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Average critic rating : 90.0 points
The aromatic penetration of pure, sweet, ginger-tinged cherry and black raspberry fruit in l’Arlot’s 2007 Romanee Saint-Vivant tells you that it is in a class by itself among the estate’s wines of this vintage. It also musters ample dark and decadent site-typical elements – peat, damp bark, leather, and faded lily – which along with hints of caramel nicely compliment the sweetness of fruit on a long, soothing finish that barely betrays any residual sense of tannin. This should be worth following for ten or a dozen years; and despite its present generosity probably will gain from at least half a dozen years in bottle.||Olivier Leriche reports having harvested more robust material in 2008 than in 2007, but notes that a rigorous triage for rot was needed in each instance, and that he took the precaution of significantly reducing in both vintages his usual percentage of stems and whole clusters. Harvest in 2008 was relatively rapid, and concluded October 9, but Leriche notes that its progression was determined by the extent of botrytis incursions rather than by the parcels’ ripeness. The botrytis in 2008 was more insidious, he maintained – echoing comments of several other growers – and the sorting unusually arduous, in that it frequently affected individual berries within the clusters, while triage in 2007 more often consisted of either accepting or rejecting an entire, relatively uniformly healthy or botrytis-afflicted bunch. Surprisingly, several l’Arlot 2008s – Clos du Chapeau, Clos de l’Arlot, les Suchots – finished malo already their first winter; whereas others were protracted and erratic. I tasted the final assemblages just before they were sulfured and bottled, which Leriche – in common with quite a few Burgundy vintners – argues is the best time to taste red Burgundies until after they have had several years in bottle.||Numerous agents and U.S. importers including: Chambers & Chambers, San Francisco, CA; tel. (415) 642-5500, Classic Wine Imports, Norwood, MA, tel. (781) 352-1100, and a Daniel Johnnes Selection, imported by Michael Skurnik Wines, Syosset, NY; tel. (516) 677-9300 Wine Advocate.June, 2010
Organic since 2000 and biodynamic since 2003, the vineyards of Domaine de l'Arlot is rather unusually – for Burgundy – owned by insurance giant AXA. Located two km south of Nuits St. Georges, the domain covers around 14 hectares and was successfully set up by Lise Judet and Jean-Pierre De Smet, who worked under the great Jacques Seysses of Domaine Dujac before this project. Within the range of wines can be found rare white Nuits St. Georges, Romanée Saint Vivant and Vosne Romanée les Suchots. Wines are aged in about one third new wood and bottled unfiltered at 16-18 months for 1er crus. Christian Seely of AXA wines is the managing director and the reigns have since passed to Jacques Devauges to lead as technical director
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