Tasted in Volnay with Pascal and Pierrick Bouley, 02 February 2016.
Domaine Réyane & Pascal Bouley
5, Place de l’Eglise
Tel: +33 3 80 21 61 69
Set across from the church in the centre of Volnay, is the domaine Réyane et Pascal Bouley.
6 generations of the family developed the domaine, Pascal, the sixth generation, saying that his grandfathers, on both sides, were vignerons here. Pascal and Rayenne’s son, Pierrick, is the 7th generation in waiting. Today’s domaine extends to about 9 hectares; there’s a little in Monthelie and Pommard but they are focused on Volnay. It was Pascal’s grandfather – Jean Rossignol – who first began bottling – Pascal’s mother was a Rossignol who married a Bouley.
It’s a very nice collection of vines that the domaine owns in Volnay; 3.5 hectares of villages-rated vines, mainly at the bottom of the hill plus a small parcel from the top. Their selection of premier crus including 0.31 hectares of Clos des Chênes, 0.24 hectares of Champans, 0.39 hectares of Robardelles, 0.13 hectares of Ronceret and 0.09 hectares of Santenots Blanc – but it’s red! Their last 1er is something of a monopole – 0.24 hectares of Grand Champs – ‘something’ because they own the whole of the premier cru part of the lieu-dit, the rest of Grands Champs being classed as villages!
The bulk of the domaine’s sales are to individual purchasers, either personal visitors or sales through salons – that accounts for about 70% of production. Pascal describes their export activities as “Small – closer to cases than pallets.”
Pascal describes their vineyard culture as ‘raisonnée;’ “Ploughed by tractor, with the minimum of treatments – it’s a long time since we sprayed things here.”
September 13-18 was the harvest in 2014. This vintage averaged only 18hl/ha here – a little more than 60% down vs ‘normal.’ “We have a lot of old vines, so we anyway don’t have high yields.” Since 2008, there has been triage at cuverie as well as at the vines; “The vibrating table has been indispensable in the last vintages of hail.” An occasional cuvee with perhaps 20% stems, otherwise the fruit is destemmed here. There are 5-6 days of cool maceration and just a little pigeage to start 16-18 days of cuvaison (the time the grapes/stems and juice are together in the fermentation tank). 10-20% of new oak is used during elevage.
A set of wines that I find incredibly involving – they demand your attention in the glass – I think that’s always a great thing!
From the centre of the village below Ronceret. All bottled beginning of November.
A fine depth and really inviting red fruit – super. Large in the mouth, grain from the tannin, but a fine vibrant, almost layered fruit here. Some acidity and fine persistence in the finish – best (1st!) wine of the day so far!
2014 Volnay 1er Robardelles
At the top on the road between Chevrets and Santenots Dessous
Deeper colour. Dark red fruit, with a certain weight. An impression of minerality, wide, much finer texture than the villages, really not a wine of fat, rather of muscle and a super width of clean flavour heading into a finish that narrows but also adds a floral distinction. This needs a little time to relax – but I’m ready!
Right in the middle of the 1ers at the top of the vineyard.
Lovely, lovely nose – fruit driven, but layers of appealing red fruit. Really super layers of flavour here – this is really excellent – an extra dimension of flavour, perhaps a hint of salinity. Great mid-palate and on to the finish. Bravo! Excellent finish too. My new favourite!
2014 Volnay 1er la Grand Champs
The monopoly of this 0.24 hectare 1er cru section of the Grand Champs vineyard.
Here is a tighter nose, fainter floral notes escape the glass, but to start with, little else. In the mouth, this is more direct, slowly, slowly widening – the flavour here is herbal-inflected fruit. But, once more, there is a layered impression to the flavour. This is a wine to wait a little longer for, as it has an austere mineral character mixed in the fruit – possibly it will still be less good than the Roncerets, but let’s see – aparently the Robardelles and Roncerets are always easier to enjoy than this wine at the start.
2014 Volnay 1er Santenots
From Santenots Blanc – ‘When grandfather bought it, it was indeed planted to white but eventually he decided to change.’
Deep colour. Tight width but good depth of aroma – almost chalky at the base. Wide, vibrant, mineral, a slowly growing tannic base – but it’s a textural drag rather than a grain. A bright and intense flavour in the mid-palate, still drying behind but this is good wine. Wait a couple of years for the tannin to fade. It lingers well on a very discreet note.
From the northern side of the vineyard, close to Carelles Sous la Chapelle.
Very floral with sweet fruits – totally different to the last wines. Vibrant, fresh, complex, a little salinity – some tannin at the base, but frankly, who cares(?). Vibrant, complex and really super wine! Complex in the fine finish too – really a fine wine!
2014 Volnay 1er Clos des Chênes
From 2 parcels, a large top to bottom parcel in the middle of the vineyard and a smaller parcel at the southern end of the vineyard next to Monthelie – both above the road.
All these wines have a good depth of colour. Here the nose is dark and herb-inflected, almost a suggestion of fumé. Wide, and energetic, delivering layers of flavour – here’s another exuberant, complex wine with a hint of tannin at the base – the herb of the nose reflected in the flavours too – but that’s just another element of complexity. Lovely finishing flavour, waves again and a little tannic texture too. Really another super wine – yum!