Armand Heitz at Domaine Heitz-Lochardet has just completed his first five years as winemaker at the family estate.
I have followed Armand from the beginning – or should I say almost the beginning – starting with tasting his 2013s and 2014s.
Time marches on, and I think it’s time to take a position on the rapidly growing Heitz-Lochardet estate. What do we really think?
Vin de soif? or vin joyeux?
There are many different vinous styles and traditions in Burgundy. Fashion changes as growers change and the habits of Burgundy collectors and drinkers evolve. The current fashion in red Burgundy seems to be for what one could call forward, enjoyable wines.
A “vin de soif” (thirst quencher) is emblematic of the lighter side of this development. But when more notable terroirs are involved, I would call them lively, enjoyable wines – “vins joyeux” – wines to enjoy without regrets, yet which still show a significant terroir expression.
A Georges Roumier village wine will require 15-20 years to fully unfold, and one always feels a bit guilty consuming a young Roumier: They deserve cellaring and maturing.
In contrast, vins joyeux are wines that will last and improve with cellaring, but which will also give almost instant gratification. They are always ready to bring joy, and sometimes even deep, hedonistic pleasure.
Relatively light extraction, a usually shorter elevage, a modest new oak regime and relatively light sulphur additions clearly give these wines their forward, drinkable characters.
The reds from Heitz-Lochardet are indeed vins joyeux: built for pleasure and joyful drinking rather than for keeping 20 years. Yet still with beautiful expression of terroirs, just witness the Pommard Rugiens.
The whites in a sense match the reds stylistically, but they are perhaps more in line with other, modern-age whites. I will cover the H-L whites in a separate article.
So with no further ado, let’s taste the red 2018s
Overall impression of the red 2018s from Domaine Heitz-Lochardet
Armand Heitz has made forward and generous wines in 2018, yet they are precise and not too hot or opulent like some other 2018s. They show a very nice balance.
The reds are made – as usual – with a relatively short elevage, which helps with the attractive, easy drinkability. They are joyful, with a nice hedonistic touch.
The wines were tasted from cask on March 11, 2020.
Armand Heitz Folie Sauvage 2018
Folie Sauvage – Wild Madness – 2018 is a blend of 50% Gamay and 50% Pinot Noir. The grapes come from AOC vines in the Coteaux Bourguignon and Beaujolais Village appellations. A fresh, vivid vin de soif, with 2018 generosity and fine balance. Enjoy and be happy! We all need a joyful glass this summer.
(Drink from 2020) – Good – (85-86p) – Tasted 11/03/2020 –
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