Armand Heitz, "Folie Sauvage" Côteaux Bourguignons 2020
Gamay-Pinot Noir｜Burgundy, France
The domaine of Heitz-Lochardet traces its lineage in Burgundy to 1857, when Armand Heitz's great-great-grandfather, Georges Lochardet, acquired small plots of prestigious vines across Burgundy. After the ravages of phylloxera (the notorious root aphid that destroyed vines across the world in the late 19th century) the Lochardet family sold off a great majority of land, retaining just the very best plots in Volnay, Pommard, Chassagne, and Meursault. Their vineyard holdings have been thusly distilled down through the centuries to now represent the most valued and priceless plots.
With Armand Heitz at the helm, the vineyards are farmed biodynamically (organics taken to the next level), employing regenerative agriculture and permaculture interspersed with livestock and highly-sought after produce, used in the numerous Michelin restaurants in the region. Sulfur is kept to a minimum and the wines are bottled unfiltered, retaining all the inherent Bourguignon qualities aficionados look for.
This is a rare blend of the native "Noirs": Gamay and Pinot. Just about 50-50 each from the "Côteaux Bourguignons" subregion, overlapping their estate holdings in Meursault, Volnay, and Pruzilly.
In the glass it's a vibrant crimson-ruby, with notes of cherry pie, ripe cranberry, black tea, sweet spice, and floral tones. On the palate find crunchy cranberry fruits interwoven with spice, red plum, and a spicy, herbal edge. With air it becomes more fleshy and suave, buttressed by a cool mineral edge.
All that good Bourgogne rouge should be, a beautiful chimera of Beaujolais and Burgundy showcasing the best sides of both indigenous grapes.
With so much structure and young fruit texture, it is this humble scribe’s opinion that the wine will further evolve over the next 2-3 years, so stock up to have enough for balmy summer nights and crisp autumn evenings alike!
For many years, they sold fruit to the local co-ops or maisons – for years Maison Drouhin bought all of their production until Armand's mother, Brigitte, decided to begin making wine under the family's own label. From the beginning, Brigitte envisioned biodynamic farming for her familial vines, a practice that continues to this day. And the quality shows! This is simply a wonderful and rare Burgundy blend with serious provenance, a history going back 164 years, and a four-plus-generation connection to the land.