WTN: Dom. Michel Lafarge Volnay Clos du Chateau des Ducs 1er Cru 1993

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WTN: Dom. Michel Lafarge Volnay Clos du Chateau des Ducs 1er Cru 1993

Postby David Lole » Wed Jul 19, 2006 6:59 am

My first hit-out with this vineyard and vintage, although I have tried several bottles of the 1993 Clos des Chenes from this producer over the last several years.

Firstly, may I admit to having a soft spot for Volnay’s, especially of this class. My old friend, the late Tom Low, reminded me, on more than one occasion, that Volnay was revered by the ”aristocracy” for centuries, fetching far more than the current crop of favourites from Vosne-Romanee, Gevrey-Chambertin and Musigny. Funnily enough, there’s not a Grand Cru to be found in this appellation, a fact that makes the values of this underrated region all the better for the astute lover of fine Burgundy. Lafarge, in my mind, is at the top of the heap here, consistently producing succulent, feminine wines of great breed and class, although sometimes missing the sweet spot, as is the case with most producer’s from this variable climate.

This wine displays quite a mature hue with, initially, a reticent nose that opens, slowly but surely, with layer upon layer of finely meshed nuance building to a crescendo with several hours in the Riedel. Probably close to perfect to my liking, the nose eventually offers up mesmerising sappy morello’s and ripe green plums with hints of black truffles, sweet earth and deepset, background malty/caramel/savoury oak adding great depth and terrific authority. Overall, a presence of perfumed, perplexing pinosity rules the day here. Wonderful. The palate is absolutely delightful - silky, smooth and terribly long with gorgeous fruit, ripe acidity and far better, rounded tannin structure than any bottle of the, supposedly superior, Clos des Chenes, from the same vintage, demonstrates to date. Finishing with a slightly tart sappiness and lovely cherry/plum overtones, I would rate this wine at 93 points. Outstanding and worth every penny of the hundred dollars I forked out to secure the bottle. Bravo! Drink now to 2013+. 13% A/V
Cheers,

David
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Re: WTN: Dom. Michel Lafarge Volnay Clos du Chateau des Ducs 1er Cru 1993

Postby Mark Lipton » Wed Jul 19, 2006 11:07 am

David Lole wrote:The palate is absolutely delightful - silky, smooth and terribly long with gorgeous fruit, ripe acidity and far better, rounded tannin structure than any bottle of the, supposedly superior, Clos des Chenes, from the same vintage, demonstrates to date. Finishing with a slightly tart sappiness and lovely cherry/plum overtones, I would rate this wine at 93 points. Outstanding and worth every penny of the hundred dollars I forked out to secure the bottle. Bravo! Drink now to 2013+. 13% A/V


Wow, I have had but a single bottle of the '93 Clos de Chenes and it was lovely, one of the finest '93 Cote de Beaunes that I've had. Too bad I'll probably never see this wine.

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Re: WTN: Dom. Michel Lafarge Volnay Clos du Chateau des Ducs 1er Cru 1993

Postby Sam Platt » Wed Jul 19, 2006 11:32 am

David Lole wrote:Firstly, may I admit to having a soft spot for Volnay’s,


David, I agree on the Volnay. I very much enjoy the product from d' Angerville. I am able to purchase it by the half case in the range of $65 to $85 (USD) per bottle. The Lafarge always seems to run $90 to $110 per bottle for the more recent releases. For that reason I have stayed away from it in favor of the less expensive, and very tasty, d' Angerville. How do the two producers compare?
Sam

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Re: WTN: Dom. Michel Lafarge Volnay Clos du Chateau des Ducs 1er Cru 1993

Postby David Lole » Wed Jul 19, 2006 3:28 pm

Sam,

I've been neglectful d'Angerville since a terrible experience with the 1990 vintage. My friend showed me some lovely bottles of Caillerets, Fremiets and Champans. Over a period of time, I eagerly sought out several bottles of each (including some Tallepieds) from quite different sources and every bottle was equally foul/disgusting. Never been able to fathom how or why and haven't bought a bottle from this producer since. A case of once bitten, twice shy, perhaps - but having noted some very glowing reports from Meadows, Tanzer and Coates et al, still regard the Marquis as an "excellent" Volnay producer, if that's any consolation. Difficult then to offer you any knowledge to answer your "how do they compare?" question. My experience with the good bottles of '90, some years ago now, would suggest the Marquis made a richer, black-fruitier style but this may be the vintage speaking loudest here. Sorry I can't be of much help.
Cheers,

David
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Re: WTN: Dom. Michel Lafarge Volnay Clos du Chateau des Ducs 1er Cru 1993

Postby Sam Platt » Wed Jul 19, 2006 5:52 pm

David, You might want to give d' Angerville another go. The '99 Clos des Ducs was one of the better Burgs that I have ever tasted at any Cru level. I also liked the 2002 Taillepieds which needs another 4, or 5 years to mature. I have had a few vintages of the Champans which have all be quite good as well. I need to taste a Lafarge for comparison.

Thanks,
Sam

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Re: WTN: Dom. Michel Lafarge Volnay Clos du Chateau des Ducs 1er Cru 1993

Postby Sam Platt » Wed Jul 19, 2006 6:11 pm

David, Perhaps this could explain the problem with the 1990 d'Angerville wines:

greatdomaines.com wrote:For the 1990 vintage the Marquis tried out a couple of cuves auto-pigéantes for the Volnay Champans - something of a break with tradition! He considers that the results of this essai more closely resemble a lesser than a great year, so the experiment has not been repeated... Jacques d'Angerville is not in favour of saigner- although he did saigner a little in 1984 and again in 1990.
Sam

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Re: WTN: Dom. Michel Lafarge Volnay Clos du Chateau Des Ducs 1er Cru 1993

Postby Bob Henrick » Wed Jul 19, 2006 7:32 pm

DAMN David, that is a great note, and IT sure make me wish I had drunk it with you. I almost said tasted it with you, but I expect that a taste would not have been nearly enough!
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Re: WTN: Dom. Michel Lafarge Volnay Clos du Chateau des Ducs 1er Cru 1993

Postby David Lole » Thu Jul 20, 2006 6:08 am

Sam,

Foul as - akin to a cross between stinking rotting vegetables and an open drain - both on nose and palate. I couldn't tell if this was from contaminated barrels, rampant bacterial spoilage, a combination of both or some other disturbing problem.
Cheers,

David
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Re: WTN: Dom. Michel Lafarge Volnay Clos du Chateau Des Ducs 1er Cru 1993

Postby David Lole » Thu Jul 20, 2006 6:10 am

A pleasure we might just share one day, BH. Thanks for the nice coments.
Cheers,

David
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