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Close up of the black and gold label of a bottle of Hautes Cotes de Nuits.
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Hautes Cote de Nuits

The regional appellation of Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Nuits produces red wines from higher slopes (as the name suggests) above the escarpment of the Côte de Nuits. Sometimes known as the Champs-Elysées of the Bourgogne, this narrow strip of Côte de Nuits hillside can be just 200 meters wide in some places, though it stretches for over 20 kilometers. The producers on this vein of rock are specialists in red wines. You can probably guess why—drainage, climate, soil and love, all married together in the bottle. The buzz phrase in Burgundy these days, especially after several recent years of drought, is the 'quality is moving up the hill'. In other words, the perfect Burgundian growing conditions are at a higher altitude these days than they were a decade ago. It really is all about the terroir. As you gain height on the hilltops of the Côte de Nuits, a mixture of scree and silt begin to enrich the marl—and as luck would have it, this happens to be in areas which have the perfect balance of sun and shelter. That’s why there are over twenty vineyards designated as Grand Cru here.

This is the most northerly region in Europe to make such high-quality red wines— often challenging, as rain and damaging hail can threaten the delicate crop. The fact that the quantities made are relatively small can also mean high prices—that is, unless you know where the great value and quality is to be found (hint: it’s often amongst the smaller producers).

White Wines

White wines from the Haute Cote de Nuits tend to be pleasing white-gold in color, and if they have benefited from barrel age then they’ll tend towards a yellow- gold. On the nose you will notice apple, honeysuckle, perhaps lemon too. And on the palate, their character is solid, but balanced, with a distinctive air of friskiness which is beneficial when aging these wines. You can drink them with a wide array of fish and roe (carp in particular) as well as shellfish. Snails and ham and other traditional Burgundy dishes will also benefit from these wines, and when fully mature they will partner foie gras superbly. If you’re looking for a cheese to pair these wines with, try Roquefort, Aisy cendré, mature Comté, or Chaource.

Red Wines

Dark ruby or crimson, these wines give aromas of liquorice, cherry and violet, whilst on the palate they’re firm, pleasantly tannic and with perfect body and balance. It is this balance which makes these reds great partners to such a wide array of foods. Drink them with duck, lamb or rabbit, or even more exotic, lightly spiced dishes—they are perfect for tajines, for example. Cheeses which accompany these wines best include mature Soumaintrain, Nuits d’Or, Reblochon fermier, or Morbier.

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