Hautes Cotes is the new regular Cotes!

By Evan Williams

  • What it is: A wine you (likely) know and (hopefully) love, the perfect everyday red Burgundy for fall: Thevenot-Le Brun's Hautes Cotes de Nuits.

  • Why you need it: I've sung the praises of this wine many times in the past, but considering the time of year we're embarking upon, it bears repeating: this is the quintessential inexpensive red Bourgogne to stock up on (which in turn might keep your young cellar Burgs safe from your grubby paws).

This will not take much time at all (for real!) This is a wine I've offered out before, same vintage and all, but if you're like me, your stash from January is long gone. Well, just in time for Burgundy Season, I tasted a fresh sample recently (still the '17 vintage), and hoo-boy! This has only gotten better in the past eight months!

Here's my original writeup on the '17. Long story short, the Hautes Cotes (higher-elevation "secondary" hills behind Burgundy proper) has been producing some world-class wines due in large part to warmer growing seasons. This is one of the very best I've tried, and it still comes in under $17 for members.

If you didn't feel like clicking the link above, here's the highlight reel:

The Hautes Cotes de Nuits Bourgogne 'Les Renardes' 2017 is unmistakably Burgundian - brambly red fruit, cellar must, freshly cut firewood, and baking spices all combine to form a relatively assertive olfactory assault. There's a zippiness to it, but also an understated elegance. It's not trying to be Vosne-Romanee, and it's comfortable in its own skin.

On the palate, it's similarly confident and forward:
candied cherries, allspice/nutmeg/clove, forest floor, wet stones, flavored tobacco, and brambly woodsiness. The acidity is seductive, making you wish for food - this went well with hot dogs (hey, I'm not fancy!), but I'm sure it'd pair just as well with haute cuisine. The midpalate is substantive and broad, which is altogether uncommon in sub-$20 red Burgs, but nobody is complaining here. As it warms up, you get more savory/spicy notes, and it finishes cleanly and briskly...always leaving you wanting more.

If you love Burgundy or just Pinot Noir in general, you'll fall in love with this wine like I have. Now, of course, a few years of higher-than-normal temps don't necessarily mean every vintage will be like this, but regardless, we would be remiss in passing up this kind of Burgundy deal while it's so ripe for the picking. One last thing: this wine is very open and giving right now, but it's also a young'un, so buying enough to stash away for a few years would not be a terrible idea, especially at this price!

'Nuff said. It's just damn good, damn cheap Burgundy. This email simply serves as a "re-up reminder", in case you didn't catch my email the first time around or, like me, you couldn't keep your hands off your bottles from our January offer.

Fall is nearly upon us. Don't get caught flat-footed and Burgundy-less.

Will Curley