The Growers > Domaine de l'Arlot

Domaine de l’Arlot has a rare thing: eleven hectares of monopole vineyards. These consist of two 1ers crus at the southern end of Nuits-Saint-Georges – the seven-hectare Clos-des-Forêts, and the four-hectare Clos de l’Arlot. Before the adventurous Jean-Pierre de Smet created the domaine – with financial support from AXA in 1987 – the wines were rustic. But with the help of the team from Domaine Dujac, where he learned to make wine, and assisted by his number two, Didier Fornerol, quality rapidly improved, and the domaine quickly became internationally recognised. Howard Ripley had the privilege of being their first ever customer and is the proud possessor of Facture No. 1.

Along the way, the domaine acquired vineyards in Vosne: some 1er cru Les Suchots, and a tiny parcel of Romanée Saint-Vivant. The Clos de l’Arlot also produces rare – and delicious – white Côte de Nuits, one of whose distinguishing characteristics (something even rarer) is never suffering from premature oxidation. In 1999 Jean-Pierre was joined by Olivier Leriche, who took over completely in 2006 and left in 2011 to start his own domaine in the Ardèche. Géraldine Godot assumed control in 2014.

The wines are not the sturdy, tannic Nuits of popular imagination. From the beginning, a high proportion of whole-bunch fermentation was used, the fruit and musts were handled with the utmost care, and the result is delicate, perfumed wines that are approachable young but have great staying power.

Géraldine was very happy with the 2017s. The growing season was perfect, with just the right amount of rain at the right time for plant growth. Towards the end of August, the sugars in the grapes were ripe, but the acidity was not, so she waited until 7th September to begin harvesting. The wines are fresh, well defined and elegant.

The wines