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Domaine Hudelot-Noellat

Domaine Hudelot-Noëllat is undisputedly one of the top domaines in Burgundy, producing fine, somewhat ethereal wines of great complexity and depth, from superb sites of organically-managed old vines. 

The domaine was established in 1960 when Alain Noëllat received several parcels in Chambolle-Musigny from his father, Noël, and Alain married Charles Noëllat's granddaughter, Odile, the same year, and inherited some of those vineyards.  Additional purchases over the ensuing years has seen the domaine grow to 6.6 hectares, with a further three-and-a-half hectares managed en fermage.  Most plots are of old vines, averaging well over 50 years, with his holdings of Romanée St.-Vivant and the premier cru 'Les Suchots' dating from 1920.

Yields are kept to a modest 40hl/ha, with the grands crus averaging 36hl/ha.  However this is achieved primarily through strict selection rather than green harvests or viticultural intervention.  Similarly, the winemaking regime is relatively non-interventional, with 100% destemming and a pre-fermentation cold maceration of up to seven days (for the grands crus, shorter for the villages) allowing maximum extraction of finesse and complexity prior to natural-yeast fermentations in which temperatures reach 32°C before cooling the must to 25°C.  A mixture of oak barrels - both forests and tonnelliers - is employed, although the majority is low-toast Allier from François Frères, with the villages receiving one-third new oak, premiers crus around two-thirds, and the grands crus 100% new oak each year.  The wines are racked once (following malolactic fermentation) and are bottled around 18 months following harvest unfined and unfiltered.

The wines are refined, supple and elegant, with beautiful aromatics, and whilst generally approachable quite early, they certainly put on weight and concentration with several years additional bottle-age, particularly the premiers and grands crus.  Alain Noëllat's aim is to produce wines that preserve the typicity of their terroir or site, hence they are very pure and despite inherent power, retain great finesse.

The wines of Hudelot-Noëllat are most certainly deserving of reverence and respect, not only for their transparency of site and quality, but also for their history of excellence.  Yet they are wines priced such that it need not be a special occasion to enjoy them - they can be served in any company and will be suitably impressive, providing great pleasure without costing a small fortune.

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