Bourgogne Hautes-Cotes de Nuits 2009

My ramble through the world of Pinot Noir continues with this French bottle.
Posted 16th February 2011        

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My ramble through the world of Pinot Noir continues with this French bottle. It has increased my knowledge of the grape, but left lingering questions coupled with a thirst for more. Not a bad combination – after all, life would be pretty boring if we knew all the answers right away. You wouldn’t get the pleasure of reading this review, for a start.

Unlike my previous new world bottle, this one comes from what many consider the home of Pinot Noir, the Burgundy (that’s the ‘Bourgogne’ bit, English fans) region of France. More specifically, the ‘golden hillsides’ of the Côte-d’Or ‘department’ in eastern France.

Hautes-Cotes de Nuits is the sub-region located west of the more renowned Cotes de Nuits with its mid-Jurassic limestone soils. According to this handy Burgundy wines website, it extends over twenty or more villages behind the original Côte and was reconstructed in the 1950s to grow both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Right, geography lesson over. What’s it like?

Well, it’s strikingly light in colour. Bright and brassy red, you can see right through the glass.

There’s a hint of herbaceousness on the nose, which combines bushes. berries and subtle earthiness.

In the mouth you can really taste the acid, and the fine tannins. This wine has bite, is perhaps a little tart. But within this lurks the perfumed softness characteristic of Pinot Noir.

Let it breath, perhaps for a while – it tasted a lot better the next day – and this rich aromatic core opens itself up like a flower from a bud. The acid fades further into the background and makes room for a glorious silky texture on the tongue.

It’s an experience – one I enjoyed, though not without reservations. I couldn’t abandon myself to the wine, revel in it’s richness or depth of character – though it certainly lingered on the tongue. Rather it was a sophisticated companion that demanded respect and attention, and was capable of biting back with sharp attack if not pared with suitable foods.

It’s certainly piqued my appetite for more Pinot Noir, perhaps trying other sub-regions to see what they yield. The ramble continues…

A bottle is £ 11.50 at Elwood Wines, where they describe it as ‘fruity and aromatic’, which sounds about right.


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Meet the Author:
Adam Bamburg
Adam spent much of his youth in Hampshire, somewhere between Winchester and Southampton. After extracting a degree involving psychology and philosophy from a Nottingham-based university, he bid the midlands farewell and ventured back south to live in Brighton. There he found his vocation in writing: first evaluating the musical performances and recorded output of assorted beat-combos, then branching out into the terrifying world of art criticism. Despite his best efforts he now works in ‘the media’ in London. As Adam grew older and wiser he realised that wine was his favourite alcoholic beverage, that some wines are better than others, and that furthering his knowledge of the grape and producer often increased his enjoyment of the drink at the same time. He hopes to share the fermented fruits of his voyage of discovery here.