Armand Heitz – 2020

Update 3.1.2022(23.12.2021)billn

Clarisse Jauffret 2021 Domaine Heitz-LochardetTasted in Chassagne-Montrachet with Clarisse Jauffret, 20 October 2021.

Domaine Armand Heitz
(Pre vintage 2019: Formally Domaine Heitz-Lochardet)
24 Rue Charles Paquelin
21190 Chassagne-Montrachet
Tel: +33 3 80 21 33 19
More reports with Domaine Armand Heitz

The domaine now has 20 hectares in 30 plots between Mercurey and Beaune. Then there’s 8 hectares in Beaujolais – 6 of which are Juliénas. The domaine has worked for five years in biodynamic fashion but Armand felt constrained and didn’t see as much benefit as he hoped, so, Armand’s hope is now with perma/poly-culture as previous generations worked before the introduction of chemical management – probably fewer vines and planting of other things close by, just as Armand is trailing in the plain near Chassagne with 2m gaps between the rows and higher training – though this wouldn’t be allowed for the AOC wines. It seems that the locals are more open-minded in Beaujolais where some experimentation is underway, though not with vine-training, rather keeping the Goblet pruning and keeping the manual aspects of the work to avoid compacting the soils. But there are animals too! There is now the new (old!) château purchase (Mimande, near Chaudenay, just 10km from Chassagne) which will be the base for the organic farming side of Armand’s ‘operation’ – here are 200 cows, sheep and lambs too, set within 100 hectares of pasture and another 50 hectares for cereals – Armand hopes it will be a perfect venue for events too. The meat sales are to restaurants and even private customers. Oh, did I forget to mention also the organic vegetable shop recently opened in Pommard too?

They have slowly moved from 80% exports to about 55% now – ‘It’s about looking at the carbon-impact of the work here, and we’re still looking for ways to further reduce our footprint.

You can see that much is happening – but how is the focus on the wines? Let’s see:

The wines…

A fine range though from this selection, few that are worth a special search…

DIAM for all wines, both colours – “I appreciate the regularity.

2020 Juliénas
Vines on the hill – some altitude here – 450m so often harvested 3 weeks after the harvest in Burgundy. Wines made with whole clusters.Vinified in Juliénas but elevage in Chassagne
Pungently forward aromatics. Concentrated, pure, a very fine grain of tannin. Wide and with a lovely mouth-watering, vibrancy of finishing flavour. Keep this a year or three in the cellar but the fruit is really lovely here.

2020 Bourgogne Pinot Noir
This bottled. All the rest will be bottled in December. A mix of Pommard and Mercurey communes – all whole cluster here.
A freshness, a finer clarity of aroma here – that’s lovely. Nicely shaped in the mouth, concentrated and fresh, slightly saline finishing. That’s a wine that successfully negotiates the border between concentrated and elegant – super wine!

2020 Pommard Vaumuriens
Tried to buy the estate of this retiring producer but Safer said no, but now can still buy the produce of the domaine (!)
Really a deep colour. More impact of aroma – depth too – I have an aromatic impression of silkiness. Some reduction that I didn’t see on the nose, very fine-grained tannin, concentrated with a depth of more creamy-oak-based flavours which will soon fade. This is powerful wine for the high-altitude place of Vaumuriens only in the finish do I see a little of the more airy character of this place. A very big Vaumuriens but a delicious one.

2020 Gevrey-Chambertin Les Corvées
The first vintage here – the family have roots in Gevery too, with Mazis and Chambertin in small quantities too in this vintage – not domaine though, all bought as grapes.
Nice depth – the colours are deeper here than in 2019 – almost an acidulated halo to this darker fruit, faintly with the whole clusters. The flavour of the whole clusters is more overt than the aromas, but there’s decent clarity to these flavours. A tasty wine that showcases more the vinification approach (wc) today than its source – but that will slowly change with age. Tasty wine all the same.

2020 Pommard 1er Rugiens
From Haut – There’s less clay in this sector
More width of aroma, still with the wc notes – quite some herby aspect too. I like the open shape and apparent purity of flavour here – fresh, mobile and even a little mineral. That’s a lovely, lovely, finish too. Here is a much more impressive wine – simply excellent wine – delicious too.

2020 Corton Hautes-Mourottes
Another purchase of grapes. And all these 2020 purchases are also here in 2021 too.
Again a pungently aromatic wine – much whole-cluster in evidence. A more architectural, structural wine – open, and beautifully mouth-watering before a slight dryness of tannin shows itself in the middle and finishing flavours – they won’t release this wine before 2023. Fine and impressive but certainly for keeping…

Les blancs:
All botted since June. Sales of these will start around February 2022……

2020 Bourgogne Chardonnay
A mix of Meursault les Durots and fruit from the bottom of Pommard. There’s 10% pinot blanc in this wine too – no oak elevage for this.
An easy and attractive width, just a little more depth probably from the Pinot Blanc – or the slight reduction! Bright and fresh – extremely attractive in the mouth. Saline and moreish – I really want to take another sip – that’s super!

2020 St.Aubin 1er Sur Gamay
Have Castets and Dents du Chien (also red) too – but the domaine wine is the Travers de Chez Eduard
A more mineral nose, quite stony in style – faintly reductive though getting better and better with air. More clarity, bubbling freshness, structural, the reduction from the DIAM bottling here too, but here is a wine that will get better and better – it will be excellent in a couple of years.

2020 St.Aubin 1er Castets
The reduction is less evident here – bright and pure citrus with a mineral aspect – lovely. In the mouth faintly reductive from the bottling, but wider and more melting with super flavour. I do prefer the shape and delivery of flavour in this wine. Excellent – but wait at least 18 months too!

2019(!) Meursault
Have aged this wine longer – in bottle – and will sell along with the 2020s.
This has a more floral aspect to the nose, yellow citrus. Hmm, a nicely direct and mineral style to this wine, slightly warmer citrus style to the flavour. Very good!

2020 Meursault La Barre
Yes – this is super – white flowers, purity, complexity and a fine invitation to drink. Mouth-filling, pure flavoured – easily my favourite of these – great finishing too. That’s a really excellent Meursault Villages – super!

2020 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Maltroie
The bottom of the domine’s garden!​ Another very different terroir in Chassagne here with more clay. Three different ages of vines from 4 to 65.
A more powerful nose – fuller but with a balancing elegance of white flower perfume. That’s even finer in the mouth – mobile, complex always changing. Great, great flavour. Just a hint of aroma away from great wine today! Bravo!

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