Domaine de l’Arlot, Romanée-Saint-Vivant, Grand Cru 2020


Domaine de l’Arlot, Romanée-Saint-Vivant, Grand Cru 2020


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“Offering up aromas of cherries, cassis, sweet spices, rose petals and loamy soil, the 2020 Romanée-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru is full-bodied, rich and concentrated, with an ample, layered mid-palate that only partially conceals an imposing chassis of rich, chewy tannins.”-(92-94)WA

2 kilometres to the south of Nuits Saint Georges, the Domaine de l’Arlot is a telling example of a long-lasting old Côte de Nuits Burgundian property.

Old archives recall the presence of Jean-Charles Vienot, heir, from a long line of Burgundians and owner of a house and vines at the end of the eighteenth century in the village of Prémeaux. He was an enterprising man who built a wall around the domaine and thus created the Clos de l’Arlot.

In 1891, the property was sold to a wine merchant, Jules Belin, who enlarged the estate through his purchase of the Clos des Forêts Saint Georges and the Clos du Chapeau, the whole of which went to form the Domaine de l’Arlot. His heirs transferred the buildings and vines to AXA Millésimes almost a century later, at the beginning of 1987. Since then, AXA Millésimes has acquired two vineyards: Vosne Romanée Les Suchots 1er Cru and the Grand Cru vineyard Romanée Saint Vivant. Chambers & Chambers has proudly represented this outstanding Burgundy estate since then.

Jean-Pierre de Smet defined the winemaking style at Domaine de L’Arlot with his philosophy that “the more one knows, the less one interferes.” In 2002, he brought biodynamic farming to the domaine and even cured the wood that would eventually be made into the estate’s barrels. Jean-Pierre retired in 2007 turning over the estate to Olivier Leriche, who followed the same philosophy and believed that every decision has to “respect the soil, respect the plants, and ensure that both are in harmony with the environment.”

In August of 2011, Jacques Devauges (formerly at Domaine de la Vougeraie, Maison Frédéric Magnien, & Domaine Michel Magnien in Morey Saint-Denis) joined the team as winemaker. Though Jacques’ wines revealed slight stylistic differences from those of Olivier (Jacques uses less whole cluster, and when possible, picks at slightly riper levels to give the wines extra density), his overall goal has been to maintain the style of the domaine.

At last, in September of 2014, Burgundy-born Géraldine Godot stepped up as Technical Director of the estate. She has a Master’s degree in cellular biology and is an oenologist of the Jules-Guyot Institute in Dijon. Not many changes were introduced, as Godot is committed to maintaining the “less-is-more” approach to winemaking that has been the core of the winery’s identity through all these years.

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