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THE DOMAINE

Domaine de l’Arlot is a 14 hectare property in the commune of Prémeaux, just south of the town of Nuits-Saint-Georges. Over the past seven years, Technical Director Géraldine Godot has established herself as a name to watch in the region.

Domaine de L'Arlot En Primeur 2020

The domaine is owned by AXA Millésimes, the wine division of the insurance company, as part of a portfolio which also includes Quinta do Noval in the Douro and the Bordeaux Châteaux Pichon-Baron, Petit-Village and Suduiraut.

Jean-Pierre de Smet ran the domaine for almost two decades, handing control to Christian Seely in 2007. The wines were then made by Olivier Leriche (2007-2011), Jacques Devauges (2011-2014) and since 2014, Géraldine Godot.

The flagship wines are the red and white from Clos de l’Arlot and the red Clos des Forêts Saint-Georges, both Nuits-Saint-Georges 1ers Crus Monopoles. Clos de l’Arlot is adjacent to the domaine itself, in Prémeaux-Prissey, while Clos des Forêts is further north.

As of this vintage, Clos du Chapeau and the whites are bottled using Diam technical corks.

THE WINES

Domaine de L'Arlot En Primeur 2020

THE 2020 VINTAGE AT DOMAINE DE L’ARLOT

"One word for this vintage: freshness"
Géraldine Godot, Domaine de l’Arlot

Géraldine Godot stressed 2020 was cooler than 2019, with no heatwaves. Spring was warm, meaning the vines started to grow very early, from late February. A precocious harvest was therefore expected from the outset.

Flowering was early. There was some oidium pressure but no serious threats. Windy weather also kept the berries healthy. Harvest fell entirely in August – the only time other than 2003 that this has been the case here. The wines have higher acidity than Géraldine originally expected – 2020 really does not have the stamp of a ‘warm vintage’.

Alongside high fruit ripeness and fresh acidity, tannin levels are high – there is a lot of matter for graceful ageing. In the cellar, once élevage was underway, the character of a classical Burgundy vintage emerged. Around a half-to-two-thirds whole-bunch fermentation was used for the top reds in 2020, making for aromatically enticing young wines.

NUITS-SAINT-GEORGES BLANC LA GERBOTTE

This comes from the vines behind the domaine (beside the swimming pool!), planted in 1992 and 1993. It is a voluntarily declassified premier cru although it could form part of Clos de l’Arlot Blanc. Grown on white limestone, which is evident on the chalky mineral palate. It is fermented in barrel before being aged in just under 20% new oak. Bright, white peach aromas. Rich and open on the palate, with white flowers and a little honeysuckle.

Corney & Barrow Score 17.5
Recommended drinking from 2023–2027


£325/CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK

NUITS-SAINT-GEORGES BLANC 1ER CRU CLOS DE L’ARLOT MONOPOLE

There are two hectares of Chardonnay planted in Clos de l’Arlot. This is from grapes grown on the steeply sloping amphitheatre, a site which provides structure. Pink limestone, which contributes to this wine’s exuberant, broad, long-ageing character. 20% new oak. Flinty mineral, struck match aromas. The palate is gratifyingly dense, with almost chewable apricot and pineapple, a steely core of balancing acidity and a characteristic phenolic creaminess.

Corney & Barrow Score 18
Recommended drinking from 2024–2029


£545/CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK
Domaine de L'Arlot En Primeur 2020

THE 2020 VINTAGE AT DOMAINE DE L’ARLOT

"One word for this vintage: freshness"
Géraldine Godot, Domaine de l’Arlot

During our tasting at the domaine, Géraldine Godot stressed 2020 was not as warm as 2019, instead being “normal”, more stable, and without heatwaves. Spring was warm, meaning the vines started to grow very early, from late February.

The domaine therefore expected an early harvest from the outset and the team were worried about the lack of pickers at the height of Covid. As a last resort, Géraldine reserved a mechanical harvester. Although it was never used, this gives an idea of both her preparedness and the extent of the problem during this most unusual of periods.

Flowering was early. There was some oidium pressure but no serious threats. Windy weather also kept the berries healthy. Harvest fell entirely in August – the only time other than 2003 that this has been the case here.The wines have higher acidity than expected, demonstrating how 2020 does not have the stamp of a ‘warm vintage’, such as 2019.

As well as high fruit ripeness, Géraldine pointed out that acidity was concentrated and tannin levels were high. The wines were apparently very difficult to taste until the beginning of élevage, but the character of a classical Burgundy vintage was thereafter revealed. There is a good proportion of whole-bunch fermentation here in 2020, making for aromatically enticing young wines. As of the 2020 vintage, Clos du Chapeau and the whites are bottled using Diam technical corks.

CÔTE DE NUITS-VILLAGES CLOS DU CHAPEAU

This comes from 1.5 hectares of vines in Comblanchien, on the plain. Lovely whole-bunch spice on the nose here, with bright raspberry fruit. The palate is very pure, red berried and with a creamy density, with a supple fruit-coating to the tannins. 35% whole-bunch fermentation. 14% abv.

Corney & Barrow Score 17
Recommended drinking from 2022–2027


£195/CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK

NUITS-SAINT-GEORGES 1ER CRU, MONT DES OISEAUX

This plot is located inside the Clos de l’Arlot vineyard, at the top of the slope. It is named after the little passageway at the top of the vineyard, from which you can hear birdsong. The vines are around 20 years old. It is the wine that used to be called Le Petit Arlot, which has now reached an age to be worthy of premier cru status. Deep, bright ruby. Dark berry aromas, intense and liquorice-laden, with bitter chocolate. The palate is assertively grippy, but the tannins are fine and work beautifully with the redcurrant. All destemmed.

Corney & Barrow Score 17.5+
Recommended drinking from 2022–2031


£350/CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK

NUITS-SAINT-GEORGES 1ER CRU, CLOS DE L’ARLOT MONOPOLE

There are two hectares of Pinot Noir grapes here, alongside the two of white, planted on marl. Clos de l’Arlot is adjacent to Domaine Mugnier’s Clos de la Maréchale, both having prominent signage which you pass on the Route Nationale. Blackberries, very pure, with whole bunch sappiness and spice – from which, as Geraldine Godot says, comes a sense of bitterness. Salty minerality too. 50% new oak. 69% whole-bunch fermentation.

Corney & Barrow Score 18
Recommended drinking from 2022–2032+


£475/CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK

NUITS-SAINT-GEORGES 1ER CRU CLOS DES FORÊTS SAINT-GEORGES MONOPOLE

Clos des Forêts Saint-Georges is a 7.2 hectare monopole, owned exclusively by Domaine de l’Arlot. Whilst Clos de l’Arlot is from Prémeaux, this is a ‘proper’ Nuits-Saint-Georges – more deeply coloured and more immediately expressive, versus the more ephemeral style of Prémeaux. Darker, forest fruit aromas, with bitter cherry and dark chocolate. The palate is powerful and energetic, with liquorice and firm, grippy tannins, and a sweetness of ripe black fruit. 45% whole-bunch fermentation, 50% new oak.

Corney & Barrow Score 17.5 - 18
Recommended drinking from 2026–2038


£475/CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK

VOSNE-ROMANÉE 1ER CRU LES SUCHOTS

Raspberries, wild strawberries, incense and tea leaf spice – this is as beautiful aromatically as you would hope. The palate is cool and focused on the entry, lots of matter here, which is currently tightly packed but slowly unwinds to reveal the most charming red-fruited perfume, with rose petals. 66% whole-bunch fermentation. 10 barrels were made.

Corney & Barrow Score 18
Recommended drinking from 2025–2035


£755/CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK

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