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Volnay Clos de la Barre – Louis Jadot

DSC09598Tasted in Beaune with Frédèric Barnier, 02 March 2016, pictured right with Bruno (ex Lafon), chef de culture for the Côte de Beaune.

Jadot have the monopoly of this 1er Cru, en fermage, (a long-term lease) from a Parisian family; GFA Clos de la Barre is the ‘company’ and Jadot are the exploiters. This 1.3160 monopole, is lieu dit La Barre, climat Clos. The vines sit below the Hospices de Beaune’s ‘Le village’ parcel and follow the road down to the main road to Meursault-Beaune. La barre was once the barrier, the peage (toll) into the village.

2 years ago a portion of the vines were replaced – there are still some from the end of the 1950s, others from the 1980s – there’s also some repicage in the old vines. The relative proportion of old and younger vines is virtually equal at the moment “It’s rather a consistent soil north to south and also from top to bottom” says Frédèric, “there’s reasonably deep soil, we don’t normally come into contact with the rock. It dries quickly here, draining very well, lot of small rocks.”

Whilst the whole of Volnay is a relatively early ripening area, the Clos de la Barre is still a little ahead, never big yielding, and, according to Frédèric, delivers something of a more masculine, rustic Volnay. There’s not usually a lot of oïdium, or botrytis – probably due to the good drainage. The vines are ‘conventionally’ managed, but of-course with ploughing, and no use of herbicides or pesticides are used.

The wines…

”We consider this wine a classic of the domaine, just like Rugiens or Ursules.”
These are really classic wines of Jadot – open and effusive to start, much tighter in the middle, before opening up again – particularly, these wines don’t often show the floral aromatic in such stark relief as many/most from the village.

2015
The malo is finished but there’s been no racking or anything yet…
Big bright, fresh, bubblegum, shaded with a hint of malo. Clean lines, weight, growing concentration. Growing intensity too – a wine that opens wider and wider – super long. Very impressive indeed!

2014
Probably bottling in May. Actually on Jadot’s general tariff, they are currently only selling the 2010…
Very different; almost a vibration of minerality on the nose, growing width of red currant fruit. Mouth-filling, beautifully fine texture, layers of flavour over the tongue. Long, long line of finishing flavour – again, really super length – bravo!

2013
Starting with powdery red fruit, a slowly growing floral top note, but largely the bass-line of the powder is in control. If I’m slightly disappointed with the nose, the palate is fabulous – more sinuous and insinuating than the 14, silky and faintly saline. Wide and lovely in the finish – holds a great line again. Super!

2012
Fine fruit, lovely energy and clarity to this nose. A sinuous sweetness and growing intensity – less cushioning vs the 13, more direct but fine clarity, long too. I find just a suggestion of pyrazine on both the nose and flavours, but its additive at this level. Super wine – a better nose than the 13, but the 13 is the best wine today…

2011
Tight but silky and deep nose. Really quite wide on the palate with good texture and slowly insinuating growth of flavour. I find much less energy here vs the 12 and 13, but this is a charming and tasty wine with a little burst of extra flavour in the slightly saline finish.

2010
A sweetness of red fruit, subtly augmented with a faint florality. Clean lines, mouth-watering extra flavour intensity. A hint narrower and less rich than most of the previous wines but with similar intensity and concentration. Lovely fresh fruit in the mid-palate – bravo… Finer with a certain brilliance.

2009
Consistent colour in this flight of 3 – all look quite young…
Rather undemonstrative nose, some sweetness and a tighter core of dark red fruit – clean and inviting though. A certain richness both of texture and flavour. Layers of concentration. Less energetic and alive than some that precede, more contemplative and cushioning. Tasty fresh fruit finishing. A fine if obvious 09…

2008
Bright, pretty, fresh, slightly more herbal edged fruit. In the mouth what a comparison to the 09, sleeker, perhaps more clarity yet still with richness of flavour. More complex because of the herb accents to the fruit. Lovely finish that starts with a width before narrowing… Long too

2005
Both freshness at the top and a fine bass below – subtly complex also – fine if not super-overt. Fresh, a richness of flavour following, layers of flavour, really super in the mouth, with a burst of mid-palate to finishing flavour. Slowly but longly mouth-watering, here with just a little showing of tannin on the teeth. A baby but super…

2004
Wide aroma with some flowers. Rather some sweetness, decent acidity, the texture is fine too. There is just an impression of faint prune here, but this is fine for the vintage. With an open and appealing finish. This needs about 5 minutes before the ‘traditional’ 04 pyrazine lifts from the glass.

1998
Ooh! Clarity and aromatic complexity – it’s not so wide, but it pulls my nose to the glass. Rather round and a little opulent in the mouth – not what the nose suggested. There are the last vestiges of the vintage tannins – a faintly bitter accompaniment to the finishing fruit. Young and I think with a lot of potential… actually one of my favourites!

1997
A slightly alcoholic warmth but also with fine floral aspects – almost the first with flowers. Fresh, wide, nicely energetic palate. Really there’s a growing intensity – it starts so-la-la and just gets better and better. Good finishing too. Clearly for drinking before the baby 98 but still a relative youngster…

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