ARNOUX - LACHAUX Nuits Saint Georges 2014
2014 Vintage Review from Vinous "The Consistently Delectable 2014 Red Burgundies" (Jan 2016): Pascal Lachaux described his estate's 2014s as "soft and round but fresh and pure." They finished their malolactic fermentations early (last January) and were racked in October. The wines were precocious from the start, according to Lachaux: "When we tasted them in the press, they tasted like wines in barrel. And when we sampled them in barrel, they tasted like wines after the racking."
Under the growing influence of his son Charles, Lachaux is doing steadily less extraction and cutting back on the use of new oak. But as it was difficult to purchase one-year-old barrels following the short crops of 2011, 2012 and 2013, Lachaux actually upped his percentage of new oak for his grand crus in 2014 in order to hold down the percentage for the rest of his wines.
Lachaux eliminated some rot at harvest time but noted that, thanks to grass between the rows, the percentage of rot was minimal and yields in 2014 were normal. There was some incidence of fruit affected by the Drosophila suzukii, but mostly in the younger vines where the berries were more likely to explode as they swelled with water.
Arnoux describes both 2014 and 2013 as "fresh and transparent, with the delicacy of Pinot." Incidentally, son Charles has been responsible for introducing a significant percentage of vendange entier in just the last few years here; no fewer than eight of the family's 2015s were vinified with 100% whole clusters. It was not too many years ago that Pascal Lachaux destemmed all of his fruit.