michel lafarge 1997 volnay 1er



What a wine; 3 days, three different results. Drunk over three nights, whilst over-nighting in the refigerator.

1997 Michel Lafarge, Volnay 1er Cru
Day 1. Medium rusty-red colour. Despite a certain 1997 ripeness to the fruit aromas, there is something of a cool edge and plenty of herbal notes – overall it’s ruff and gruff – not a lacy picture of Volnay. The leading edge is the acidity, though behind it the tannin is quite fine. The first flavours have a slight oxidised impression, but the best part of the wine is its extra dimension of very nice mid-palate flavour. Overall this wine lacks a lot of charm, and some aspects give me concern for further cellaring – still, this was my last.
Rebuy – No
Day 2. Same room, same time of day – looks less rust coloured (!?) The aromatics have really cleaned up, it’s still slightly austere but a little less herbal. More balance, and that slight oxidised flavour is gone, the fruit has an altogether younger and darker impression – I would even go as far as to say appeal! Whilst still not charming, I would say this is an altogether more ‘correct’ performance – one that indicates the vigour of youth rather than the previous day’s pallor of age…
Rebuy – Yes
Day 3. Like day 2, but more diffuse. Today the austerity coupled to the loose performance would give it the thumbs down. Interesting that the day 1 problem seemed to be something volatile in the wine – once it was gone, things really came together.
Rebuy – No

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?

There is one response to “michel lafarge 1997 volnay 1er”

  1. David20th February 2010 at 12:20 pmPermalinkReply

    Hi Bill!
    Interesting post on Lafarge.
    I wonder if you have any experience with older bottles?
    I have tasted from barrel and a few younger wines (Volnay vv 00-02) and these wines hav been very unrewarding; harsh tannins and quite unbalanced, but lovely on the nose.
    Are the Lafarge wines only built for the very long run?

    • billn20th February 2010 at 2:20 pmPermalinkReply

      Hi David,
      Everybody tells me that the wines are built to, and do, age. I’ve never been further back than ’93 so will have to stick with received wisdom – hopefully not from the same people that tell us that wines should be drunk by the time they are are 5 or 6 years old 😉
      I’ve always found the wines to have a decent lick of acidity – and I’m far from acid-shy…

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