The Côte de Nuits Villages appellation is both overlooked and somewhat vaguely defined, and other appellations have sometimes taken its credit when the labels are printed.
But make no mistake, there are very interesting terroirs in Côte de Nuits Villages, terroirs with lovely potential. In recent years some top-end producers have started to be more closely involved in this area, while many new talents are also active there.
It is one of the most exciting areas of Burgundy currently, as the prices are often quite reasonable compared to village wines from more-sought-after appellations like Vosne-Romanée or Chambolle-Musigny.
The main areas of Côte de Nuits Villages
Côte de Nuits Villages includes vineyards from Fixin to Corgoloin – a large and diverse area. Fixin can be sold as Fixin or Côte de Nuits Villages; Brochon is more complex, as most is sold as Gevrey-Chambertin, with only some vineyards being marketed as Côte de Nuits Villages.
The southern end is clearer, as Comblanchien and Corgolain are normally sold as Côte de Nuits Villages. A small part of Premeaux is also sold under the label, to make matters even more complex. The vineyards Au Leurey and Les Vignottes in Premeaux are the only areas classified as Côte de Nuits Villages; the rest of Premeaux is included in Nuits-Saint-Georges.
The stars of Côte de Nuits Villages
There are now quite a few rising stars of Côte de Nuits Villages, or at least wines that stand out from others of the appellation.
Starting from the north, Denis Bachelet is making a lovely Côte de Nuits Villages from vineyards in Brochon: three plots in Queue de Hareng, three plots in Vignois and one plot in Créole.
Domaine Denis Bachelet, Côte de Nuits Villages 2017
The Côte de Nuits Villages is intense, yet maintains the sexy 2017 fruit. It has delightful tension with a lovely mineral note, and is refined with expressive, silky fruit. The vineyards are located in Brochon. I really like this wine for its vivacious expression – it deserves a Winehog award.
(Drink from 2024) – Very Good (87 – 88p) – tasted 12/02/2019.
Jérôme Galeyrand is making a fabulous Côte de Nuits Villages from Les Retraits in Comblanchien, the neighbouring vineyard to Clos de la Marechale. I tasted this in cask from the 2018 vintage, and it is a delightful glass at this early stage.
Domaine Gérard Julien et Fils in Comblanchien is also making a lovely Côte de Nuits Villages from the home appellation.
The delightful Domaine Etienne Julien Côte de Nuits villages 2017 is showing very well. The bouquet is showy and energetic, offering delicious fruit and minerality. On the palate, the fruit is generous, lovely and vivid.
(Drink From 2019) – Good – (85 – 86p) – tasted 30/05/2018
Domaine Naudin-Ferrand – owned by the wife of Jean-Yves Bizot, Claire Naudin – is making some lovely wines from the northern appellations, including several cuvées of Côte de Nuits Villages. These are very interesting wines, and amongst the best from the appellation.
More traditional is the Emmanuel Rouget Côte de Nuits Villages, an entry-level wine from this famous estate in Flagey-Echezeaux. It might be entry level, but it is delightful.
Finally, Domaine Jean-Marc Millot in Nuits-Saint-Georges makes a lovely Côte de Nuits Villages in the very center of Comblanchien: a gorgeous wine.
Domaine Jean-Marc Millot Côte de Nuits Villages “Aux Faulques” 2017
One of my favourite wines from Domaine Jean-Marc Millot, representing tremendous value, the CdNV Aux Faulques is from a terroir located in the center of Comblanchien. The 2017 vintage is lighter and more airy than the two previous vintages, and offers easier drinking and more immediate pleasure. The two previous vintages could well be the bigger wines, but this is giving me more pleasure in the short run. CHEERS!
(Drink from 2023) – Very Good (87 – 88p) – Tasted 31/05/2018