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2010 Volnay Santenots, 1er Cru, Henri Boillot
Scores and Reviews
Henri Boillot has in a very short space of time build an extraordinary reputation for the sheer quality of his Burgundy wines. To call the the Henri Boillot label a mini-negoce does the wines a great disservice as, although Henri does not own the vineyards from which the grapes are sourced, he farms them as meticulously as if they were is own.
They are only ‘mini’ perhaps in the tiny levels of wine produced from each appellation. The meticulous and elegant Henri Boillot also owns and manages the Domaine founded by his grandfather. The sheer quality of these wines, including the impressive and exclusive Les Mouchères monopole, is testimony to the assiduous work he has done in both the vineyards and cellar.
Herni's wines inlcude several Premier Crus from Meursault (Les Poruzots, Les Charmes, Les Genevrières, Les Perrières), Puligny Montrachet (les Folatières, les Perrières, les Pucelles, les Mouchères), Chassagne-Montrachet (Chevenottes, Embrazees), Volnay and Savigny-les-Beaune.
Pinot Noir is probably the most frustrating, and at times infuriating, wine grape in the world. However when it is successful, it can produce some of the most sublime wines known to man. This thin-skinned grape which grows in small, tight bunches performs well on well-drained, deepish limestone based subsoils as are found on Burgundy's Côte d'Or.
Pinot Noir is more susceptible than other varieties to over cropping - concentration and varietal character disappear rapidly if yields are excessive and yields as little as 25hl/ha are the norm for some climats of the Côte d`Or.
Because of the thinness of the skins, Pinot Noir wines are lighter in colour, body and tannins. However the best wines have grip, complexity and an intensity of fruit seldom found in wine from other grapes. Young Pinot Noir can smell almost sweet, redolent with freshly crushed raspberries, cherries and redcurrants. When mature, the best wines develop a sensuous, silky mouth feel with the fruit flavours deepening and gamey "sous-bois" nuances emerging.
The best examples are still found in Burgundy, although Pinot Noir`s key role in Champagne should not be forgotten. It is grown throughout the world with notable success in the Carneros and Russian River Valley districts of California, and the Martinborough and Central Otago regions of New Zealand.
The finest and most elegant red wines of the Côte de Beaune are grown in Volnay, a village which might be twinned with Chambolle- Musigny in the Côte de Nuits, for the high active chalk content in the soil and comparatively low clay content.Whereas in earlier times Volnay was made in a particularly light, early drinking style, these days there are many producers making wines which age extremely well. The best vineyards run either side of the RN73 trunk road.