Domaine de l’Arlot Nuits Saint Georges 1er Cru Cuvée Hors Ligne 2017
This is a new cuvée. The Clos des Forêts St. Georges is vinified in six or seven parcels according to the three terroirs mentioned above. In 2017 one of the ferments—showing richer tannin and more savoury nuance—looked substantially different enough to separate from the main cuvée. It’s a blend of two parcels of 50-plus-year-old vines, both mid-slope but from opposite ends of the Forêts; one from the Prémeaux side and one from the Nuits side. Fascinatingly, these terroirs have stood out before and were also bottled separately in the 1969 and 1978 vintages. These very similar blends were released under the name Hors Ligne (meaning something outside the norm) by l’Arlot’s predecessor, Domaine Jules Belin. Geraldine Godot decided to draw on this history and so we have this special release of only 3000 bottles, the one tank. It will be made only in years where this tank shows unique character—there will be no 2018 for example.
In the end the ’17 Hors Ligne was with vinified with 75% whole bunches and raised with 50% new oak. It’s a more savoury, complex and earthier expression of the Clos with similar red fruit purity but more perfume intensity, tannin and sappy complexity than the Clos des Forêts proper. Again the notes below sum it up well.
“The Nuits Saint-Georges Clos des Forêts-Saint-Georges is excellent, but the eye-opener for me is their maiden cuvée: Nuits Saint-Georges Cuvée Hors Ligne. I was quite smitten by this new addition, especially in terms of its mineral expression and structure… The maiden 2017 Nuits Saint-Georges Clos des Forêts Cuvée Hors Ligne 1er Cru contains 75% whole clusters, although frankly, it seems half that. The knockout bouquet of black cherries, raspberry coulis and minerals is more floral than the regular cuvée. The palate is very well balanced, displaying fine mineralité and good tension. Quite dense and unquestionably more sinewy than the regular cuvée toward the finish. Superb.”93-95 PointsVinous
“This is really quite aromatically pretty with its well-layered and very fresh array of various red and dark berries that is cut with plenty of earth, game and floral whiffs. There is equally good freshness and verve to the rich and relatively full-bodied flavors that evidence solid power on the more structured and youthfully austere if compact finish where a hint of bitter cherry character arises. This built-to-age effort is going to require extended patience if you wish to enjoy it at its peak.”93 PointsBurghound Issue 77