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Volnay Santenots du Milieu – Lafon

DSC09617Tasted in Meursault with Dominique Lafon, 08 March 2016.

All the grapes are normally cut in 2-3 days. Triage and destemming, stainless-steel tanks, not much pigeage – maybe only 2-3 times in 2-3 weeks of cuvaison, but a little remontage.

2015 Santenots du Milieu
Malos are done. ‘Maybe it’s better than 05’ says Dominique.
A tight nose. Beautiful almost haunting line of flavour – I have no context for this massively scaled impression, but its gorgeous. Really a class, an elegance. Too early to effectively judge, but I am minded to say superb…

2014 Santenots du Milieu
Malos finished in January, not racked yet. Will assemble in April or May, so possibly bottle in July.
A nose that becomes finer and finer with swirling. Lovely wide and intense slowly the waves of flavour lapping over the palate. Ingraining length of flavour – super-yum!

2013 Santenots du Milieu
Bottled in July. All with DIAM since this vintage – DIAM30
Round, open, floral at the top, a hint of oak padding. Extra floral in the flavour, still the oak too – but despite that this is a gorgeous and generous wine of energy and suppleness.

2012 Santenots du Milieu
“I don’t look for it, but there’s always more colour in this cuvée…”
Tighter, but of super aromatic depth, concentrated red fruits. Absolutely mouth-filling, textured, a more obvious but velvet tannin, the oak just makes an appearance in the finish. Super again, more muscle, more strength, less overt energy vs 2013

2011 Santenots du Milieu
This has a wide, less deep but really fine fruit, individual fruits. Involving, layered flavour – oh this is really something today – there’s a hint of tannin and only a suggestion of oak. A real honey today – bravo. If you want to drink young Lafon Santenots, this is the one just now..

2010 Santenots du Milieu
Very long malos here, longer than some 11s
A round but fresh intensity of fruit, extra silky, growing in the mouth until it completely fills. Muscle but not fat, some oak flavour in the background. This was Francois barrels at this time. Impressive but drink the 11 before.

2009 Santenots du Milieu
Deep colour. Obviously floral top notes, tighter fruit with a faint oak spice. Directly more sweet, the fruit has a more roast profile but an obvious more floral dimension to most, less finely melded structure but concentrated and complex. Actually a super length, really super.

2008 Santenots du Milieu
Thinner but deep nose, reducurrant rather than cherry, almost a hint of minerality at the base, slowly growing floral notes. The nose becomes fuller and fuller – really one of the most engaging after time on the glass. Lithe, fresh, nice energy – a wine of freshness and fine delivery. Excellent today, really – lacks the ample sweetness of some, but fully engages – excellent. Fresh, wide, faintly drying impression.

2003 Santenots du Milieu
The only vintage with no pigeage.
Starts abruptly but quite quickly opens becoming more floral, actually more floral than fruit. In the mouth a river of energy over the palate, super flavour here, the tannin is faintly grained but discreet – tasty, tasty wine, I really couldn’t find any vintage references here, the balance is fine and fresh. Yum!

The rest tasted blind:

1998 Santenots du Milieu
Here is something of more maturity. It starts with a modest sous-bois that grows and grows but once more with a fine floral background. Starts silky, the tannin grows in the background, still a hint of texture but very much secondary to a super intensity of direct flavour. Brilliant length too. Bravo, great 98!

1995 was first bio trails in Santenots, 1 hectare from 4.

1995 Santenots du Milieu
From magnum. Lots of porriture, lost about 30%, waited, lost a lot but I think it was better.
Wide, some age, but a young freshness too. The texture is quite good, slowly adding grain towards the finish. The opening of the fruit is different to the other wines, but really a different flavour profile – super length though, and concentrated too. The one wine where the flavour has a faint metallic edge, but it’s fine freshness of flavour. There is a gradual increase in weight and improvement to the texture too.

1992 Santenots du Milieu
Wow, that’s nice, aged, wide, nicely red fruited and with quite some complexity. Some tannic texture, deep dark fruit, a wild and complex wine, none of the elegance of more recent wines, but there is energy and an engaging character. Tasty wine, surprising to find its 1992!

1990 Santenots du Milieu
Deep, younger than the last, dried fruits and some dried leaves. Mouth-filling, lots of mouth-watering complexity, floral notes included. Plenty of tannin, as always, a wine of super bravado and fireworks brilliant, despite clearly not the elegance and clarity of the more modern wines. The finish is longer than I remember, and eventually finer too.

1987 Santenots du Milieu
Large-scaled nose, of leaves and sweetness – brilliant. Not the fullest nor the largest, yet there’s good density here. Sweetness on the mid-palate and no lack of finishing flavour too. Old but far from too old – this is an absolute pleasure right now. Lunch anyone? Fine airy wine…

1982 Santenots du Milieu
The cork falls in the bottle! – There are no reconditioned bottles at Lafon, only original corks – Made by Dominique’s father. Only old barrels at this time, no pigeage and short fermentations.
Amber colour. Width, flowers, but recognisably the same wine. But sweetness, almost petillant. Wide and with some growing complexity. Only the finish is redolent of the other wines here – really a super length

1981 Santenots du Milieu
Salmon, almost rose colour. Pretty red fruits, almost a struck match reduction, light but inviting. Fresh, has nice weight, lots of complexity, his is very tasty indeed, sweet fruit, a nice point of acidity.

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