Domaine de l’Arlot Nuits-Saint-Georges ‘1er Cru Clos des Forêts Saint Georges’ Monopole 2016

Tasting the 2015’s last year I was impressed by the finer points, the texture, the finesse, the core of fruit the wines had. By all account 2016 steps up again for the Domain. I’m looking forward to trying this!

With its well-defined character, this wine perfectly illustrates the identity of the Nuits Saint Georges vineyard. Complex aromas of blackcurrant mingled with spicy blackberry are revealed on the nose with, depending on the vintage, darker notes of liquorice and leather. The well-built mouth affirms itself with density and strength around a tight structure with rich, well-wrapped tannins. It becomes increasingly seductive over time, which comes from the elegance, intensity and purity of the fruit.


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Why is this Wine so Yummy?

About Domaine de l’Arlot

Domaine de l’Arlot, with its hillside vineyards and 19th century gardens, has what many consider to be the most beautiful estate in Burgundy. Since the late 1980s this producer has also been responsible for some of the prettiest red Burgundies going around. The perfume, silkiness and flickering clarity of these wines is born of the l’Arlot vineyards, and the Prémeaux terroir in general. Prémeaux has always stood apart from the rest of Nuits-Saint-Georges and made wines that are altogether more fine and elegant than those produced further North, around the town itself. L’Arlot brings the finesse of this terroir to the fore with their approach to wine growing and élevage. Biodynamic farming, perfect, well-sorted fruit, gentle extraction and whole bunch use, all play their part. Every step, from vineyard to bottle, is tailored to underline purity and finesse.

2014 was Jacques Devauges’s last year as winemaker, (before he was headhunted by the great Sylvain Pitiot for the role of Clos du Tart’s new régisseur), and Géraldine Godot’s first. The pair worked together at harvest time, with Géraldine assuming control over the élevage prior to bottling. To her credit, Godot refuses to accept any plaudits for the quality of Arlot’s ’14 wines.  The plaudits can wait. The energy and dynamism Géraldine Godot is bringing to Domaine de l’Arlot is palpable.

“This was an impressive set of wines, less flamboyant and fruit driven than the previous vintage, more linear and structured with graphite notes often cropping up on the finish. The Clos des Fôrets is among the best within the appellation… Also keep an eye on the excellent whites, especially the La Gerbotte Blanc that should represent great value.” Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate

Vintage 2016 for Domaine de l’Arlot

The 2016 harvest was again a shocker for frost damage. It was Géraldine Godot’s second vintage at l’Arlot and it could hardly have been more challenging. And yet such is the quality that you can almost forgive the season’s frost for devastating the yields at this storied Domaine. Almost. In 2016 severe frost damage in Prémeaux and Nuits-St-Georges wiped out almost 70% of the l’Arlot crop. The final yields were around 12 hl/ha! How much this reduction in yield led to the exceptional quality in the glass is anyone’s guess. All we know is that Godot’s pickers brought in approximately one-third of an average vintage and that the wines are superb. Thankfully, because of the small release l‘Arlot decided to hold back a parcel of their 2015s—Clos du Chapeau, Mont des Oiseaux and Clos des Forêts—to offer alongside the much-depleted range of 2016s. We offer these below, and should also note that there is no Mont des Oiseaux from 2016 (the top parcel of the Clos de l’Arlot). There simply wasn’t enough fruit to make a separate cuvée.

Although the volumes are slight, the quality of the wines is truly outstanding. With such small batches of concentrated fruit Godot has demonstrated just how judicious a winemaker she is—Géraldine increased the percentage of whole bunches where it was necessary to fill the fermenters and extracted very gently, leaving only the finest tannins from the thick skins. Without such restraint, the Prémeaux and Nuits-St-Georges cuvées could have been over-the-top powerful; instead, they offer depth with wonderful finesse. As good as the reds are, the white wines deserve special mention this year. Don’t overlook them—they are stunning. 2016 is a tremendously exciting vintage in Burgundy (not for quantity, but for quality).

Vintages come and go, and no two are alike. The winter of 2015-16 was the warmest since 1900. The seasons were displaced, with winter temperatures arriving in March, three months late. The night of 26 to 27 April was a turning point: frost struck the shoots and first leaves. After abundant rainfall during the first six months, summer arrived in July and the onset of ripening began in mid-August with conditions that were at last dry, allowing the grapes to finish maturing in September.

Where in the World is Domaine de l’Arlot?

Based in Premeaux-Prissey just to the south of Nuits-Saint-Georges, the Domaine also produces two wines from Vosne-Romanée, the 1er Cru Les Suchots and Grand Cru Romanée-Saint-Vivant. This particular wine is a monopole produced only by the Domaine and no other.

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91-94 Points

♥ Outstanding. Here too the nose is overtly floral in character though relative to the Suchots the dark berry fruit aromas are much earthier and decidedly less spicy. The sleekly muscular, intense and broad-shouldered flavors possess outstanding mid-palate density and power before culminating in a robust, firmly structured and wonderfully complex finale. This is a classically styled Nuits that is very definitely built-to-age and one that is definitely going to need it.

Allen Meadows, Burghound, Issue #69

93-95 Points

The 2016 Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Suchots includes 100% whole cluster with 50% new oak. It has a refined, elegant, mild-mannered bouquet with pure raspberry preserve, cranberry and subtle tobacco scents that unroll with aeration, though never quite delivering the opulence synonymous with the premier cru. The palate is medium-bodied with a gentle but insistent grip on the entry. In some ways, the whole bunch addition lends this structure and shifts it toward, say, a Malconsorts in style (not to suggest that is necessarily a bad thing!). Linear and precise, it will require 7 to 10 years in bottle to really show its best. The bottom line is that this is one of the finest Les Suchots that I tasted in 2016.

Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate, Issue #234

Domaine de l'Arlot

Clos des Forêts Saint Georges 2016 reveals a precise bouquet of exquisite aromas of wild strawberries, cranberries, wild berries and a hint of graphite. Discreet at first, it reveals itself when it is aired in the glass. The palate is modestly full-bodied with fine tannins, offering a lively and linear sensation, with delicate depth. Notes of red fruits on the nose give way to black fruits on the palate, followed by a slight hint of graphite. Beautifully energetic, robust and elegant, this rich vintage promises to age well for several decades.

Géraldine Godot

Where in the world does the magic happen?

Domaine de l'Arlot, Premeaux-Prissey, France