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Roblet-Monnot

DSC09344Tasted in Volnay with Pascal Roblet-Monnot, 04 February 2016.

Domaine Roblet-Monnot
11 rue de la Combe
21190 Volnay
Tel: +33 6 74 21 82 04

Pascal says that his family have roots here in Volnay from the 16th century – the Lagrange family. Pascal’s grandmother was a Lagrange, but in 1992 the domaine was separated between his mother and her sister. Roblet-Monnot are the surnames of Pascal’s father and mother. In 1932 Pascal’s grandfather was one of the first to bottle – Henri Monnot!

Pascal went to the Lycée in Beaune, did a BTS and then further commercial qualifications in Paris. Then he worked in the wine-business in Corbières, Bordeaux and Beaujolais – only after a while did he think it might be interesting to continue with wine – but he didn’t take on the family domaine to start with – “I wasn’t sure.” But he was given the keys to the domaine age 20 – “My father and grandfather just let me go…” He’s now he’s proud to say that he’s ‘done’ 28-29 vintages – 1987 was his first ‘alone.’

Pascal explains that “I was Bio certified but found it a pain, so the certification is gone – but I still follow. My vision is to follow the lunar cycles and make the treatments when they are needed – so in this rhythm.

“Wine is really just a chemical transformation, but there’s so much more behind it! Balance is what sustains a wine – there are fine wines with less than 12°, and terrible wines with more than 13…”

The domaine exploits 9 hectares of vines, 5 hectares in Volnay plus Pommard and Hautes Côtes. There are 4 1ers and a cuvée ‘St.Francois’ – a parcel selection that is mainly village, but some 1er Cru grapes are included too.

4-5 kg small cases are now used to collect the grapes following triage in the vines, plus vibrating table back at the domaine – ‘a long one!’ The grapes are destemmed, or not, depending on the year. Up to 4 weeks of cuvaison followed by 18 months of elevage without racking – just a racking just before bottling without fining or filtration.

The wines…

I was simply knocked out by the wines shown by Pascal – of course he kept me late by opening other bottles – but despite my lateness, my complaints were very muted – deep coloured, rich but emotional wines.

Really one of the best discoveries of my Tour de Volnay. I loved these wines!

2012 Volnay 1er ‘St.Jean’
Taillepieds, Brouillards, Pitures assembled due to the hail. Named from the Prologue of St.Jean
Great colour, deep nose too, higher toned notes escaping too – large in scale is the impression – slowly there’s a clarion of fabulous fruit – ouf! Large-scaled indeed, starts silky quickly taking up some tannin, but more a dryness – but really a fabulous weight of complex, layered flavour here. Importantly this is a wine of dynamism. Really fabulous, but a wine that I’m sure you shouldn’t really ‘harvest’ before 2030 – just great!

2011 Volnay 1er Santenots
A single parcel in les Plures. No new oak – 1-4 year-old barrels. A vintage that Pascal describes as ‘dentelle’ – lacy…
Modestly lighter in colour. A deep and complex nose slowly betraying a small floral component, eventually a little raspberry too. Wide, supple, fresh, there’s a richness of flavour and a modest richness of texture. Really fine purity here, waves of finishing flavour too – bravo – for a 2011 this is really something!

2010 Volnay St.Francois
Pascal’s father is called Francois, and one of his sons too. There’s a little Robardelles in this, some Mitans (Ormeaux) too – they were last separated in 2005. There’s also Pitures in this, from a small parcel – sometimes there’s a barrel of Pitures.
Medium, medium-plus colour. Deep, darker red, almost vibrant fruit – and of beautiful clarity too. Wide across the tongue – fresh red fruit, a faint impression of cooking fruit too – slowly a faint tannin, layered delivery of flavour. My note sounds rather analytical versus the great ‘feel’ of this wine. Really a ‘bravo!’

2007 Volnay 1er Brouillards
Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose has a roasted dark-red fruit to start with. Really, a very finely textured wine, slowly growing a little fine tannin at the base. As all these wines, there’s an impression of layered flavour delivery, here in the mid-palate a little minerality too – a little more tannin in the finish, and it’s a long more stony finish. There’s only a very modest evolution here – great for the vintage again! Seamless wine – many are a little dissociated from 07, not this one!

2006 Volnay 1er Taillepieds
Big, open, more than a hint of aromatic complexity – mineral, pepper – even fruit, given time fabulous fruit! Luxurious, a certain weight and volume, plenty of finely grained tannin – concentrated wine yet with a good underlying acidity. In terms of its delivery of complexity this is big painting of a wine that reminds me of Vosne.

We chatted about the vintages that we prefer, and having noted that I was a fan of 1993 Pascal disappeared to find one – the excuse being that his three boys have 1993, 1996 and 1999 as birth-years – lucky Papa, lucky them!

1993 Volnay 1er Brouillard
A wide, enveloping nose, indeed it sucks you in. Warm, focused fruit with a faint sous bois. Lithe, silken, a certain energy as it moves over the tongue. Then the flavour grows again before the finish. Then slowly fades – 93s have a special clarity and energy and this is entering a fabulous window. Harmony…

One response to “Roblet-Monnot”

  1. aseah

    Hi Bill,

    I’m glad that you’re thrilled by the wines from this under the radar Domaine. Until now it was an insider’s secret. Did he let you try his 2014s? They were simply stunning!

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