Armand Heitz in the vines. (Courtesy of T. Edward Wines)

Heitz-Lochardet 2018: A View of What's to Come

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On my last trip to Burgundy, just over three years ago, I had an opportunity to taste with Armand Heitz. At this point in time, the Heitz-Lochardet wines had been in the market for just a couple of years but had already generated a good deal of positive buzz among restaurant and retail buyers for their sense of focus  and transparency. I had not tasted the wines since they first arrived in New York and was very much looking forward to our appointment. 

The story of Domaine Heitz-Lochardet is an interesting one. Its original incarnation was created in 1857, but as the vineyards were passed down through successive generations some were sold off. They kept only the best parcels, which include holdings any grower today would envy: Chevalier-Montrachet, Meursault-Perrieres, Chassagne Montrachet-Morgeot and Pommard-Rugiens, among others. Armand's mother Brigitte leased her share of the vines for twenty five years to the most esteemed of negociants, Maison Joseph Drouhin. The expiration of that lease coincided rather fortuitously with the conclusion of Armand's oenology studies and he was able to re-take control of the family estate and start making wine. 

The Drouhin family had farmed the vines organically throughout their stewardship and Armand has continued in this fashion, eschewing chemicals and making a series of trials with biodynamics. However, as he has progressed and found his feet and confidence as a grower, he has focused less on biodynamics and more on permaculture and biodiversity. He is tremendously sensitive to the realities of climate change and feels strongly that he and his peers must do everything they can to ensure the health of the region as the earth grows warmer. To encourage long-term balance in the vines, he has reduced tilling to an absolute minimum. He relies instead on planting a wide selection of grains, legumes, roots and herbs, depending on the needs of the vines and has begun a regimen of passages through the vineyards with chicken and sheep, both as a way to control pests and to fertilize the soil. In these practices, he sees a long-term solution for healthy soil and carbon reduction. 

This seriousness is reflected in the wines. I have been lucky enough to taste them since the first vintage (only 2013) and have been consistently impressed. The whites emphasize focus and freshness over breadth and richness. The new oak is minimal (in 2013 there was no new oak at all). Each bottling clearly expresses its site.These are terrific wines and offer a glimpse of the region's future in a warmer world. As is often the case with Burgundy, quantities today are miniscule so act early! Sam Ehrlich

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Heitz-Lochardet 2018 Bourgogne Aligote

From forty-year old vines just east of Meursault and aged in old barrels, this is absolutely OUTSTANDING. It is elegant, expressive and utterly delicious from the moment it is opened, full of lemon and honeysuckle and a sherbet-like finish that makes me think fondly of Pixie Stix. This is the only wine in the offer today available in any quantity. We emptied the first bottle in a matter of minutes. Sam Ehrlich

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $26.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Heitz-Lochardet 2018 Bourgogne Blanc

Everyone who has ever tasted this wine complains forever after that they wished Armand would make more of it. Coming from vines  nearly sixty years old at the edges of Chassagne, this is always a powerhouse Bourgogne Blanc, full of nerve and cut. The soil is a combination of clay and sand over white marl and yields are small. In my former restaurant life, I was always trying to cobble together enough to serve by the glass but year after year it was impossible.

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $31.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Heitz-Lochardet 2018 Saint-Aubin Travers de chez Edouard

This is from a village-level parcel at the top of the hill, deep in the combe, above St. Aubin. This is the first vintage this wine has been available here.

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $62.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Heitz-Lochardet 2018 Meursault En La Barre

En La Barre is a distinguished village-level parcel of Meursault, abutting the north side of the town. The soils are shallow clay and limestone over bedrock and the vine ages run from 15 to 60 years old. Armand is in good company here, sharing the parcel with Antoine Jobard and Comte Lafon. This parcel produces quite round wines that drink well early but can also be tucked away for five or ten years without worry.

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $84.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Heitz-Lochardet 2018 Meursault 1er Cru Les Perrieres

The undisputed champion of Meursault, a Grand Cru in all but name. This comes vines ranging from 35 to 60 years old, planted intensely stony soils with a base of white marl.

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $196.99