2008 Clos Vougeot Robert Arnoux

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Average critic rating : 90.0 points



From his single parcel in this cru of 50 year old vines against the wall separating it from Grands Echezeaux, the Arnoux 2008 Clos Vougeot proves to be another reservoir of dark berries and even darker chocolate and licorice. Dark, dense, and overtly tannic, this formidably gripping Clos Vougeot – which Lachaux says he considers especially successful – is relatively opaque, with a sense of crushed stone adding to the relative sense of austerity with which it finishes. I would plan on anticipating this needing at least half a dozen years in the cellar if one wants to bet on it. ||I tasted Pascal Lachaux’s 2008s soon after their late-January bottling, and a few of them may have been suffering from trauma they thereby sustained, but on the whole this was an impressive if darkly-hued and unapologetically firmly-structured collection. Lachaux reports that his malos were “on time, normal,” and adds “the truth about 2008 and why the malos were so often retarded is that people sulfured the fruit too heavily at the advice of their enologues.” Even at bottling, Lachaux reports that he was sparing with sulfur and expected to take advantage of the high levels of residual CO2 in his 2008s. He says he allowed temperatures to rise during the fermentation as a means of extracting more flavor without having to actively work the cap and in consequence risk pulling out green flavors or hard tannins. This approach may explain the particularly low-toned personality of this 2008 collection, which certainly didn’t leave me wishing that the wines had sustained additional pigeage! If the number of magnums I saw is any indication, Lachaux seriously intends on putting to the test his confidence in this vintage’s aging potential. Yet he is also very keen on his 2007s, those of which I tasted from bottle were indeed impressive, though I seem even in this instance to be missing what those growers most enamored of their 2007s profess to perceive. Wine Advocate.June, 2010

Domaine Robert Arnoux covers 12 hectares and 16 appellations and since 1995 it has been run by Pascal Lachaux, 5th generation and son-in-law to Robert Arnoux. Quality levels have gone up and up at this property and despite the new cuverie methods used are traditional such as working to an organic and biodynamic approach in the vineyards, even if not going for certification. 100% of grapes are destemmed followed by cold maceration then vinification takes place using natural yeast over 15 to 22 days and there is no fining or filtering. For maturation, villages wines receive 35% new wood barrels, 50 to 60% for 1ers crus and 100% for the top cuvées.

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