2012 Domaine Michel Lafarge Volnay 1er Cru "Clos des Chateau des Ducs"

SKU #1271816 93-95 points Vinous

 The 2012 Volnay Clos du Chateau des Ducs impresses for its pure texture. Silky, generous and enveloping, the 2012 flows with the essence of black cherries, plums, savory herbs and wild flowers, all finely-knit and impeccably balanced. This is one of the more polished wines in the range. Today, it is absolutely singing. (AG)  (1/2014)

92-94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good bright medium red. Aromas of musky raspberry and smoked meat. Then almost shockingly juicy and penetrating, with a saline quality adding to the impression of cut and definition. This boasts terrific flavor intensity and inner-mouth tension and may well need seven or eight years of cellaring. Finishes long and firm, with suave tannins. (ST)  (1/2014)

90-92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2012 Volnay 1er Cru Clos du Chateau des Ducs is the 0.57-hectare monopole of Lafarge from an average of 80-year-old vines. Despite coaxing it remains stubbornly reticent on the nose, coquettishly revealing sea cave scents, perhaps a suggestion of what is to come with bottle age. The palate is more expressive with silky tannins, very pure red berry fruit, fine mineralite and a sophisticated, focused finish that lingers in the mouth. This has a wonderful weightless quality to it. Very classy. (NM)  (12/2013)

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Price: $159.99
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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.