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Average critic rating : 91.0 points
Black raspberry, cassis, and dark chocolate – at one and the same time sweeter yet also more bitterly intense than that displayed in Lachaux’s other wines of the vintage – are allied on the nose and palate of Arnoux 2008 Vosne-Romanee Les Suchots to game and to soy-like, saline savor whose contribution by way of counterpoint is certainly welcome. This formidably dense, decidedly low-toned expression of Suchots displays equally striking persistence and even firmer grip than the corresponding Reignots, but not the same energy or – for now at least - complexity. I would expect it to require 5-6 years of cellaring and if all goes well to enjoy an equal period of optimum drinking, but don’t look for charm (or titillation – unless domination-by-Pinot is what turns you on). Perhaps tellingly, Lachaux served this 2008 before any of his grand cru bottlings, rather than in its more usual, penultimate position in his line-up. ||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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