On my March trip to Burgundy I had the chance and pleasure to taste some wines from Domaine Heitz-Lochardet – both from the 2013 vintage and the 2014 vintage – and to meet Armand Heitz the man behind the wines a couple of times. Both the whites and the reds impressed me, and Armand Heitz is in my view a great new talent.
I was therefore delighted when I had the opportunity to visit Domaine Heitz-Lochardet in Chassagne on my June visit to Burgundy.
Domaine Heitz-Lochardet – a short recap
The history of Domaine Heitz-Lochardet began in 1857 with the Nie-Vantey family owners of many vineyards from Santenay to Clos de Vougeot.
After the phylloxera epidemic, many of the vineyards were sold, but some of the best Cote de Beaune vineyards were kept in the family by Georges Lochardet. Georges Lochardet was a wine merchant, and the estate was around 20 ha when he passed away – and he left half of the vineyards to his son Armand Lochardet.
Armand Lochardet had three children – Bernard, Catherine and Brigitte – and the vineyards were divided between them. In 1983 Brigitte married Christian Heitz, and a few years later the Heitz-Lochardet estate was founded. Brigitte and Christian have a son Armand Heitz – the young man who is now in charge of the estate.
All the grapes were however sold to Maison Joseph Drouhin, and they also took care of the viticulture. At some point Brigitte however decided to change to organic viticulture. So the foundation was there when Armand Heitz finished his studies and became oenologist in 2011.
He was then given the first plots to explore his wine making skills – the two first wines made in 2012 were a Bourgogne Chardonnay and a Bourgogne Pinot Noir. In 2013 Armand got more serious plots to work with, and he produced 5 wines in 2013:
Domaine Heitz-Lochardet produces the following wines:
Whites produced in 2015:
- Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru (0.09 ha)
- Meursault Premier Cru Les Perrières (0.70 ha)
- Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru la Maltroye (0.70 ha)
- Meursault Les Gruyache (0.30 ha)s
- Meursault (0.5 ha En la Barre
- Bourgogne Chardonnay (0.35 ha)
Reds produced in 2015:
- Pommard Premier Cru Les Rugiens (0.43 ha)
- Volnay Premier Cru Les Taillepieds (0,37 ha)
- Pommard Premier Cru Les Pezerolles (0.60 ha)
- Pommard Premier Cru Monopole Clos des Poutures (0.66 ha)
The ambition is to continue the expansion adding more interesting terroirs. For further details about the vineyard plots – check the producer insight.
Tasting of the 2015 reds at Domaine Heitz-Lochardet
The wines were tasted from cask on June 14th 2016 – they all showed well for this stage of the development although some were more accessible than others.
Domaine Heitz-Lochardet,Pommard Premier Cru Monopole Clos des Poutures 2015
The Clos des Poutures is showing very well .. forward and spicy. In the nose lovely red fruit, spiced with peony rose and cinnamon – oak present but not dominant. On the palate fine concentration and length – balanced – a slight reduction – showing fine promise. The 100% whole cluster does the magic on the Pommards in 2015 .. lovely floral and airy style.
Domaine Heitz-Lochardet,Pommard Pezerolles 2015
The Pommard Pezerolles is significantly darker and more closed than the two other Pommards. Some reduction on the nose .. red and dark berry fruit brought forward by a earthy minerality. On the palate rich and weighty .. with plenty of mid-palate intensity .. starting to unfold a bit after some time in the glas. A intense and quite masculine Pommard …. will need time to unfold.
Domaine Heitz-Lochardet,Pommard Rugiens 2015
The Pommard Rugiens is another step up in intensity – a gorgeous wine in the making. The nose offer lovely red and darker berries – juicy and very floral – with notes of rose pethal and cinnamon – and with a nice transparent hint of the mighty Rugiens minerality. On the palate – long, intense and refined with a airy and juicy fruit … complex with a almost silky feel. This is even better than the lovely 2014 .. a magnificent glas by all standards – love the refined and airy fruit in this wine.
