This title is a real mouthful. But anyone who knows the region of Burgundy will know that the wine itself isn’t likely to be such a substantial mouthful.
Beaune and the surrounding villages is one of several parts of Burgundy renowned for Pinot Noir wines. The ‘Hautes Côtes’ translates roughly as ‘higher slopes’, and that is to be taken literally. It’s one of the less expensive parts of Burgundy because there’s rarely enough heat to get those grapes properly ripe. At best you’re going to get a light, lean wine, and at worst, a downright horrible one.
The current vintage of this example falls into the first category. The lack of colour is quite striking, and says a lot about the wine for anyone who didn’t know what to expect. But it’s actually quite enjoyable to drink. There’s a fairly clean and precise strawberry flavour with the odd cherry thrown in, and aromatic herbaceous notes that provide a touch of complexity.
It’s not the sort of wine that’s satisfying or ‘smooth’ enough to really enjoy drinking on its own. At least not for many people anyway, I shouldn’t think. The trick to getting the best out of it is to put it with the right food. The retailer suggests chicken salad. And that might just work, if the salad is generously dressed so that it either stands up to the wine, or gives it something to ‘cut through’. My tip though would be some well seasoned roast poultry. We’re often too quick to put medium- or full-bodied whites with poultry. Light-bodied reds like this one can be a much more interesting and rewarding match.
At the usual price of £10.99, I can’t help but feel this is slightly overpriced. At the current offer price of £8.19, it’s a fair bit of Pinot Noir for your money, especially if you’re roasting a bird this weekend.