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Domaine Arnaud Ente is one of the hottest wine properties in Mersault today and arguably Burgundy's brightest rising star. Stylistically Arnaud's wines lie somewhere between the rich, generous, hedonistic style of Dominique Lafon and the linear, precise, mineral, citrus character of Coche Dury. Arnaud's family is originally from the north of France. His father married the daughter of Puligny vigneron Camille David and Arnaud was born in 1966. The vineyards from this connection are currently being exploited by Arnaud’s brother Benoit (and by an aunt who sells in bulk to negociants). While working at the legendary Coche Dury, Arnaud married Marie-Odile Thévenot in 1991 and the following year started work in Meursault, farming vineyards rented from his father-in-law, vigneron Phillipe Thévenot. During the 1990s Arnaud's wines attracted a lot of attention for their opulent style, due to his preference to pick late for maximum ripeness. Since 2000 the wines have displayed a more complex, naturally acidic style with enhanced minerality, which reflects the move to a programme of earlier picking. His wines are now amongst the very finest in the village. Arnaud's aim is to do the best possible job from the vineyards he has available to him. He currently exploits 4 hectares with a total workforce of four people: himself, his wife Marie-Odile and two employees. Few, if any, other domaines have as high a ratio of man hours per hectare. Arnaud is every bit as meticulous in the cellar as in the vineyard. The grapes are sometimes crushed before pressing in a hydraulic press, before the juice is settled and then put into barrel. Large 600 litre barrels are used for his Aligoté, Bourgogne Blanc and some of his regular Meursault cuvée. The rest is vinified and matured in normal barrels for the first year, without much emphasis on new oak. With the thoughtfulness for which Arnaud is known, the percentage of new wood barrels used for his top wines has dropped from 35% to 20% and a variety of different barrel types are now used to increase the complexity of the final wines. The white grapes are usually crushed, though not always, before pressing. The must is left to settle for 24 hours then the clear juice and fine lees are put in barrel for 11 months ageing before being racked into tank for a further six months maturation. They are bottled without fining or filtration. As well as the wines listed below there are interesting cuvees of Aligoté and red Bourgogne Grande Ordinaire (gamay) both from vines planted in 1938, and Bourgogne Blanc. Jasper Morris MW, Burgundy Wine Director and author of the award-winning Inside Burgundy comprehensive handbook.
Bottle 6 x 75cl9cs
Bottle 6 x 75cl10cs
Magnum 1 x 150cl10cs
This micro-domaine continues to make some of the most sublime white wines in all of Burgundy but there is so little made that Arnaud and Marie-Odile are somewhat under the radar. Their meticulous work in the vineyards mean that yields are always low, though they hope to do better than their 19 hl/ha in 2012 and 26 hl/ha in 2013. The 2012s enjoyed long slow fermentations, so the wines were quite backward when tasted in November. The reds are also very fine this year.
Magnum 1 x 150cl3cs
This is unquestionably Arnaud’s best Volnay yet. He has grassed over between rows to stress the vines and encourage whole berries, half of which were then fermented with whole bunches, but with less extraction than before. Deep and dense, it has a very exciting nose that is full of fruit, but without the rough edges of the past. Backed up by a very good acidity and excellent length, it is quite a muscular wine, but that suits Santenots. Jasper Morris MW - Burgundy Director
Arnaud and Marie-Odile Ente have produced really concentrated wines in 2011, with the same yield as they enjoyed in 2010. The vineyards were farmed organically and the grapes were picked earlier than their neighbours, as usual, because the extraordinarily meticulous viticulture produced ripe grapes with the fine acidity that Arnaud cherishes. We also noted a clear step up in the quality of red wines this year.
Magnum 1 x 150cl5cs
Bottle 6 x 75cl1cs
Magnum 1 x 150cl2cs
Arnaud Ente is always one of the first to pick. His meticulous vineyard work and low yields encourage early ripeness, so in 2010 he could start on 15th September. The yield is much the same as 2008 and Arnaud notes similar acidity readings, but with much more flesh on the palate and finer aromatics. The label has also been fine-tuned this year and is now exceptionally handsome. Overall, these are breath-taking wines.