Domaine Heitz-Lochardet, Volnay Taillepeids 2015
The Volnay Taillepeids is a quite serious wine .. and somewhat darker than the Pommard Rugiens. In the nose red and darkberry fruit – blueberries and boysenberries – quite intense but a bit closed now. On the palate quite intense and relatively dark fruit – fine length and concentration – but will most likely need plenty of time to unfold.
Tasting of the 2015 whites at Domaine Heitz-Lochardet
It’s normally a bit early for me to taste the whites in June, as I find them difficult to evaluate at this stage. The whites from Armand Heitz were however quite easy to approach .. so lets give it a shot with some notes.
The 2015 whites are on the rich side, but in this case not problematicly so .. as Armand began his harvest quite early in the 2015 vintage. The Chevalier-Montrachet was harvested on August 27th and the Meursault Perrieres was brought in on August 29th. All the wines therefore have a fine balancing acidity – an although they are rich – they do feel both fresh and juicy.
Domaine Heitz-Lochardet, Bourgogne Blanc 2015
The Bourgogne Blanc 2015 is showing fine balance and a good freshness for the vintage. In the nose white and yellow orchard fruits .. quite exotic with a citrus/grape note to freshen things up. On the palate rich fruit for this level – lovely balancing acidity. A both fresh and juicy Bourgogne blanc with a nice expression of the house style.
Domaine Heitz-Lochardet, Meursault 2015
The Meursault village is quite a step up from the generic blanc. The nose offer a lovely selection of white orchard fruit – again on the exotic side – still transparent with a lovely citrus infused minerality. On the palate finely balanced with a very nice fresh fruit. A enjoyable Meursault village in the making.
Domaine Heitz-Lochardet, Meursault Les Gruyaches 2015
The Meursault Les Gruyaches is quite a step up from the generic village Meursalt. This village comes from a plot located just below Les Charmes Dessous (difficult to explain why this small corner is not at part of Charmes Dessous). The nose offer white and yellow fruits and a fine citrus infused minerality. The midpalate offer rich and juicy fruit – it’s long, intense and balanced for a village level Meursault. A fine effort indeed.
Domaine Heitz-Lochardet, Chassagne Maltoye 2015
The Chassagne Maltoye is a somewhat weighty wine. The nose offer white and yellow orchard fruits – peach and pear – quite exotic and with a healthy dose of Chassagne minerality. On the palate rich, slightly dense with quite abundant mid-palate fruit. A bit on the rich side for my palate – as is most Chassagnes from this area of the Chassagne appellation. But a fine effort nevertheless.
Domaine Heitz-Lochardet, Meursault Les Perriéres 2015
The Meursault Les Perriéres is a significant leap up in quality. The nose is bursting with white orchards fruits – acacia blossom, pear and peach – quite cool and fresh with some exotic notes. On the palate very fine intensity with a rich fruit and a fine balancing acidity – harvested already on August 29th. A very fine Meursault Perrieres in the making.
Domaine Heitz-Lochardet, Chevalier-Montrachet 2015
The Chevalier-Montrachet was harvested on August 27th .. and the early harvest has preserved quite a lot of freshness in this wine. The nose offer layers of cool white fruit – floral with some more exotic elements of peach and ananas. On the palate tremendous depth and length – sappy fruit – fine acidity – a large scaled wine with a impressive mineral grip. This is quite outstanding effort for the vintage.
Summing up the 2015s from Heitz-Lochardet
The reds are more or less as expected – very fine indeed and just lovely – while some currently are more forward than others they all show fine potential. I have a soft spot for the Pommard Rugiens – a quite sexy wine from this otherwise slightly austere terroir.
The whites were better and fresher than expected – the early harvest seem to have preserved enough acidity to balance the rich but quite cool fruit. It’s a bit early for me to taste the whites .. but tasted now I find them quite impressive for the vintage. Will be interesting to follow these wines.