Domaine Arnoux Lachaux
Since 1858, five generations of the Lachaux family have nurtured this 14.5 hectare estate which produces 15 of the finest Côte de Nuits appellations : Vosne-Romanée, Clos-de-Vougeot, Nuits-Saint-Georges, Chambolle-Musigny, Echezaux, Romanée-Saint-Vivant.
The founders of the Arnoux-Lachaux estate (formerly Domaine Robert Arnoux), Charles Arnoux and Renée Salbreux, were both from winegrowing families in Vosne-Romanée.
Their son, Robert, took over the estate in 1957 at the age of 26 when Charles Arnoux passed away. Despite a difficult post-war economic environment, he began marketing wine in bottles. Assisted by his wife, Clotilde Truchetet, with whom he had three daughters (Muriel, Janique and Florence), he developed the business by acquiring various parcels of vines. In 1987, Pascal Lachaux, hailing from Beaune, married Florence Arnoux and learned the trade from his father-in-law. They worked as a family from 1987 until Robert Arnoux passed away in 1995. Since then, the couple have taken charge of the estate and have continuously been involved in the development of the operation by renovating the cellars, building a new fermentation room and investing in the vineyards including the recent purchase in 2008 of Latricières-Chambertin. In October 2011, Charles, the eldest of their three sons, joined them in the operation of the estate.
Pascal Lachaux, the head of the estate, is passionate about the land and respectful of the organic life of the soil. He is in constant quest of purity and balance in his wines. Maceration takes place over 3 to 4 weeks. Ageing in oak barrels, from 30 to 100% new oak depending on the appellations and vintages. Precision vinification process, controlled temperatures. The various wines produced at the estate can be enjoyed young and will keep for several years.
A note from Alex Dale: Even in the most established and prestigious of wine regions, generational renewal brings about a shift in the pecking-order of Producers. As Burgundy has, over the past generation, shifted to biodynamic & organic viticulture and winemaking, there has been a surge in new generational leaders across the Domaines of Burgundy. Some big names are being left behind while some previous under-performers or newcomers are searing ahead. Domaine Arnoux Lachaux has hovered around the surface populated by the top Domaines of Burgundy for a couple of generations now. But it is with the emergence of Charles Lachaux as head of the winemaking family, in the mid-2000’s, that this Domaine has pushed itself to the peloton leading the race. Charles’ wines are some of the most refined and purest of the past decade to emerge from the Cotes de Nuits, home of the greatest red Burgundies and the finest Pinot Noirs, if not the finest red wines in the world. While their Grand Cru wines fetch increasingly astronomical prices, the iconic Vosne Romanée 1er Cru vineyards from Arnoux Lachaux are what I recommend to invest in, as they remain comparatively reasonably priced, compared to some of the older generation, big names, various of which do not reach the same incredibly high standards today.