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Charles Lachaux made a gorgeous portfolio of wines in 2018. Despite the lower acidity level in 2018, his wines are well-balanced and delicate. 100% whole cluster with floral nose and very soft tannins, an achievement consider other producers made heavier (borderline tannic) reds. Alcohol level were at a very modest level between 12.5%-13.5%. A producer to look out for especially in 2018.

Harvest started in early September. Since 2017 Charles converted all corks to 54mm natural corks 100% tested for TCA.

Winemaking Style

In 2018, all the vines were not trimmed and there are around 5 times more leaves than usual with half the usual grape volume. In this fruitful vintage where most producers reached their allowed limit on yield, Charles only got an average of 33hl/ha due to no pruning. There were some odium in this vintage. All cuvees were 100% whole cluster and malolactic fermentation happened fairly early this vintage in January. A mixture of coopers from French to Austrian as well as a few Francois Freres special barrels. Mostly low-medium long toast. 10% new oak in village wines, 20% new oak in Premier Cru and 30% in Grand Crus, except Vosne Romanee 1er Cru Aux Reignots which has 50% new oak (since only 2 barrels produced).

Tasting Notes

Bourgogne Pinot Fin 2018

This 2018 Bourgogne Pinot Fin took me by surprise. Good concentration and complexity from a ‘generic’ Bourgogne Rouge. 100% whole cluster. Good ripeness and juicy red berries and raspberries. Delicate with village weight and nuances. An impressive Bourgogne Rouge. (84/100)

Chambolle Musigny 2018

Like many Chambolle Musginy in 2018, this Chambolle Musigny has more structure and dark fruits than usual. Mixed berries with ripe stems and slightly austere structure. Tightly laced and needs more cellaring. (85/100)

Nuits Saint Georges Les Poisets 2018

Charles owns a 0.7ha parcel. Only 30hl/ha. A refined nose of bright raspberries, smoky minerals and transparent earth. Nice vibrancy. (85-86/100)

Vosne Romanee Les Hautes Maizieres 2018

A 0.60 ha plot in Les Hautes Maizières located right below Echezeaux. Only 25hl/ha in 2018. A charming nose of refreshing raspberries, strawberries and sexy Vosne spices. Lovely power and Premier Cru weight. Attractive with mineral filled nuances. (87/100)

Nuits Saint Georges 1er Cru Les Proces 2018

Slightly reductive showing hints of meat. Les Proces is a step up in concentration from Vosne Romanee Les Hautes Maizieres. Dark fruited nose of black cherry, low pitched spices with earthy structure and intensity. An elegant showcase of Les Proces with good ripeness and balance. (86-87/100)

Vosne Romanee 1er Cru Les Chaumes 2018

Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux owns 0.74 ha of Les Chaumes, a long stripe of vineyard from top to bottom of the slope. Bright red berries, rose petals with delicate spices. Good purity with great concentration and acidity. Energetic. (88-89/100)

Nuits Saint Georges 1er Cru Clos de Corvees Pagets 2018

Only 4.5 barrels produced from this 0.55ha parcel (14hl/ha). A sexy nose of green stems and refreshing mixed berries. Lifted nose with firm tannins and masculine structure. A big-boned Nuits Saint Georges. (88+/100)

Clos Vougeot Grand Cru 2018

A rich array of in-depth dark berries, sweet cherries and mild blueberries. Good concentration of fruits and fine energy, a lovely Clos Vougeot that is softly extracted and well-balanced. (90-92/100)

Echezeaux Grand Cru 2018

In 2018 the Echezeaux is slightly more fragrant but lighter than the Clos Vougeot. Lifted stemmy rose petal with mixed fruits and cool climate gravel-y minerality. Medium bodied and arguably Premier Cru intensity like most Echezeaux. (90/100)

Latricieres Chambertin Grand Cru 2018

Latricieres Chambertin made by Charles Lachaux always offers an attractive bouquet. Sexy green stems with fragrant dark berries and hints of herbs. Lacy fruits and fine oak spices. A well poised Grand Cru. (91-92/100)

Vosne Romanee 1er Cru Les Grands Suchots 2018

6 barrels produced, 25hl/ha. From 2018, the label will change to Les Grands Suchots, specifying the exact plot within Les Suchots. Gorgeous nose of deep and intense fragrant of rose petals, dark berries intertwined with exotic spices and lifted toast. Full bodied with Grand Cru intensity. Refined dark fruits with hints of dry herbs on the finish. Impressive. (93/100)

Vosne Romanee 1er Cru Aux Reignots 2018

From 0.19ha plot and only 2 barrels produced in 2018 (6 bunches per vine), same as 2017. 50% new oak. 100% whole cluster. Slightly greener stems than Les Suchots with an intense inner core of rose petal, luminous mixed berries and refined spices. Sleek and suave. Full bodied Grand Cru qualities with good potency. This will require more cellaring to show its full potential. (93-94/100)

Romanee Saint Vivant Grand Cru 2018

30% new oak and 100% whole cluster. 3.5 barrels produced in 2018. In 2018, their Romanee Saint Vivant is less extracted than 2016 and 2017, resulting in a more aromatic wine with more elegance and purity than power, a style that I very much adore. Sweet dark berries with aromatic Vosne Romanee spices and floral tones. Lifted nose with great mouthfeel. Transparent minerality with a graceful finish. Bravo. (94-96/100)

Bonus Bottles

Vosne Romanee 2017

A flamboyant portrait of Vosne Romanee with fragrant whole cluster scents and sweet spices. Honest village weight with very charming rose petal and spices. The Vosne Romanee is a blend of 3 plots in Vosne Romanee: Les Communes, Les Saules, and Bossieres. (87/100)

Vosne Romanee 1er Cru Les Chaumes 2016

Slightly richer and more extracted than the 2017 Vosne Romanee next to it. Dark fruited with fine rose petal spices and hints of green stems. Lovely phenolic ripeness with minerality. A step up in weight compared to 2017 but more reserved. (88-89/100)

Vosne Romanee 1er Cru Les Suchots 2015

Dark fruited with high phenolic ripeness, showing the richness and intensity of this vintage. Intense dark fruits of blackberries and spiced cherry. Grand Cru intensity and weight with good backbone to age for the long haul. (90-91/100)

Charles Lachaux Bourgogne Aligote Les Champs d’Argent 2018

Aligote from Vosne Romanee that was biodynamically farmed, 42hl/ha. Good energy and brightness with juicy and ripe citrus fruits and mild white orchard fruits. Lovely texture for an Aligote with mild oak spices and creamy finish. Direct and expressive. (83-84/100)

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