Tasted with Hélène Delagrange in Volnay, 09 February 2016.
Domaine Henri Delagrange & Fils
4 Rue Saint-Etienne
Tel: +33 3 80 21 64 12
The office and tasting room for this domaine is in the development on the plateau above Volnay, their newly renovated cuverie is at the bottom of the village.
There have been many generations of Delagrange in Volnay, here is Hélène, wife of Didier Delagrange, who has been here since 1989. There is also a négoce structure at the domaine, “So it’s possible to buy grapes when nature doesn’t deliver them in Volnay.” Says Hélène, indeed “Some of négoce grapes are actually owned and worked by the Delagrange family.”
There are more reds than whites produced by this 15 hectare domaine, much of those 15 hectares is classified as ‘regional’ including their Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune, also from commune of Volnay.
Hélène explains that their approach in the vines is “everything that would respect the balance of the wine. We have a ‘traditional culture’ – all is ploughed with a minimum of treatments; the objective is to deliver a clean harvest.”
The domaine’s main market, up to 70%, is export. There are lots of agents in France and sales in salons for vignerons for example ‘Vignerons Independent de France.’
A really good address for clean, tasty, well-made, sometimes fabulous Volnay!
2014 Bourgogne Pinot Noir
From vines located in the commune of Volnay.
Hmm – I really don’t like the smell of this – like a dirty Beaujolais to start with – patience is required as it does clean up quite nicely in the glass. Then we have pretty red fruit with a slightly more savoury undertow. In the mouth this has modest intensity but has fresh and quite tasty red fruit. There’s a nice and fine line of flavour into the finish. A very modest wine with some very good parts.
Various parcels, 55-60 year old vines in Bouchère, Famines, Cros Martin, Gigotte, Serpens and Pasquiers – various! 1.74 ha worth. This VV is all destemmed, though since 2008 a little whole cluster (15-20%) has been used in the premier crus
This nose starts a little tight but saline – in 2-3 minutes it’s starting to relax with a growing silky red fruit – very attractive indeed – and it keeps getting better. A roundness yet layered delivery of excellent flavour. A hint of sweetness and a hint of plushness too, but really finely balanced. Bravo! Super wine!
2014 Volnay 1er Clos des Chênes
Vines planted in 1939, never a big yield, mid-slope vines, almost half a hectare.
Also starting a little tight and slowly opening in the glass – really a growing width of brooding notes – impressive if still discreet when I taste. Full, round, a saline suggestion that sits with the tannin – supple but rather concentrated, the tannin has no grain just a textural impression of faintly dry ‘drag.’ The first flowers are very lovely flowers and they are in the finish. Fine and covetable wine. The nose is now bigger and redder – silky too. Also a super wine.
Bought in 2007, always one of the first parcels to be harvested a little less surface than Clos des Chênes.
What a forward, high-toned and pretty nose – here is exuberant fruit edged with flowers – a really beautiful, clichéd Volnay. Mouth-filling, quite the most complex of these – more tannin for sure but in support rather than dominating – really a fine and detailed, pure complexity – my new favourite. Long, long… really great wine!
2014 Volnay 1er Santenots
Bought grapes from a friend – only 2-3 barrels – from Santenots du Haut (blancs).
A deep nose with some freshness but the depth hides a little grilled dark fruit. Freshness, salinity – really a width that is intense, tight flavour but really an interesting pure and clean complexity behind – wow! – this is good. The texture is fine and the tannin never more than an anecdote. If the nose improves this is also really super wine… The finish is more modest – in intensity, but not in length. The nose is getting better with deep red fruit of more volume – super wine!