2017 Volnay, Domaine Michel Lafarge, Burgundy

2017 Volnay, Domaine Michel Lafarge, Burgundy

Product: 20171039937
Prices start from £450.00 per case Buying options
2017 Volnay, Domaine Michel Lafarge, Burgundy

Description

There are two cuvées of village Volnay this year, this one is made up of the vineyards that are on the borders of Volnay and lower down towards the Route Nationale, including some Premier Cru Brouillards. There is really good intensity of fruit here, lots of energy and a refined, silky texture. It’s hard to believe this is just village level. Drink 2020-2026.

Michel Lafarge (b. 1928) and his son Frédéric make use of their combined experience to produce some of the greatest wines in Volnay. There is nothing modern in their winemaking, though the meticulous care of their biodynamically farmed vineyards puts the domaine at the forefront of viticultural practices. When they are working on a patch of vines they are usually accompanied by their hens who eat up any lurking pests. The grapes are de-stemmed, vinified traditionally and very little new oak is used in the cellar. In 2014, they purchased vineyards in the Beaujolais which are farmed using the same biodynamic practices as employed in the Côte de Beaune.

Frédéric was keen to highlight the solidarity shown between vignerons at the end of April, as they mobilised to put in place measures to prevent a repeat of the frosts of 2016. Burning dampened straw bales at strategic locations, they succeeded in creating cloud cover which saved the vast majority of the vineyards. He also stressed the importance of “fractional harvesting” – waiting until each parcel is fully ripe before picking – and feels that the domaine’s biodynamic practices allow the grapes to achieve even ripening and balance, a real boon in early vintages such as 2017. For those with long memories, 90-year-old Michel compares 2017 to 1947 and 1964.

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About this WINE

Domaine Michel Lafarge

Domaine Michel Lafarge

Michel Lafarge, now in his eighties, and his son Frédéric make use of their combined experience top produce some of the greatest Burgundy wines in Volnay. There is nothing modern in their winemaking, though the meticulous care of their biodynamically farmed vineyards puts the domaine at the forefront of viticultural practices. When they are working ona  patch of vines they are usually accompanied by their hens who eat up any little pests which may be lurking!

They have around 10 hectares of vines and own some of the very best sites in Volnay. The vines are mature but not excessively old and yields are low without being draconian. There is very little new oak used, and the current mix is 5% new oak, with the balance of 2-to 5-year-old wood. The wines are handled as seldom as possible, with only a couple of rackings, a light fining and rarely any filtration.

The Lafarge domaine is run very much by instinct and respect for the terroir, with no sense of imposition and with biodynamic techniques. The wines are allowed to speak for themselves and are wonderfully fragrant, complex and harmonious - the essence of great Volnay.

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Volnay

Volnay

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.
  • 98 hectares of village Volnay
  • 115 hectares of Premier Cru vineyards (35 in all). The finest include Les Taillepieds, Clos des Chênes, Champans, Caillerets (including Clos des 60 Ouvrées) and Santenots in Meursault.
  • Recommended producers:  LafargeLafonde Montille

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Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir

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.

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Reviews

Customer reviews

The Wine Advocate89-91/100

Critic reviews

The Wine Advocate89-91/100
The 2017 Volnay Vendanges Slectiones is showing well, wafting from the glass with notes of cassis, red berries, raw cocoa and orange rind. On the palate, it's medium-bodied, deep and nicely concentrated, with more depth and dimension than the domaine's regular Volnay, framed by chalkier tannins that will reward bottle age and concluding with a sappy finish.
William Kelley - 04/01/2019 Read more