The first known existence of this domaine came in the late 1800s when Jean-Charles Vienot, who was an heir to a long line of Burgundians, built a wall around a property in Nuits St. Georges to establish Clos de l’Arlot. Officially, in 1891 the property was sold to wine merchant Jules Belin who then expanded the domaine holdings with the acquisitions of Clos des Forêts Saint Georges Monopole and vines in Clos du Chapeau.
The next time the property changed hands was in 1987 to current owners AXA Millésimes, which has several more top names in their portfolio including Château Pichon Lalande in Bordeaux, Château Suduiraut in Sauternes, Quinta do Noval in Portugal, and the Disznók? vineyard in Tokaj, Hungary. AXA added two more vineyards to the l’Arlot holdings with the 1er Cru ‘Suchots’ in Vosne Romanée and the Grand Cru of Romanée St Vivant.
Domaine de l’Arlot established their mark with the hiring of Jean-Pierre de Smet who managed the property for 20 years, finally retiring in 2007. Organic since 2000 and biodynamic since 2003, the basic rule of winemaking “is to intervene at just the right moments, and as little as possible in the birth of the wine.” Harvest is performed by hand with bunches sorted first on the vine, then before entering the vathouse. Whole cluster fermentation contributes to the elegance and all decisions thereafter are made to extract delicately and influence at a minimum.
This is one of the top producers from Nuits St. Georges, running parallel with the likes of Henri Gouges and Robert Chevillon. When it comes to the Grand Cru Romanée St. Vivant, for their level of quality, l'Arlot is very affordable, if not underpriced considering the prices of the other producers who own vines in that same vineyard. DRC, Leroy, Dujac, and Sylvain Cathiard all sell in the four-digit range, plus or minus a few hundred dollars...usually plus!