2017 Domaine des Comtes Lafon Volnay (Previously $120)

SKU #1416289 92 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

 A more restrained nose reluctantly offers up a bit more deeply pitched nose of violet, plum and anise hints. The sleek, delicious and beguilingly vibrant medium weight flavors culminate in a dusty, complex and sneaky long finish. While this is labeled as a villages, it performs at a 1er level.  (4/2019)

92 points Decanter

 Dominique Lafon uses his young-vine fruit from Santenots and En Champans to make this delightfully drinkable village Volnay. Crunchy, fresh and vibrant, it has pomegranate and wild strawberry fruit, gentle, fine-grained tannins and some sweet spice from 20% new wood. (TA)  (10/2018)

90 points John Gilman

 The Comtes Lafon Volnay villages cuvée is always a lovely bottle for mid-term consumption and it was nice to see it back in the lineup again in this vintage, after not being produced last year, due to the very short crop. The backbone of this bottling are the relatively younger vines in Champans, as with a normal crop again in 2017, Dominique Lafon was able to bottle the ninety-eight year-old vines in Champans on their own this year. The 2017 Volnay AC offers up a fine, black fruity nose of sweet dark berries, black cherries, bitter chocolate, pigeon, dark soil tones, a bit of cedar and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and nicely plump at the core, with a touch of ripe tannin and good length and grip on the well balanced and promising finish. This is a very good AC.  (12/2018)

K&L Notes

91 points Jasper Morris for Inside Burgundy: "This comes from young plantings (1997 and 2002) in Volnay Santenots along with a bit of 30 year old Champans, so it is all in fact from 1er cru terroir. This is quite beautiful with a sense of density. This fills the mouth, excellent texture, the aromatics flood back behind. The Comtes Lafon Volnay, when it is made, is a wine of huge appeal that paves the way for the premiers crus to follow. Tasted: October 2018." (01/2019)


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Varietal:

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.
Country:

France

- 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.
Sub-Region:

Burgundy

- 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.
Specific Appellation:

Volnay

- 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.