Arlaud Père & Fils
Diverse terroirs and lacy winemaking
As we've been saying for several years now, Domaine Arlaud has undoubtedly gone from being a discreet family estate to a solid contender in the hierarchy of the major Côte de Nuits estates;
The very talented Cyprien Arlaud has been at the helm of the latter since 2013 and has launched major projects that have been bearing fruit for a few years now.
Recent vintages have been complex for all winegrowers. We had to work intelligently in the vineyard to conserve as much freshness as possible, then make the right choices during vinification to achieve complex balances. With 15 hectares of vines spread across the Côte de Nuits, 19 appellations and 4 Grand Crus, Cyprien Arlaud confirmed that he had definitely turned a corner. Domaine Arlaud is no longer a great hope, it is now, for us, a major estate.
But this success didn't happen by chance. The family embarked on major changes in the early 2000s. Already in the vineyard, they switched to organic farming in 2004, then to biodynamic viticulture in 2009. Since 2014, they have been certified by Biodyvin. Alongside her sister Cyprien, Bertille is in charge of tilling the soil with her two horses, Nougat and Oka, to avoid compacting the soil. All this is done with a view to respecting the terroir and transposing it to the cellar in the best possible way. Biodynamic viticulture has proved invaluable in this 2018 vintage, which is often plagued by imbalances.
Winemaking is Cyprien's part, and it's perhaps in this area that the evolution is most notable. Hand-picked, hand-sorted grapes, no crushing, natural fermentations, very little punching down. Thanks to this controlled process, the winemaker respects the integrity of the grapes as much as possible, to gain in finesse. As a result, the wines are much less extracted, the juices much more precise, the tannins finer and the oak much better integrated. In recent years, he has also opted for whole bunches (already used in part in previous vintages), and this is obviously an excellent idea that we applaud.
"The use of sulfur is extremely reasoned " adds Cyprien. "We don't add any other oenological products to guarantee the authenticity of the wines. They are then bottled without fining or filtration."