2014 Domaine des Comtes Lafon Volnay "Les Santenots du Milieu" 1er Cru (Previously $150)

SKU #1302695 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Tasted blind at the Burgfest 2014 tasting, the 2014 Volnay 1er Cru Les Santenots-du-Milieu from Comtes Lafon is blessed with a sensual bouquet with plenty of dark cherry and blueberry fruit, maybe a slight malic scent just underneath. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy red berry fruit, a fine line of acidity, fresh and tensile with impressive mineralité coming through toward the finish. This is a stylish, well-crafted Santenots that should age well in bottle and may eventually merit a higher score. (NM)  (10/2017)

93 points Vinous

 (13% alcohol; less than 20 hectoliters per hectare produced): Good bright red. Pretty aromas of dark cherry, menthol and dark chocolate. Rich, broad, ripe and dry; more mouthfilling than the foregoing samples but still with a light touch. (The pH here is 3.4, but Lafon noted that the '15s have lower pHs and higher acidity.) Lovely depth to the fruit, spice and soil tones. Finishes very long, with refined tannins, superb energy and excellent balance. This will probably be accessible relatively early, like the Monthélie.  (3/2017)

92 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

 An elegant, cool and beautifully complex nose displays a discreetly spicy array of red berries plum, violets, tea and a wisp of warm earth. There is really lovely delineation to the concentrated and vibrant medium-bodied flavors that exhibit a taut muscularity while remaining refined and well-balanced on the firm but not austere finale. This is often a very impressive wine chez Lafon but in 2014 it is a bit more elegant than usual.  (4/2017)

91 points John Gilman

 The substantial Lafon holdings in this excellent premier cru allow for proper elevage even in years with a very short crop load like 2014, and this translated nicely in this vintage. The very classy nose offers up a youthful mix of dark berries, cassis, espresso, woodsmoke, a bit of venison, dark soil tones and a gentle framing of new wood. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, reserved and quite elegant in structural terms, with suave, fine-grained tannins, lovely focus and grip and a long, primary and promising finish. A very lovely example of Santenots du Milieu. (Drink between 2022-2055)  (11/2015)

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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.


- 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.
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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.