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Domaine Michel Lafarge Volnay "Vendanges Selectionnées" 2015
- Great Domaines
all ratings out of 100 points.
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"This is also wonderfully fresh and cool with a similar array of fruit and floral elements though here the earth element is a bit more pronounced. As is typically the case there is more volume and mid-palate concentration to the focused medium-bodied flavors that are shaped by somewhat finer tannins on the lacy and impressively refined finale. This is an excellent Volnay villages and one that is also highly recommended." - Allen Meadows, Burghound
100% Pinot Noir
7% new oak for 18 months
Vineyards & vinification:
Single vineyard wine from 50 year old vines. Bottled without filtration.
Domaine Michel Lafarge arrived on the scene in the early 1900’s, and has since developed a firm grip on the village of Volnay. Michel (now in his eighties) has handed the reins over to his son Frédéric, but remains actively involved in the running of the domaine. Frédéric has been working with his father in their 13th century cellar (some of the darker corners still covered in cobwebs and mould), and took over in 1995. Trademark trousers pulled up high, with a focused look on his face, he is constantly overseeing some part of his estate.
A legacy of conservatism continues on the estate. Staying away from the 80’s trend of planting clones, Lafarge abandoned this as yields could not be driven low enough to match the concentration of older vines (ranging from 40 - 80 years old). They were one of the first estates to begin using organic fertiliser, and converted to biodynamic farming across the estate in 2000. This has led to a healthier soil, and Frédéric believes their biodynamic approach has led to greater balance in their wines.
Their twelve hectares are divided equally between premier crus, village and regional. Don’t ignore the handful of finely crafted whites they make (Meursault, Beaune les Aigrots, etc), bit it is their reds that make them famous. Bourgogne Passe-Tout-Grains (an interesting blend of Pinot Noir and Gamay Noir blend) and Bourgogne rouge lead you up to their impressive and fragrant Volnay. The Volnay Vendages Selectionées is a blend of his best vineyards, but his crowning jewel is to be found in the Volnay Clos des Chenes.
Lafarge has a preference for longer and cooler fermentation, using only the natural indigenous yeasts. After the free-run juice has been extracted from the grapes, the remainder is run through a pneumatic press and kept separate from each other. Only after a careful tasting will the two be mixed. A mere 15% of new wood is used for the maturation period of 18 months.
Michel and Frédéric are a formidable team, turning out full and juicy young wines, but patience will be rewarded with delicate subtlety if you let this domaine’s wine lie for 5 years or more.