We had a wonderful tasting and chat with Cyprien Arlaud, estate owner (one of 3 siblings) and a strong believer in Biodynamic wine making practices.
The domaine was created by Joseph Arlaud, originally from the Ardèche, in the years after World War 2. He was succeeded by his son Hervé, today retired, and he has handed over the running of his estate to his 3 children. Cyprien has been there since 1998 and has the sole responsibility of the domaine. He is helped by his brother Romain since 2004 and his sister Bertille, manages two Auxois horses used to plough four hectares of their own vineyards and a similar amount for other domaines.
The farming of their 15-hectare estate has been organic since 2004 and bio-dynamic since 2009. Their treatment consists of Corn manure, silicium, compost and herbal plant treatments). By using this method, they hope to enable the soil and vines to regenerate giving the vineyard better balance and also the wines.
Since 2014 all their wines are certified organic and biodynamic.
The Arlauds have retained an attractive cellar in NSG, but the vinification and élevage take place in modern cellars below the main road in Morey-Saint-Denis.
Cyprien Arlaud’s techniques might be described as “modern-classic”: vibrating sorting table, 100 % destalking, cool pre-maceration, pumping over and a varying proportion of new wood: from 20% for village wines to between 40% (Clos de la Roche) and 100% (Clos Saint Denis) for the grand crus.
Bonnes Mares Grand Cru – The holding is practically in the centre of Bonnes Mares in a narrow strip, the top part of which is “terres blanches” and the remainder is the more characteristic “terres rouges”. Both barrels are new oak.
Charmes-Chambertin – The Arlauds have one holding in the lower and less distinguished part of Mazoyères-Chambertin, but the good news is that this only accounts for 0.20 hectares, whereas their much better-placed vines which lie along the Route des Grands Crus next to Latricière-Chambertin cover a whole hectare. The two together make a wonderful Charmes.
Clos-de-la Roche grand Cru – The small Arlaud holding is in the Mochamps part of Clos de la Roche. To make great wine year in, year out, Cyprien feels that they would need to have wines spread across other parts of Clos de la Roche as well, but nonetheless this wine has impressive finesse and persistence.
Clos Saint Denis Grand Cru – Here the Arlaud vines are in the heart of the cru, and this shows in noticeably greater density of fruit than the Clos de la Roche. The concentration of fruit justifies 100% new wood.