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Domaine Hudelot-Noëllat

The Domaine was established in 1960 when Alain Noëllat inherited several parcels in Chambolle-Musigny from his father, Noël. Alain married well, wooing Charles Noëllat’s granddaughter Odile that very year, inheriting further vineyards, although not without a long and bitter legal battle for succession. Alain ran the Domaine for over 30 years increasing its holdings to 6.6 hectares. In 2008, at the age of 67, Alain passed the reins onto his grandson Charles van Canneyt. Charles had winemaking in his blood and his education held that course, completing his formal wine studies at the University of Dijon. With the help of Vincent Munier, who had joined Alain in 2005, the upward trajectory has continued apace, known for being one of the best in the entire Cote d’Or, with particular strength in the villages of Vosne Romanee, Chambolle Musigny, Nuits St. Georges and Vougeot. While the helm has changed hands, the style has not, remaining true to their fine, finessed, fragrant and ethereal style of wine, abounding with intense complexity and depth.

When we talk about Hudelot-Noëllat we must talk about vine age, their Grand Cru plot in Romanee St. Vivant was planted in 1920, with the remainder of the vineyards and parcels, planted from 1920-1970. Yields remain a modest 40hl/ha or below, achieved through strict selection, not green harvesting or viticultural intervention. Each wine comes from wonderful parcels of organically farmed old vines. Correspondingly, the winemaking is non-interventional, seeing 100% destemming and pre-fermentation cold maceration that lasts seven days, thereby extracting the natural finesse before natural yeast fermentation. Their village level wines see 20-30% new oak, 1er Crus around two thirds and the Grand Crus 100% new oak. The wines are racked once and are bottled around 18 months after harvest, unfined and unfiltered. The vineyards are run in accordance to lutte raisonnee, sensible farming where chemical treatment is used only when absolutely necessary.

At the risk of gilding the lily the wines of Hudelot-Noëllat are as good as it gets, yet remain well priced, providing immense pleasure without costing a small fortune, at least for now. Stylistically the wines are supple, elegant, with stunning aromatics. Broadly speaking across the range the wines drink well young, putting on weight in bottle, which adds to their focus and concentration. In 1997 Clive Coates said Hudelot-Noëllat is “one of the unsung heroes of Burgundy for he makes excellent wine, though his efforts are largely unrecognised.” Not so any more, the wines are highly sought after, hard to find and are rising in price year one year, it is worth securing some before the prices moves in line with the uber expensive Leroy, Meo Camuzet et al.

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