Tasted in Volnay with Frédérick Lafarge, 03 February, 2016.
Domaine Michel Lafarge
15 Rue De La Combe
Tel: +33 3 80 21 61 61
“The market is good” says Frederic, “But losing one vintage in the last 3 helps…”
Frederic on 2015:“It wasn’t easy because the pruning of the vines was very difficult – not really enough wood, so not much fruit. But the harvest was really magnificent; dry, warm, rain when it was needed, moderate quantities, but really fine quality – fine and clean.”
Frederic on 2014:“We had a super Spring – early and warm – the flowering went super. June was also fine until the 28th – we lost 55% of the crop that day – it was almost unimaginable because the vines were magnificent at that point. The weather wasn’t great afterwards, and right up to the end of August too. Interestingly the sugar stopped increasing, but the phenolic maturity continued. We started harvesting the 27th (Wednesday). Very classic wines of terroir and balance, we had very clean grapes and nothing volatile – it was really a satisfying! A little like the fruit of 1966, and the structure of 1978. 115-118 days between flowering and harvest, the most we’ve seen, and every terror is marked.
As is always the case chez Lafarge, the wines were simply magnificent from barrel – seemingly the best that Burgundy can offer – it’s such a shame that they rarely flower in bottle before they are 20 years old…
2014 Bourgogne Passetoutgrains – Exception
Pure, clean, fresh fruit – very inviting. Wide and fresh, direct, finely intense, super line into the finish. This will wake you up! Yum!
From Petits Prets
A more intense very fine red fruited – super-inviting. A little rounder, similarly dynamic, layered, beautiful, really beautiful!
Blended from vines in every corner of the village.
Wider, less round, more floral aromatic. Round in the mouth too, but more obviously mineral, dynamic again, complex. Aching flavour – wow! – super long…
2014 Volnay Vendanges Selectionée
4 different terroirs that ‘give depth and complexity.’
Higher toned, tighter nose. Lithe, bright, less effusive, a little more layered and deep, a calmer wine of more depth and width. Super again!
The most hailed, really just a few friends with scissors harvesting next to nothing.
A really fine top note, almost floral, beautifully detailed fruit. Fine, fresh, again dynamic wine of layered complexity, delivered in waves. Hyper-fabulous Beaune!
2014 Beaune 1er Greves
There was none in 2012 when the domaine made only 20% of a normal vintage – father Michel has never seen so low yields as that vintage – and he’s 93 years old!
Fabulous nose, complex but not oppressive, wide, complex, energetic, waves of delivery, faint salinity. Fabulously (that word again) long. Bravo!
2014 Volnay 1er Mitans
A different nose – a weight of aromatic here, rather than volume. A faint barrel spice too. A more direct wine, more than fine structure, the flavour slowly melting over the tongue, a clarity that’s quite mineral. So yum…
0.6 hectares from the Clos behind the Maire, with the hens, one of the earliest vineyards to ripen as it’s protected by the houses from any north wind.
“There are 3 different ages of vines; 65, 45, and 15 years-old, A wine normally with present but subtle tannins, normally open and charming. It’s a little more reserved in 14 – it ages magnificently – we recently had the 1915, and it was brilliant!”
Not the nose of most volume but here is a round, beautifully involving and complex aromatic. Beautifully textured, layered wine, with a long slow delivery of flavour, faintly saline. The tannin showing itself for the first time in the finish, but supple and smooth. Brilliant!
Near the 60 ouvrees
Almost a vibrant aroma, clarity of perfect fruit and something mineral in support – wow! Wide, super texture, bubbling but not loud complexity, a little more contemplative but fabulously balanced. Super long!
2014 Volnay 1er Clos des Chenes
Average about 50 year-old vines, not many young vines either. Everything replaced by massalle selection – the first from Fred’s grandfather, not much problem with esca or court noue in the domaine.
Wide, tighter but very appealing nose. Sweeter, wide, more overt, complex, wow! Like the Aigrots, with layers of mid-palate complexity. Richness and generosity combined!
2014 Bourgogne Aligoté – Raisin d’Oré
A bright and appealing core of fruit. Wide, complex, a hint saline, simple and very pleasurable wine. Yum!
Below Santenots du Milieu – a red soil which brings good balance and richness – no new oak as it would reinforce the power.
A subtle, pretty nose, a hint of Meursault spice. This is fine, mineral, saline, wide and balanced wine. A little extra growth of intensity in the mid-palate and finish. Yum!
1 barrel so only magnums will be bottled – a normal harvest would bring 6 barrels. 30-year-old vines on a perfect slope.
A fresh, floral aromatic, fresh, bright, alive in the mouth. This is an impressively complete wine – fresh, but no edges or corners, just oozing a subtle wide and engrossing flavour – lucky will be those who get a magnum.