The road from Nuits Saint Georges to Échevronne in the Hautes Côtes, is long and winding. When I first started out in the wine business, there were more cows than vines in the Hautes Côtes, a high elevation growing region just east of the famous Côtes, the golden slope that includes Chambolle, Vosne and NSG.
But over the last 10 years, I’ve found myself heading east up the D8 into the hills of the Hautes Côtes as the demand and prices down on the Golden Slope have escalated to the point that $45 is now average for the base wines from the best estates. Coupled with a decade of warm vintages, the Hautes Côtes is now the best source for value red Burgundy.
But it pays to have a friend in Lydia Cornu. No estate in Burgundy quite delivers the bang per buck that you get with Lydia Cornu’s fantastic Hautes Côtes de Beaune. Lydia makes old-school red Burgundy; aromatic Pinot Noir, with crunchy, juicy fruit and a sharp vibrancy that makes it just sing with food.
Lydia’s 2019 HCB is a product of super old vines and a low yield with no new oak in the ageing process. The wine is a joy to drink– a bowl full of berries on the nose, high-toned, racy fruit in the mid palate with the structure and length that is the hallmark of Cornu-Camus wines. It’s delicious now. It’ll be delicious in a decade.
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