Jasper Morris MW, insideburgundy.com (December 2020)
About this WINE
From 2008 Dominique Lafon decided to make a few wines under his own label, separate from the family domaine (Domaine des Comtes Lafon). Though this new company has the official status of a negociant, almost all the wines are in fact domaine bottlings from vineyards which Dominique either owns or has the contract to farm. The wines are now vinified, matured and bottled at the Chateau de Bligny, where Dominique and colleagues also operate a custom crush facility for small-scale winemakers who do not have their own winery.
The whites begin with Bourgogne Blanc (from 2010), village Meursault from La Petite Montagne which formerly went into the Domaine des Comtes Lafon Meursault blend, a single vineyard Meursault les Narvaux (from 2010) and a small premier cru holding of Puligny-Montrachet, Champgain. Some 2008 Viré-Clessé has been replaced from 2009 by a cuvée of St-Véran. The reds are a village Volnay and premier cru Les Lurets.
The reds are a village Volnay and premiers crus Volnay, Les Lurets and Beaune Les Epenottes.
The Dominique Lafon label is exclusive to Berry Bros. & Rudd in the UK, Hong Kong and Japan.
Jasper Morris MW, Burgundy Wine Director and author of the award-winning Inside Burgundy comprehensive handbook.
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.
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.