Wine Advocate 88-90
"The 2013 Borgogne Haute Côtes de Nuits Blanc, which was harvested later in the week of harvest around October 11 and cropped at 30 hectolilters per hectare, possesses a vivacious bouquet that is more complex than the Bourgogne Blanc with lovely peachy/apricot scents. The palate has slightly more sharpness and tension than the Bourgogne Blanc with very fine length. I’ll be buying this myself when it’s released."
Gotta soft spot for Hudelot-Baillet...I don't mind admitting that. It's just got everything that I like about Burgundy: not too big, congenial winemaker, choice selection of premier crus with a grand cru if you fancy, straightforward winemaking, nothing fancy, nothing self-aggrandising. Just delicious, nuanced wines that need but a sip to compel a purchase. Dominique Leguen, son-in-law of former proprietor Joel Hudelot-Baillet, was working in the vat-room when I arrived early in the morning. He told me that he believes the quality of the 2013 is just under, occasionally equal to, the 2012 with similar pH levels and just a little rot affecting his whites. He commenced the harvest on October 5 under good conditions and benefited from the cold mornings to keep the picked fruit nice and cool. Like everyone else he had to chaptalize a little in 2013, and said that this had to go hand in hand with a careful remontage. His malolactics were late, finishing not until the end of July. This was a solid set of wines that displayed vibrant, shimmering fruit from barrel with good structure if not quite the penetrating precision of the previous vintage. Dominique's wines are still under the radar (…ish), but appear to be gaining wider audience with every passing vintage.
Officially recognized since 1961, the Hautes Côtes de Nuits appellation covers 16 communes of the Hautes Côtes district in the department of Côte-d'Or, plus the more elevated areas of 4 communes in the Côte de Nuits. The dividing line between the Hautes Côtes de Nuits and the Hautes Côtes de Beaune runs through the village of Magny-Lès-Villers. The appellation produces both whites and reds. Typically the whites, which are made of Chardonnay, are white-gold to pale gold in color, or, if aged in barrel, yellow gold. Notes of apple and honeysuckle mingle with lemon, white flower and hazelnut. In the mouth, they are fleshy, solidly built, well-balanced, and with an easily-recognizable touch of bright acidity and energy which improves their aging potential.
Domaine Hudelot-Baillet is a Chambolle-Musigny producer with cellars in the town as well as holdings entirely within the appellation. The domaine was created in 1981 by Joël Hudelot (inherited largely from his father Paul) and his wife Chantal Baillet. Joël retired in 2004 and passed along the reins to his son-in-law Dominique Leguen, who had been working with him at the domaine since 1998. The viticultural philosophy is organic though the domaine is not technically certified. There are no insecticides used and sexual confusion is employed instead to combat problematic bugs. The harvest is performed manually with sorting work done in the vineyards and again at the cuverie if necessary.
Domaine Hudelot BailletView all from Domaine Hudelot Baillet
Hudelot-Baillet is a 21-acre domaine in the Chambolle-Musigny region. It was founded in 1981 when Joel Hudelot inherited land from his father, Paul Hudelot, a much admired winemaker. The Hudelots have been making wine in Côte des Nuits for four generations, and today Hudelot-Baillet is run by Dominique Leguen, Joel's son-in-law. Leguen is also vineyard manager for Frederic Mugnier. The estate has a grand cru parcel in Bonnes-Mares, and premier crus in Chambolle-Musigny, as well as village wines.
Côte de Nuits is the northern part of the Côte d'Or and it includes the most famous vineyards and wine communes in the world. There are more Grand Cru appellations in the Côte de Nuits than anywhere else in Burgundy. Of the fourteen communes, or villages in the Côte de Nuits, six produce Grand Cru wines. They are Gevrey-Chambertin, Morey-St.-Denis, Chambolle-Musigny, Vougeot, Flagey-Échezeaux and Vosne-Romanee. Some of the vineyards within the Côte de Nuits are tiny, which adds to their prestige. The fabled Grand Cru vineyard La Romanee is barely two square acres. Altogether there are twenty-four Grand Cru vineyards. The region takes its name from the village of Nuits-Saint-Georges. Côtes de Nuits produces mostly reds from Pinot Noir, and the wines have been in demand for centuries. During the 18th century King Louis XIV's physician recommended that for his health the king only drink wines from Nuits-Saint-Georges. Like most of Burgundy, the soils of the Côte de Nuit can vary greatly from one vineyard to another, though most are a base soil of limestone mixed with clay, gravel and sand.