Taking its name from the abbreviation Cote d’Orient (Eastern slope), the Cote d’Or is divided into two parts; the Cote de Beaune in the south and the Cote de Nuits in the north. This article aims to give you an overview of the latter, including its climate and geology, as well as introducing some of our favourite winemakers of the region.

A patchwork of some of the finest terroir in the world

The Cote de Nuits cuts a narrow figure for twenty kilometres along the Burgundian limestone hillside, in some places measuring just 200 metres wide. It is here that one can find the best vineyards, with south-east aspects and optimum drainage from the slope. The Cote de Nuits is known predominantly for its red wines, which account for roughly 95% of the wines produced here, however a small number of exceptional Premier and Grand Cru white wines can be found and even some rosé. Pinot Noir takes the starring role for the reds produced in the Cote de Nuits, whilst Chardonnay and sometimes Aligote are used to make the whites.

There is a great diversity in soil composition and terroir across the Cote de Nuits. During the Jurassic period, the entire region was submerged as part of an inland sea, resulting in a foundation of limestone upon which the majority of vineyards now sit. Marl is also found in the soils here along with sand and gravel. Although the soil is less fertile, this forces the vines to work harder and grow greater quality grapes. As one moves up the Cote de Nuits slope, the Premier and Grand Cru parcels are located at around 800ft and the porous limestone geology helps with the sites’ drainage.

As the Cote de Nuits is at a climatic crossroad, where weather fronts from the northern Baltic sea, western Atlantic ocean and southern Mediterranean sea collide, the area is characterised by cold winters and warm summers. This positioning, along with the Cote de Nuits being one of the northernmost red wine growing regions in France, can result in a lot of vintage variation.

The flagship appellations in the Cote de Nuits are: Chambolle-Musigny, Flagey-Echezeaux, Gevrey-Chambertin, Morey-St-Denis, Nuits-St-Georges, Vosne-Romanee and Vougeot. The wines produced from each village have their own characteristics, ranging from more robust styles that can be aged for a long time to refined wines that exude elegance.

Taupenot Merme

Domaine Taupenot Merme is located in the heart of the Cote de Nuits in the village of Morey-St-Denis. With 13 hecatres of vines to cultivate, the 7th generation winemaker Romain capitalises on his family’s historical knowledge of their sites and focuses on expressing the terroir of each parcel from across 19 different appellations (in the Cote de Beaune as well as the Cote de Nuits).

The domaine has several notable Premier and Grand Cru sites in the Cote de Nuits, namely Mazoyeres-Chambertin, Charmes-Chambertin, La Riotte and even a small portion of Clos de Lambrays (otherwise owned by Domaine des Lambrays). Since 2001, Taupenot Merme has used organic farmning techniques in the vineyards and takes a non-interventionist approach in order to allow the vines and the grapes to shine through and show each vineyard’s character.

Faiveley

Established in 1825, Domaine Faiveley has been producing Grand Cru level wines in the Cote de Nuits since the mid-end of the 19th Century. Located in Nuits-St-Georges, the Faiveley also produces wine in the Cote de Beaune as well as the Cote Chalonnaise, making it one of the largest domaines in Burgundy with 120 hectares under vine. Domaine Faiveley has a long history of re-investment and continues to acquire significant holdings in Premier and Grand Cru sites including Charmes-Chambertin and Gevrey-Chambertin Lavaut-Saint-Jacques.

As with many domaines in Burgundy, Faiveley is a family-run business and the seventh generation have now joined the team. Jasper Morris MW explains how the old style of Domaine Faiveley “could be massively tannic at the expense of the fruit”. However since 2007 there is less emphasis on extraction resulting in a “fresher and fruiter” wine that retains its intensity. All the top wines produced by Faiveley are hand bottled without filtration, allowing Pinot Noir to be shown in its purest form.

Available wines

2022 Domaine Faiveley, Echezeaux Grand Cru, En Orveaux 6x75cl

BH92-95JM93-96JS96-97RP93-95VM91-93
£1,302/CaseDuty Status: In BondAvailability: Future Arrival

2022 Domaine Faiveley, Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru 6x75cl

JM95-98VM93-95
£2,370/CaseDuty Status: In BondAvailability: Future Arrival

As the 2021 Burgundy en primeur campaign gets into full swing this month, make sure to keep an eye on all of the new releases and our recommendations for the vintage.

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