Domaine De L'Arlot Nuits Saint Georges 1er Cru Rouge Clos Des Forêts Saint Georges 2011
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When a vineyard solely owned by one company only uses grapes from their oldest vines, you can be sure of two things:
1. It won’t often be seen in terms of label.
2. When you do see it, you should snap it up.
We’d been buying from the Domaine de l’Arlot since it was established by Jean-Pierre de Smet in 1987 - making it an infant in Burgundy terms but already a star.
Their exceptionally long-lived bottles have always been close to our heart - only last year I was lucky enough to share a superb 1992 Clos des Forets St Georges.
The relatively low visibility of Domaine de l’Arlot’s wines is due in part to the vineyard’s ‘Monopole’ status, being wholly owned by the AXA Insurance Company.
In October 2015, we were privileged to travel to the estate to meet the charming new winemaker, Geraldine Godot - an intelligent and informative expert, with a clear idea of the direction she wanted to take.
Subregion: Côte De Nuits, Nuits-Saint-Georges
Grape Variety: Pinot Noir
Bottle Size: 75cl
Closure: Natural cork
Style: A special treat
Drink With: Gigot d’agneau rôti
We didn’t taste this 2011 wine on the premises, instead taking our lead from the locals and enjoying it with lunch at the Castel Tres Gerard restaurant in Morey St Denis - guinea fowl in a cream and wild mushroom sauce for me.
Although Domaine de l’Arlot’s stems go into the fermenting vat with the grapes and can take some of the colour from the wine (but none of the power), this was still a beautiful bright ruby hue.
Black fruits really dominated the aromas but there were additional notes of spice and leather, together with some animal hints.
It developed superbly with some oxygen and the bold, fruity flavours on the palate were perfectly balanced by smooth, silky tannins.
The 2011 Nuits St Georges 1er Cru Clos des Forets St Georges is still in the early stages of its life, so patience will pay for those who wait - but like me, you will certainly get great enjoyment from it now.
Roger Barlow, Jan 2017.