1999 Alain Hudelot Noellat Richebourg Grand Cru

95
RP-NM
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Wine Critic Reviews for 1999 Alain Hudelot Noellat Richebourg Grand Cru

The 1999 Richebourg Grand Cru from Hudelot-Noëllat personifies the vineyard with some style. It has a stunning, pure, elegant and effortless nose that maybe expresses that essence of pinoté better than more than a dozen other Richebourg wines present at this tasting. Raspberry coulis, wild strawberry and cold stone soar from the glass with great focus. The palate is tensile, the red berry fruit laced with orange zest that lends vivacity and energy. To be banal, this is just a Richebourg so well crafted that you want to just drink it rather than intellectualize over its virtues. That's the sign of a great wine. Drink from 2015-2030.

Robert Parker Neal Martin | 95 RP-NM
(Richebourg- Hudelot-Noëllat) The 1999 Hudelot Richebourg is much more together out of the blocks that the RSV, delivering a complex and compelling bouquet of red plums and cherries, milk chocolate, smoke, venison, minerals, herb tones, hints of forest floor and a stylish coating of vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, lush and potentially quite opulent, with excellent focus and polish, packed with fruit at the core, and excellent length and grip on the moderately tannic finish. This does not quite possess the nascent complexity of the Méo Richebourg, but it matches it every step of the way for breed, focus and delineation, Another ringing success for the vintage. While this will be approachable in a few years, I would give it at least eight or nine years to fully open and start hitting on all cylinders. Fine, fine juice. (Drink between 2010-2040)

John Gilman | 94 JG
Classic Hudelot style with its discreetly elegant nose of spice and beautifully proportioned flavors displaying outstanding richness and perfect acid/fruit balance. Very fine, very long and a Richebourg that delivers finesse rather than power though this is by no means a shrinking violet. In short, this is a complex, long and perfectly balanced effort that has largely reached its apogee.

Burghound | 93 BH
(aged in about 40% new oak, a bit less than in recent vintages): Medium red with modest saturation. Aromas of black raspberry, leather and earth are less pristine than those of today's wines. Creamy-sweet and spicy in the mouth, with a slightly high-toned quality to its fat flavors of red berries, red cherry, underbrush and leather.

Vinous Media | 93 VM

Wine Details on 1999 Alain Hudelot Noellat Richebourg Grand Cru

More Information
Producer Alain Hudelot Noellat
Region Burgundy: Situated just west of the beautiful river Saone, the hills and valleys of Burgundy stand as they have stood since medieval times, and you can almost hear the cheerful chatter of vineyard workers from miles away. Indeed, France's identity in the world of wine would be incomplete without the inclusion of Burgundy and its many viticultural achievements. Every little sub-region of the area boasts a unique soil composition, which, when combined with the area's climate conditions, creates an incredibly diverse and appealing selection of fine wines.

Every new bottle is an adventure of its own, and a snapshot of its birthplace. You could spend years sampling great Burgundian wines, and you would still have a lot to learn, which is what makes the region so compelling for veterans and novice wine lovers alike. No matter what your taste in wines may be, there is a winery in Burgundy that could mesmerize your mind and make your senses scream with joy. And what better way to spend a comfy summer afternoon with your friends and family than with a classy bottle from some of the region's most reputable wineries? From the noble slopes of Cote d'Or to the flatlands near various settlements, let us help you on your journey as we explore Burgundy's most delicious and renowned wines.
Subregion Cote de Nuits
Appellation Richebourg
Cru Grand Cru
Country France: Words fail us when trying to adequately portray France's place in the world of wine. It's downright impossible to imagine what wine would feel and taste like had it not been for France's many, many viticultural pioneers. Fine wine is the blood of France's vigorously beating heart, and it finds itself in many aspects of French culture. With a viticultural history that dates all the way back to the 6th century BC, France now enjoys its position as the most famous and reputable wine region on the planet. If you have a burning passion for masterfully crafted, mouth-watering, mind-expanding wines, then regular visits to France are probably already in your schedule, and for a good reason.
Type of Wine Burgundy Red: If you have a craving for some beautiful, mind-expanding Pinot Noir, few regions can match the talent and consistency of Burgundy. The grape almost seems like it evolved for this very region, and its essence will stimulate your senses and arouse your imagination. Drink deep and experience almost spiritual enlightenment.
Varietal Pinot Noir: As one of the oldest grape varieties in the world, Pinot Noir has a long and storied history which began more than 2,000 years ago. This story spans form the time of ancient Roman influence to modern day trailblazing; Old World and New World grape growing. It also involves the most unlikely of “characters” from Cistercian Monks to the Holy Pope and even Hollywood actors; each playing a part in the development of the Noble Pinot Noir grape variety. For a grape that appears simple on the surface, it may be one of the most complex varietals on earth, playing a major role in the formation of some of the most profound and distinguished winegrowing regions in the world.

