Echezeaux Grand Cru
Domaine Arnoux Lachaux
Previously Domaine Robert Arnoux, the estate was founded in 1858. Today, it is run by Charles Lachaux, representing the family's sixth generation. Despite, or perhaps because of, his youth, Charles is crystal-clear in his aspirations and objectives. The vineyard is virtually everything here, complemented in the cellar by restrained oak use and some whole cluster fermentation.
Charles makes no secret of being a disciple of Lalou Bize-Leroy, leaving the vines' shoots to grow longer than usual, in tune with their natural vigour. “We don’t want to be traditional; we don’t want to be modern.” The estate is 14.5 hectares, all planted to Pinot Noir, spread over six villages and 15 terroirs. These comprise four grands crus, five premiers crus, five villages and a regional level wine, the excellent ‘Pinot Fin’.
Most of the village wines are 70% whole cluster, and beyond this everything is pretty much 100%. For the whole cluster he just puts the grapes into the vat (the size will vary by the plot). After this, fermentation starts, and there’s no recipe for how this is managed: it is judged by taste. Usually, the wine is pressed off after 10-11 days, so there’s no cold pre-soak or post-ferment maceration. He’s also not keen on new oak, and uses 10% in the village wines, rising to a maximum of 30% in the Grand Crus.
Charles Lachaux said the wines in 2016 were made in the same way as he did with the 2015 vintage. Although not certified organic, the estate is around 90% organic. The village wines are aged in 10-12% new oak, 15-20% new oak for Premier Cru wines, 30% for Grand Cru wines, and no new oak on the Bourgogne. A mixture of foot-treading, punching down and pumping over is used. In my opinion, the wines here in 2016 are gentler in extraction than in 2015.
Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux owns 0.8 ha of Echezeaux in the Les Rouges du Bas dieu-dit. The 2016 Lachaux Echezeaux is expressive and showing lots of fruit charm.
PRESS AND REVIEWS
Jamie Goode – www.wineanorak.com 96/100
Juicy red fruits of currants, strawberries, dark cherry and exotic spices. The 100% whole cluster fermentation integrates nicely with the bright fruits. Great body and intensity, the tannins are more pronounced than most of the Premier crus. (92-93/100). – Jammy Wine,