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Two brilliant bottles of Volnay

We braved to cold today to go and visit our friends James and Katie. They have a three-week old baby (who is quite cute) so we thought they would need a drink. We took a Volnay and James had another good one to pop as well. It was lovely to see them, they seemed to be dealing with young-parenthood in a relaxed manner.

Volnay Premier Cru Clos des Chenes 1999, Michel Lafarge

This has an ultra-pure, really refined nose of lovely red fruit. Ripe strawberries, I feel. Beautiful, seductive and full of really downright loveliness. There is a very slight hint of grassiness as well, but this just adds to its complexity. This is what Volnay should be all about. The palate has a good backbone of acidity, and lots of bright, fresh fruit. It just dances across your palate, it is such a model of harmonious beauty. It is certainly long, concentrated, complex and all those things we want from flash Burgundy, but it is the lovely charm that does it for me. Bravo, M. Lafarge!

Volnay Premier Cru Champans 1999, Marquis d’Angerville

This seems marginally bigger and riper, with more cherry fruit rather than strawberries; we are told Champans is a quite giving Volnay Premier Cru. It seems very stylish and sophisticated, the result of enlightened wine-making and a top vintage. The palate has layer upon layer of highly attractive fruit, with nicely softening tannins and again a lively streak of acidity. The balance is just freaking-triple-A, as is the persistence of flavours on the finish. To sip a wine like this is to experience something special (special in a good way).

If I may add a general comment, these two producers make utterly beautiful Volnay. They are never hard or tough, but always bursting with the very best of Volnay refinement and love. These were truly great, beguiling, seductive wines which delivered so very much enjoyment.

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