Tasted in Volnay with Frederic Rossignol, 05 February 2016.
Domaine Rossignol-Février Père et Fils
7 Rue de Mont
Tel: +33 3 80 21 62 69
Frederic Rossignol is the 5th generation to run this family domaine – his brother runs Rossignol-Cornu in the village. Frederic’s label dates from his great-grandfather in the 1920s – who, with a local friend, was one of the first in Volnay to bottle – Rossignol-Louis was the domaine name. Today’s domaine adds the Février name which comes from Frederic’s mother.
Everything here is Biodynamic, and certified so since 2013. Extending over 7.5 hectares, 100% of the production has been bottled and commercialised by the owners for about 40 years now. France remains the biggest market for these wines, though there are still significant sales in Benelux and Japan et-cetera. There are sales through French ‘salons’ too.
Outside of the selection of Volnay vines, there are two villages wines from Pommard including Petits Noizons, a Beaune Les Chardonnereux, Bourgogne Chardonnay, Bourgogne Pinot Noir Maison Dieu (near Chateau Pommard), Hautes Côtes de Beaune, Passetoutgrains and Aligoté.
Frederic is against triage tables, he does have a vibrating table to help sort the grapes, but prefers to do his principal triage in the vines – this is much easier with his regular team, he says, which is often made up of clients. The grapes are destemmed, no pigeage because Frederic says that he’s looking for supple, pleasurable wines with longer elevage, so does only delestage with a very fine control of pressing so that he gets the best juice. “I’m not a fan of new oak, I prefer 1 to 2 year-old barrels, anyway even that would have been too much in the recent low volume vintages – for instance one new from 3 barrels is too much, because Volnay is about elegance and pleasure. Really the majority is without filtration, just the white here is filtered.
“I’m not really interested in alcohol levels; when I started, I thought it should be always 13.5, but today I’m very happy if it is ‘just’ 12.5!”
It’s a wide range of Volnays too, with 6 wines, all these 2014s bottled in December. This is a really good address that I didn’t know. These are involving wines of length and character, wines that deliver, though I’d like a little more delicatesse of aroma – just like this Clos des Angles delivers!
An assembly of 5 parcels; Bouchère and Sur Roches both up on the hill, Lurets, Cros Martin also in Les Combes – every parcel separately vinified. Minimum 45 year-old vines.
Medium-plus colour, perfumed, round, super inviting aromas. Great texture, nicely layered, lithe, bright saline – excellent wine, really!
2014 Volnay Les Gigotte
Next to Lafarge’s ‘Volnay Selection.’ Here a single parcel.
Great colour – “it’s the last thing I look for” – round, open, very much higher toned fruit. More concentration, waves of fruit flavour. Wow, this has fabulous mid-palate flavour. The fruit is still quite high-toned, but this large-scaled; narrow and floral at the start and almost opulently fruited to finish – not opulently textured – this is fine and fleet of foot.
2014 Volnay Clos de la Cave
Wide fresh, floral – über-pretty aromas. Direct, lithe, clearly more mineral, mouth-watering, high-toned, effusive fruit. Again a wine that grows from the mid-palate. And again ending up with a layered delivery. Super!
0.53 hectares. ‘Really an appellation that’s typical of Volnay; really feminine and the most fine – despite being next to Pommard.’
Wow, that’s a less forceful more beautiful floral nose – perfect cliché Volnay – I love. Wow – a saline edge to dark, luscious fruit, it explodes over the palate. Just superb!
2014 Volnay 1er Carelle sous la Chapelle
0.25 hectares, next to Thomas Bouley – I think it can only help when you have neighbours like Thomas and the Lafarge’s – or(?)
Also heavy, high-toned fruit to start. Like some of the previous wines, almost suggesting a little volatility – maybe the recent bottling is to blame. But in the mouth, yet again, this is wow wine. It’s layered, faintly saline, really deep – balanced, luxurious fruit. Also a floral note in the mouth to finish.
2014 Volnay 1er Robardelles
0.34 hectares. ‘Add Robardelles and Angles together and you get a wine that resembles Carelles’ says Frederic.
A beautiful nose, compose yet profound, slowly growing a more stewed fruit. In the mouth this starts narrow, just like the others, and grows and grows just like them. Again faintly saline and waves of fine flavour – yum!