2018 Bourgogne Hautes Côtes – whites


lockdown-april-2020It is surprising (to me!) that much less than one-third of the the production of Bourgogne Hautes Côtes is white. There is a little rosé too – in 2019 much more in Nuits with 35 hl than Beaune with 2 hl – though as you see, the total is only anecdotal.

The quality of the chardonnays that follow is good – no surprise as it’s a vine that’s tolerant of many situations – whereas pinot certainly isn’t. From that perspective, you may expect more white to be planted – though the marginal ripeness that the Hautes Côtes pinots experienced in 2008 and 2013 seem to be ever-more a rarity.

Given the warming of the recent vintages – or at least the earlier starts to the growth seasons due to warmer Springs – perhaps the more widespread planting of pinot was a perceptive decision!

Annual production in hectolitres
Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune Blanc6,9149,7379,524
Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits Blanc5,0007,6766,400
The wines…

From this relatively modest selection I would say that the Hautes Côtes whites are generally good but perhaps a little uneven in quality in this vintage. I don’t have a specific preference for either the Beaune or Nuits wines but can say that the wines of Beaune are a little rounder and the wines of Nuits just a little more structural.

2018 Lebreuil, Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune Mont Battois
A domaine-branded, longer (than typical) Nomacorc ‘select green 300’
A sort of cornflake-style aroma that reminds of DIAM-sealed wines with a little too much sulfur at bottling – you should decant – it’s not that pleasant. In the mouth it’s much better; good shape, with a driving energy and a good combination of concentration and texture. The flavour reminds of the nose – which isn’t so great – I re-tried it again two hours later and it was far, far better – I would say good wine, nicely mineral finishing – so decant!

2018 Saint-Marc, Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune Sous Carrières
Domaine-branded, longer than average DIAM5.
A more floral freshness to this nose – actually most things would have been fresher! Mouth-filling – very mineral, lots of energy – perhaps a little dissolved CO2 contributing to this party. The flavours are structural – a wine that’s a little hard today – but with a fine finish. Worth retrying in 18-months or more…

2018 Moillard, Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune Les Alouettes
Unbranded cork.
The nose a little subdued but there’s a width of riper citrus fruit. Mouth-filling and energetic – again a little gas but this time without the overt help of some gas. A fine finish. This is a wine that just gets better and better – a modest start and a great finish!

2018 Jean Guiton, Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune
Unbranded DIAM5.
Some higher tones here, faintly floral. In the mouth they are there too – they suggest a little volatility. Easy but ingraining citrus flavours in the middle and finish. A tasty wine.

2018 Labry, Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune
Unbranded cork.
Lots of fresh energy here – maybe some gas giving a helping hand. Driving, fresh, mineral – so much energy – some CO2 showing. A wine apart from the others but with wonderful finishing intensity – bravo!
2018 Jean Chartron Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune Vieilles-Vignes
Domaine-branded, longer DIAM5.
Plenty of depth of aroma – due to a subtle but attractive agrume-reduction. Lots of energy – gas contributing. But here is a mouth-filling, finely textured, delicious party over the palate. Bravo – the best so far.

2018 Chevrot, Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune Chardonnay
Domaine-branded, DIAM5.
Here’s another wine that’s rather high-toned and almost volatile – swirling tones it down a little. Beautifully incisive and mineral in the mouth – here you don’t note the volatile part. It’s a sinuous beauty over the palate and so concentrated and long in the finish too. Excellent despite the suggestion of volatility!

2018 Bonnardot, Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune En Cheignot
Apart from the vintage, a completely unbranded cork.
A modest volume of aroma, but seemingly with a silky texture! Silky in the mouth too – with plenty of concentration. The middle and finshing flavours are excellent with the faintest touch of salinity. This is a super bottle.

Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits:

2018 Thevenot-le-Brun, Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits
Unbranded (with domaine) cork.
A chunky nose, of depth too – perhaps a little acacia flowers to bring some balance. Mouth-filling, a mix of ripe but also mineral aspects. Lip-smackingly structural in the finish. A young wine, far from elegant but I like the character that it delivers.

2018 Sires de Vergy, Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits
Unbranded cork.
What the French would call ‘liégeux’ – ie very faintly corky. It has moments where you hardly notice the aroma which seems at this time rather spicy. Pinched, but mineral – but also slightly corked on the palate…

2018 Clavelier, Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits Les Acacias
A domaine wine from this maison – unbranded DIAM5.
Perhaps some acacia here on the nose – but largely drowned by the ambitious oak. In the mouth this has a beautiful driving shape, texture and energy – purity despite the oak and really quite mineral again in the second-half and finish of the flavours. Actually this is excellent – big finishing wine. I’d wait, without worry (DIAM) 3 years-plus for this wine. I think it will be worth it – bravo despite the oak!

2018 Thevenot-le-Brun, Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits ‘Clos du Vignon’
This time a domaine-branded cork, which almost breaks in half with the corkscrew despite such youth!
A little more colour – oak? Let’s see. Yes a little, but also lots of peachy fruit, ripe citrus too. Mouth-filling, concentrated indeed intensely flavoured with waxy, ripe citrus and a great depth of finishing flavour. This needs some cellar time to ‘relax’ but there’s simply excellent material here for a Bourgogne!

2018 Truchetet, Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits La Montagne
Domaine-branded technical agglomerate seal from Trescases.
A little attractive reduction here – fresh, open and inviting – nice! The reduction isn’t overt but it’s there to see on the palate too. Supple, nicely concentrated and with a great ‘mouth-feel’ – I find this really excellent – a nicely punchy finish here. Give it 12 months for the reduction to fade, or decant. Excellent wine!

2018 Château Laborde Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits ‘K’
Not domaine-branded but a slightly longer than average DIAM5.
Not big aroma, but there’s plenty of width – just a little oak showing here. Mineral, mouth-watering – again quite a compact flavour-profile despite a mouth-filling shape. The finish has a touch of saline minerality and plenty of length. Versus the other wines more austerity in style – but a great finish. Worth keeping back in the cellar for a couple of years.

2018 Morgan Truchetet, Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits Chardonnay
Producer-branded technical agglomerate seal from Trescases.
This has a slightly off-putting top note – something volatile in the aromas. It’s there on the palate too but less overt. Otherwise, there is concentration and energy here – but also a prickly feeling to the texture. Not my style of wine despite a strong, rather saline, finish…

2018 Aegerter, Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits ‘Les Petites Corvées’
Domaine-branded, cork amalgam seal.
Hmm – now that’s quite a fine and floral nose – such an invitation! Wide and energetic over the palate – super-mouth-watering – structural but not too much, mineral but also not too much – what a wonderful and energetic companion. Completely delicious. Bravo – my pick!

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?

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