Domaine Dandelion Hautes Cotes de Beaune Rouge 2020
Domaine Dandelion consists of approximately 2.5 ha in AOC Hautes Cotes de Beaune, mostly planted to old vine Pinot Noir (1940s - 60s plantings). There is also a tiny amount of very old vine gamy (1901 plantings) and aligoté.
The famous cuvée “Hautes Cotes Nature” is a most exceptional Pinot Noir.
The geology is a combination of 2 different types of sites. On some vineyards, it is the classic Cote d’Or setup of a layer of clay over limestone, and on others a very deep basin of Blue Marl full of fossils (the famous geology of the Jura). The vineyards are around 500m altitude, making them the highest and latest to be harvested in the Cote d’Or. This ultimately gives the wines a more ethereal and elegant nature, no doubt a valuable asset for the future in this warming climate.
The vines are worked entirely biodynamically by hand and/or horse, and sometimes with a tiny ride-on crawler. They are using alternative disease treatments to remove all sulphur sprays from the vineyard, and copper is kept to a very bare minimum (usually less than 20% of the authorised maximum spray for Biodynamic certification, which is already very low).
Winemaking is magic and deft. Perfect fruit is hand harvested and gently placed in concrete or wooden fermenters in whole bunches. Carbonic maceration is started, which may last up to 3 weeks, with no plunging or pump-over for at least the first 10 days. The juice is not removed, so a classic maceration on skins occurs at the bottom of the cuvee. Once carbonic maceration has delivered the desired flavour profile and structure to the wine, it is lightly trodden, then pressed in a very small basket press and sent to old oak barrels for 6-12 months depending on the vintage. The wine has never seen a pump, has never been touched with additions or manipulations and has gone through its entire life with no SO2 added at any stage.