Domaine de l’Arlot

Domaine de l’Arlot is a Burgundy producer based in Nuits Saint-Georges, right in the heart of the Côte de Nuits.

The estate is considered one of the most beautiful in Burgundy, featuring hillside vineyards and gardens dating back to the 19th century.

Since the early 1990s, Domaine de l’Arlot has been associated with some of the most beautiful Pinot Noir wines of Burgundy.

A Taste of Domaine de l’Arlot

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In the 18th century, Jean-Charles Vienot was a land and vineyard owner in the village of Prémeraux. It was Vienot who allegedly built the iconic wall around the plot, creating the Clos de l’Arlot and giving birth to the legacy of the Domaine.

In 1891, the property was bought by the wine merchant Jules Belin, who led the estate through a period of expansion, purchasing other plots, such as the Clos des Forêts Saint Georges and the Clos du Chapeau. The vineyards went on to form the Domaine de l’Arlot.

In 1987, the domaine was acquired by the insurance giant AXA. The estate itself was in a difficult condition at that time and one of the first actions put in place by the new owners was a strong replanting. As a consequence, it wasn’t until 1991 that Domaine de l’Arlot began again producing superb vintages in a consistently.

After their acquisition, AXA employed Jean Pierre de Smet as chief winemaker. Trained as an accountant, Smet is a somewhat unique character, having been both a professional skier and yachtsman. Until his retirement in 2006, he maintained a 50:50 partnership with AXA for the Domaine.

From 2014, Géraldine Godot has been the technical director of the estate and responsible for winemaking.

Domaine de l’Arlot has a vineyard area of around 14 hectares. A peculiarity of it is the fragmentation of the plots. The three most important are the monopoles, vineyards exclusively cultivated by the producer: Clos du Chapeau in Comblanchien, Clos des Forêts St Georges and Clos de l’Arlot, where the domaine is based.

In the early 1990s, a small portion of Romanée St Vivant and Vosne Romanée Les Suchots were also purchased, adding further prestige to the domaine.

Pinot Noir is the predominant grape, accounting for over 80% of total production, while Chardonnay makes up the rest.

The yearly production of Domaine de l’Arlot is around 60,000 bottles, of which 70% are exported outside France.

Geraldine Godot looks after winemaking at Domaine de l’Arlot. She brought her own style to the job, keeping extraction to a minimum and exposing the wines to new oak less to preserve the fruit. Still, core values of the domaine, such as biodynamic farming, perfect, well-sorted fruit and whole bunch use has remained untouched, with every step of the process is tailored to highlight purity and finesse.

The oldest vines in the Domaine de l’Arlot are over 70 years old, while the average is closer to 50.

Soil plays a key part in the final product, particularly the plot of Clos des Forêts. Because it stretches along an entire slope, each section of the plot is vinified separately to let the characteristic features of the soil shine. The richer, clay-heavy lower slopes produce high tone juicy from its limestone topsoil.

Stalks are retained as much as possible, according to a technique commonly called “full cluster”. This is particularly true for wines made from grapes of the Clos des Forêts monopoly.

Rémond is the copper manufacturing all the barrels of the estate, which are air dried for two to three years. For Clos de l’Arlot 40% new oak is used, which is slightly increased for Clos des Forêts and Romanée St Vivant.

The wines from Domaine de l’Arlot are renowned for being perfectly balanced, lightly coloured but intensely flavoured. Features, such as purity of fruit, grace and elegance, as opposed to muscle and power, have been highlighted by Andrew Jefford of The New France.

The Beauty & The Taste has selected for you a 2010 Domaine de L’Arlot Clos des Forets Saint-Georges, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru.