha of Les Chaumes, a long stripe of vineyard from top to bottom of the slope. Spiced dark fruits of black cherry, spiced rose petal, and supple ripe stems. Personally I think Les Chaumes is one of the underdog Premier Crus of Vosne but Charles makes a great Chaumes that is aromatic and honest of the terroir. (90-91/100)

Nuits Saint Georges 1er Cru Clos des Corvees Pagets 2017

A 0.55 ha parcel located within the Clos des Corvées (where Prieure Roch owns most of it). The vines are 70 years old. Same as 2016, 100% whole cluster. Even in an abundant and fruitful vintage, Corvees Pagets only yielded 28hl/ha in 2017 as parts of it were affected by hail. Charming bouquet of red flowers, spiced dark berries and cranberries. Well balanced acidity and airy minerals. Not as concentrated as 2016 but fine and appealing. (91-92/100)

Clos Vougeot Grand Cru 2017

Charles told me he has 7 barrels of Clos Vougeot this year, a fruitful harvest consider he did not have any Clos Vougeot in 2016 due to frost and hail. 30% new oak and 50% whole cluster. The 2017 Clos Vougeot offers a fine weight and energy with well-balanced mixed fruits, fresh berries and flints. Great density and purity. One of the outstanding Clos Vougeot in 2017. (93+/100)

Echezeaux Grand Cru 2017

The Echezeaux offers a darker shade of fruits, rich dark berries. A bit more reserved and low pitched than the Clos Vougeot. Medium bodied with a more muscular backbone. 100% whole cluster. Gentle with a long finish. (92-93/100)

Latricieres Chambertin Grand Cru 2017

The Latricieres Chambertin grabs your attention right away with its tension and gorgeous bouquet. Sadly his Latricieres Chambertin was damaged by frost and yield was down to 18hl/ha. 100% whole cluster. Densely laced dark berry fruits and earthy forest floor, hints of roasted herbs with juicy meaty incense. Aromatic and refined. Great length. (93/100)

Vosne Romanee 1er Cru Les Suchots 2017

Les Suchots is one of the finest Premier Crus from Charles Lachaux. 6 barrels were made in 2017 from this 0.65 ha plot (compared to 3 barrels in 2016), located at the top of Suchots, sitting just below Les Beaumonts. Vines here are 95 years old. 100% whole cluster. Very dark and intense fruits, fresh coffee beans with vibrant acidity and latent energy. Grand Cru depth and silky tannins. (93-94/100)

Vosne Romanee 1er Cru Aux Reignots 2017

Domaine Arnoux Lachaux owns a special vineyard in Aux Reignots, located just above the greatly revered La Romanée. A 0.2 ha parcel with vines close to 100 years old. It is absolutely my favourite wine of the estate. Only 2 barrels produced in 2017. 50% new oak and 100% whole cluster. Gorgeous bouquet of dark berries, iris, Vosne minerals and spices with cool terroir minerals. Hints of peppy note behind the sweet stems. Incredibly in-depth with ethereal notes on the finish. A proper ‘Grand Cru’. (94-95/100)

Romanee Saint Vivant Grand Cru 2017

The Romanée Saint Vivant is the flagship wine at Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux. They own 0.375 ha plot located next to La Grande Rue. The vines here are close to 100 years old. 3.5 barrels produced in 2017. 30% new oak and 100% whole cluster. Serious bouquet of summer flowers, dense dark fruits, and ethereal spices and zingy blueberries. Low pitched and energetic with superb dimensions and structure for it to age for 3 decades at least. (95-96/100)


Recommendations

Same as 2016, the 2017 vintage is another delicious vintage from Charles Lachaux. The quality level is superb across the board. There is a real sense of purity and lightness in this vintage – charming, approachable and should be enjoyable without much bottle ageing (but the Grand Crus, Suchots and Reignots will be able to age for a long time!). My personal favourite of this vintage is the Chambolle Musigny and Nuits 1er Cru Les Proces, the Clos Vougeot outperformed in this vintage and as always, the Reignots and Romanee Saint Vivant are serious wines for avid Burgundy collectors.

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