2009 Domaine des Comtes Lafon Volnay 1er Cru "Santenots du Milieu"

SKU #1089730 96 points Vinous

 I was thrilled to find Lafon's 2009 Volnay Santenots on the list. One of my frustrations is that I have the opportunity to taste so many spectacular wines all over the world, but Marzia only tastes a small fraction of those wines. As soon as I saw the Lafon, I sensed it would be the prefect wine for this menu. The 2009 Santenots has always been dazzling. It was great from barrel, equally thrilling from bottle, and superb at this lunch. The French Laundry's menu isn't as easy to pair with wine as one might think. A Napa Valley Cabernet would almost certainly overpower many, if not most, of these subtle dishes, but red Burgundy from a ripe generous vintage is a great match. The 2009 Santenots was captivating from the first taste. Sensual, layered and impeccably balanced, it was flat-out stunning on its own and with the food. (AG)  (6/2013)

93 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

 A distinctly ripe nose of cassis and Pinot liqueur aromas dissolves into rich, mouth coating and relatively muscular large-scaled flavors that possess an abundance of dry extract. There is really lovely detail on the impressively complex and persistent finish. This should reward up to a decade of cellar time and as a point of comparison, this isn't as fine as the 2010 version but it's significantly more powerful.  (4/2012)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good deep red-ruby. Black plum, black cherry and chocolate on the nose. Superrich and sweet; a real fruit bomb of dark cherry and raspberry, but a firm spine of acids and tannins keeps it lively on the palate. Complicating notes of licorice, bitter chocolate and flowers. The almost glyceral impression of sweetness comes from fully ripe fruit and the wine's 13.5% alcohol, notes Lafon. Deceptively open-knit today owing to its sheer richness. This was bottled in March of 2011, the other 2009s in January and February.  (4/2012)

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Price: $129.95
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Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.


- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.


- The province of eastern France, famous for its red wines produced from Pinot Noir and its whites produced from Chardonnay. (Small of amounts of Gamay and Aligoté are still grown, although these have to be labeled differently.) The most famous part of the region is known as the Côte d'Or (the Golden Slope). It is divided into the Côte de Beaune, south of the town of Beaune (famous principally for its whites), and the Côte de Nuits, North of Beaune (home of the most famous reds). In addition, the Côte Chalonnaise and the Mâconnais are important wine growing regions, although historically a clear level (or more) below the Côte d'Or. Also include by some are the regions of Chablis and Auxerrois, farther north. View our bestselling Burgundy.
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- Sometimes known as the Chambolle Musigny of the Côte de Beaune, Volnay is famous for its silky, elegant wines with finesse, delicacy and an almost ethereal nose. However, the wines have a depth and structure that can allow them to age for decades. Remington Norman said it wonderfully in his book The Great Domaines of Burgundy: 'If the wines of Pommard sometimes seem like a truck-driver's interpretation of Pinot, then those of Volnay are a ballerina's.