2011 DOMAINE ARNOUX-LACHAUX Chambolle Musigny Village

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Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux
2011
Chambolle-Musigny
Villages Red barrel
Score: 88-91
Tasted: Jan 14, 2013
Drink: 2016+
Issue: 49

Producer note: Note that this domaine used to be called Robert Arnoux. Pascal Lachaux describes 2011 as a vintage that "has turned out to be much better than we ever thought it might be. The growing season was all over the place and then right before the harvest I could see the signs of rot everywhere though we had almost none. I am convinced that our policy of allowing herbs and grasses to grow between rows saved us as it really pumps the nitrogen. The old timers had a saying that you shouldn't plow after the 14th of July and I'm convinced that they were right as this approach would allow grasses and the like to develop before the harvest. A lot of people in Vosne and Nuits plowed the week after the 14th and it really showed in their vineyards. While it sounds like an exaggeration, it's absolutely true that there were some vineyards near ours where the stench of rot was so bad that it smelled like vinegar. I honestly don't know how anyone made anything good with fruit like that. We began picking on the 3rd of September and we had almost no sorting work due to rot though there was some under ripe fruit that it was necessary to eliminate. The quality of what we brought in was excellent though there wasn't a lot of it as we were down about 30% relative to a normal crop. As to the wines, I really like this vintage as it has just enough of everything to be really good over the medium term." I have to agree with Lachaux that his '11s are truly special and while they're not going to make anyone forget his '10s, they really are lovely wines. The bottled '10s also appear to have turned out exceptionally well based on the limited sample size. (Paul M. Young Fine Wines, www.pywine.com, Los Angeles, CA, Michael Stephens/Vins Divins, www.divine-burgundy-wine.com, Beaune, France for the East Coast and Diva Beaune S.A.S., www.divawine.com, France for the West Coast; John Armit Wines, www.armit.co.uk, Berry Brothers & Rudd, www.bbr.com, Private Cellar Ltd., www.privatecellar.co.uk, Enotria Wine Cellars Ltd., www.enotria.co.uk, and Laytons, www.laytons.co.uk, Clarion Wines, www.clarionwines.co.uk, all UK).
Tasting note: A discreet touch of wood spice sets off very fresh and bright red pinot fruit that is both elegant and admirably pure. There is a lacy mouth feel to the quite finely detailed middle weight flavors that possess good precision and fine depth before terminating in a naturally sweet and sappy finish. Lovely juice.