Pinot Noir’s exact origin remains relatively unknown as it is far too ancient to have been recorded precisely. It is thought to have been cultivated in the rocky hillsides of Burgundy by Roman hands as early as the 1st Century AD. At that time, Roman agronomist Columella identified and tasted wine that very much seems to be consistent with today’s description of Pinot Noir. There are complex theories on how either the Greeks or Romans took cuttings of Vitis Vinefera (Pinot Noir) from the area of Transcaucasia (modern day Turkey, Iraq and Iran) and brought the wild vines to France. Speculation aside, what we do know is that the wine-loving ancient Romans spread their dominion far and wide, leaving grapevines in their wake. Their innovative devotion to cultivating wine in French soil set in motion, nurtured, and influenced the winegrowing culture that we very much enjoy today.

Around 1000 AD, long after the dismantling of the Roman Empire, the history of Pinot Noir in Burgundy begins to have clarity, greatly due to the extraordinary record keeping of the Cistercian Order of Monks (formed from the Benedictine Order). The Cistercian Monks began gaining authority outside the area of what we know today as Dijon. Devoted to hard labor and prayer, the monks began cultivating the rocky hillsides of early Burgundy, painstakingly documenting detailed records of their vineyards. Centuries of specifying their practices, describing exactly how and exactly where vines thrived or failed and how the resulting wine tasted, the Cistercian Monks unwittingly created the world’s first harvest reports while simultaneously inventing the idea of terroir. These records and the notion that wines reflect their growing locales, permanently shaped the fundamentals of winegrowing and making terroir a critical concept.

This concept really gained attention when Pope Urban V refused to return the Papal court to Rome from Avignon due to unavailability of Burgundy wines south of the Alps. The lack of commerce routes inhibiting the Burgundy wine trade did not affect the Cistercian Order of Monks as they were driven towards higher quality and excellence through religious devotion instead of monetary gain. Both the outward remarks of the Pope and diligent efforts by the monks helped place Burgundy in a class of its own.

Pinot Noir would eventually spread its wings and infiltrate Champagne, Loire and Alsace, Provence, Sancerre and Languedoc, finding hospitable terroir and new purposes along the way. From bubbles to “pink” wine, it adapted to the soil, revealing the terroir through the wine itself. The early developments and manipulation of the Pinot Noir grape within France was a precursor for the inevitable. The varietal spread through Europe and eventually making a trip around the globe landing in the Willamette Valley, Oregon (planted in 1965 by David Lett).

The Pinot Noir grape quickly found a niche in Willamette Valley where it shares the same latitude of 45 degrees north, experiencing similar sunlight as well as a similar cooler climate to that of Burgundy. A few years later it would be introduced to California where it found terroir hotspots in both cool and surprisingly hotter climates, thus spreading to Napa, Sonoma Coast, Russian River Valley, Carneros among others, birthing New World Pinot Noir winemaking. And, of course, there was the Pinot craze that occurred after the release of the movie Sideways which manifested “Pinot snobs” around America. The 2004 American comedy set the market on fire, increasing sales of Pinot Noir in the state of California by 170 percent.

The varietal of Pinot Noir thrives in cool climates with terroir consisting of marl and limestone soils of extremely variable composition that mimics that of its ancestral home of Burgundy. For a grape that is notoriously difficult to grow, Pinot Noir is ubiquitous in winegrowing regions around the world, spanning 115,000 hectares. It may be a fussy grape, but when planted in the right location and climate, it reveals the qualities of its host terroir in many different manners.

The Noble Pinot Noir grape has greatly impacted the world of winegrowing and making while birthing the concept of terroir; from fruit forward Pinots produced in warmer California localities to New World Oregon wines with Burgundian nuances to Rose in Provence, bubbly in Champagne to the infamous Domaine de la Romanee Conti and its eye watering prices and unrivaled quality. Pinot Noir has long lived the quiet, elegant lifestyle giving Old World winemakers and consumers an ethereal pleasure. New World winemaking has granted it the opportunity for worldwide consumption on any budget and creating the Pinot Phenom. The varietal is now enjoying the best of both “worlds.”

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