2012 Morey St Denis Les Millandes Herve Arlaud

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Average critic rating : 90.0 points



The 2012 Morey Saint Denis 1er Cru Millandes is one of best 2012s from the domaine this year. From their 0.41 hectares of vines, it is endowed with a floral bouquet: dried petals infusing the red fruit profile. Again, this is backwards and taut, yet with encouragement it begins to show just how much energy is coiled inside. The palate is medium-bodied with well-integrated oak. It has a smooth velvety texture and a harmonious long finish. It perhaps just needs to develop a little more tension, but otherwise this is outstanding. ||After scheduling and re-scheduling numerous times during my November tastings, I finally reached Domaine Arlaud Pere & Fils for the first time in late January. But good things come to those that wait and I found much to admire in Cyprien Arlaud’s 2012s. The origin of the estate dates back to a wedding in 1949 when Joseph Arlaud married Renee Amiot. Among the wedding presents were tracts of vineyard, which is always more useful than a toaster or an ornamental clock. Joseph was succeeded by Herve Arlaud in 1982 and invested in new vineyards and the estate has now been passed to his three children: Cyprien, Romain and Bertille. The domaine has eschewed herbicides since 1999 and transferred the vineyards to organic viticulture in 2004, certified three years later. Naturally (no pun intended) they started embracing biodynamics in 2009, including the use of horses in the vineyard to reduce soil compaction. The winery was constructed in 2003 in Morey-Saint-Denis, on the “other side” of the RN74 away from the village, a less picturesque part of the appellation for sure, but with much more space to work in. The fruit is de-stemmed although Cyprien does play with whole cluster fruit subject to the growing season. Natural yeasts are used during alcoholic fermentation and oak tends to be 15-20% for village crus up to 40-80% for grand crus. When I visited the winery, it was after a long day tasting, but even so my senses lit up when I sipped the first sample. Here are wines made in a very pure and natural style, each evocative of their respective terroirs. Each wine was imbued with superb freshness and delineation; occasionally evoking images of the sea, at other times flowers. Cyprien explained how they wait for the optimal moment to harvest their vines, which can differ by days between different crus within the same appellation (see note for “Les Ruchots”.) Wine Advocate.February, 2014

Herve Arlaud took over from his father in 1984 and in 1998 his first son joined him in the vineyards, since added to by another son and daughter, a true family business. Despite being the manager both in the vineyard and winery of Domaine Herve Arlaud, he has found the time to extend the holdings to the current 15 hectares that covers 19 appellations including the grands crus Clos de la Roche, Clos Saint Denis, Charmes Chambertin and Bonnes Mares. Since 1998 all these plots follow “lutte raisonnee” farming methods and they also have two horses to cultivate the vineyards. The domain is situated in the commune of Morey St Denis, with cellars at Nuits st Georges dating back to 14th C. where the older vintages are stored.

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