Burgundian harvest dates in August were unthinkable only decades ago, but they’re quickly becoming common. In many locations, early harvests make it far more difficult to produce balanced wines; but in parts of Burgundy, at least, there are silver linings.
In areas like the Hautes-Côtes de Nuits and Côte Chalonnaise, where ripening malady-prone Pinot Noir fully was once a perennial struggle, winemakers now often achieve ripeness with ease. Indeed the quality of wine from these “lesser” regions has improved dramatically in recent decades, but (in most places) prices have yet to catch up.
It was over 40 years ago that Michel Gros’s father Jean began buying up land in the Hautes-Côtes de Nuits. The terrain is 100 meters higher in elevation than the Côte d’Or, and the grapes typically ripen a week later. This prescient investment has begun to pay real dividends, now rewarding a new generation: Michel’s son Pierre, now the principal winemaker.
Gros’s 2020 Hautes-Côtes de Nuits is a lovely, dense wine with dark red fruits and a nice mineral line. As with all 2020 red Burgundies, the color resembles something closer to Syrah, and the fruit is dark and brooding, packed with dark intensity and excellent tension. Burghound found “very good density,” with “vibrant flavors” and a “lingering finish.”
Entry level red Burgundy is seldom better than this.
Gros Hautes-Côtes de Nuits 2020
bottle price: $35
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