Monthly Archives: February 2015

A forward Les Mitans from the roots of Volnay history

The domaine Lafarge uses very little new oak (< 10%), which is quite unusual in Burgundy nowadays and their practices are based on historical knowledge, sticking to selection massale grapes and never experimented with clones. We just met with Frédéric Lafarge and his father a week ago in Burgundy and we will put up a post shortly on this. The vineyard “Les Mitans” appears to mean mid-slope and has somewhat east exposition with early morning sun between 1er crus Les Brouillards and En L’Ormeau. The top soil is a mix of marl and limestone. The center is a layer of stone and deeper down there is clay. This diversity and soil composition renders wines with complexity.

2009 Volnay 1er cru “Les Mitans”, Michel Lafarge

Translucently light red-purple and blood orange middle with light edges. Very fine colour.

The nose emerges with water-on-stone, earthy notes, newly wedged grass, deep minerals and fresh herbs; eucalyptus, thyme. After another three hours, an intriguing, deep inner perfume arrives and notes of dried violets. An honest, quite pretty nose from the soil.

On the palate, the wine is immediately just a little bitter, but there is ripe fruit in the background as well as tea, hints of coffee, gravel and loads of deep minerals. The vivid, cool acidity is wrapped with saline dry licorice and currently a little less pleasant sour-bleak grape juice that is just a little overly dominating. Texture is smooth and soft. Tannins are fine sandy in a manner that resembles a 10-year-old warmer short-cycled Barolo from La Morra.

This is a transparent wine with smooth, soft texture from thick, wide stroking tannins driven by a remarkably vivid, high quality acidity, but it is not a seductive charmer and now it hides the fruit. More of a transparent, honest and genuine, but fragile hero speaking the tales of its origin and brooding on something mystic. It certainly needs to time to develop.

90-92p/100

Gang-of-4 Beaujolais producer Jean Folliard’s 2010 Fleurie

2010 Fleurie, Jean Foillard

Some green banana, yellow plum and rubber.

The palate offers really ripe and quite fresh fruit; mainly plum, some banana and conserved raspberries. Remarkably cotton soft and velvety texture without any edges. Concentrated, generous and weightlessly compliance with voluptuous body and quite persistent.

It lacks some character and elegance but if you want to enjoy a wine that is incredibly soft, full bodied and packed with really ripe fruit, this is it.

88-89p/100

A fresh, very deep and sturdy Nuits-St-George 1er cru from Arnoux-Lachaux

We made a very short stop at the estate Arnoux-Lachaux in Vosne-Romanée, Burgundy back in 2012 and met with Charles Lachaux in their cellar. The estate trails back to 1858 and was formerly known as Robert Arnoux, but in 2008 the estate´s name was changed into its current name by the married couple Pascal Lachaux and Florence (Arnoux). From the 2012 vintage, their oldest son Charles joined his father after finishing enology studies by taking over vinification and stopped de-stemmig and since then gently presses 30-100% ripe grape bunches depending on vintage and vineyard. Pascal has done a lot to increase the quality of the vineyard through the years by hard pruning, removing buds, thinning out and keeping about six bunches per vine. They are typically non-intervenists type of vintner that put all their efforts into the vineyard. The kind we really like.

This premier cru Clos des Corvées Pagets is located at Premeaux-Prissey in the southern part of Nuits-Saint-George. It is very rocky, with lots of sand and sand stone. It produces a wine with soft, but solid tannins and some structure. The yield is naturally low, but always very concentrated due to the 60 years old vines. However, the oldest vines here were planted in 1921.

The grapes for this wine was harvested on the 28th of September in this non-classic quite warm vintage that the french refers to as sexy since it in general is fleshy, packed with forward fruit and charm. Grape bunches were 100% de-stemmed for this wine and then went through cold soak for a few days and then after being very gently pressed, the grape juice went into fermentation with skins (cuvaison) for 14 days with punch-downs (pigeage) and pumping over. The juice was then raised in 30% new wood. 

2009 Nuits-St-George 1er cru “Clos des Corvées Pagets”, Arnoux-Lachaux

The colour is dark, translucent cerise-red middle with light-orange and pink edges.

After only two hours in the decanter, a quite deep and big nose with sturdy notes of saline mushroom, dry herbs, raspberry jam, candy, overly intense dried red flowers and prominent burnt, detailed lime stone.

This is a powerful wine, but weightless with deep layers of ripe, chalky fruit, but as can be the case with wines from Nuits-Saint-George, this is not rustic and flat. Palate offers dry distinct blood orange, very ripe strawberries, anise, clove, cinnamon, some savoury notes and chalky lime minerals. Texture is soft, velvety and tannins are ripe providing a very good backbone and grip in the just a little dry and austere, but persistent finish. Acidity is really great, fresh and filled with balsamic oils, deep minerals and distinct grape-peel.

A very rich, a little sturdy and full-bodied wine and for a Burgundy wine it is powerful. Except for the comparably less solid and not equally as chewy tannins, this resembles me of a really good, but much lighter version of a fresh Barolo from Serralunga d’Alba which is a great rating in my view. I am surprised by the building structure of the tannins here for being a pinot and from Burgundy.

92p/100