Joseph Voillot – 2020


Etienne Chaix 2021 Domaine Joseph VoillotTasted in Volnay with Etienne Chaix, 31 August 2021.

Domaine Joseph Voillot
Place de l’Église
21190 Volnay
Tel: +33 3 80 21 62 27
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Etienne on 2020:
Compared to the world, in general, it was a lovely year, we just avoided the frost and the vines were very early growing. The flowering came in great weather. We saw a few dried grapes during the first heatwave – it took only 1 day. Half of August was similar and particularly the last three days of that heat and it was here that we lost the most of the grapes from the vintage – minus about 30% perhaps in this short number of days – the only blemish on a practically perfect year. So it’s a small vintage vs 2017 or 2018 but this as a ten-year-average would be acceptable. Harvesting was between 22 & 28 August – we never finished in August before! Our best surprise was the balance that we found in the grapes. These 2020s will, normally, be bottled at end of the year and the start of next – we will start with the Bourgogne next week.
“2020 is clearly a powerful vintage but at this stage I think the best expression of Volnay in the last years, after the lightness of 2017, was 2019.

Etienne with a couple of words on 2021:
The white (Meursault) is largely lost but it’s a small cuvée. Unfortunately, at the moment we estimate up to 60% losses for the reds.

The wines…

It was great to taste here directly after Clerget – the former so polished and elegant – here we have wines with a touch more structure and slightly darker fruit but with brilliant clarity. I don’t have a preference – I’d like both in my cellar!

2020 Volnay Vieilles-Vignes
From 6 different parcels; mainly Grand and Petits Poisots, Gigotte, Pacquiers and Famines​. Just one new barrel – but that’s only 5% of the total.
Lots of colour. A super nose, energy, depth, freshness. Supple, easier over the palate than the nose suggests – but open delicious – thats super.

2020 Pommard Vieilles-Vignes
Normally from Cras, Saucilles, Vaumauriens and Poisot. Like the last, one new barrel was slipped into the elevage.
A little more broad-brush nose but certainly more perfumed aromas are visible today versus the volnay. More structural more mineral, energetic, chewy, great. Now if I could have the nose of the last and the palate of this I would say definitely – but it’s still probably great villages!

2020 Beaune 1er Coucherias
Here with 20% new oak in the elevage.
Ooh, less weight of aroma but airy, a nose of clarity. A little more width and depth, mineral, faintly herbed – yes it needs a little more elevage time I think, says Etienne. Nice finishing length though.

2020 Volnay 1er Cru Fremiets
Elevage like the Beaune
A high and low toned nose – clarity and energy here. Bright, pure long-flavoured great wine – easy! Bravo!
2020 Volnay 1er Cru Champans
Another nose of width and clarity – here with more heft too. Big in the mouth, fresher and more concentrated, complex. Intense, great finishing – today it’s more embryonic than the last but here is the brilliant material I’ve come to expect from this cuvée.
2020 Volnay 1er Cru Caillerets
Planted in 1982.
Another fine, pure, perfume; narrow but so inviting today. Hmm, melting, layered, beautifully intense – simply a gorgeous wine and one to wait for despite the clarity of delivery.

2020 Pommard 1er Clos Micault
Old vines!
A pretty nose with some redcurrant fruit in the flowers. Broad. Here’s a swathe of flavour energy, slight tannic texture but nothing dry. Full-flavoured, delicious wine – mouth-watering with super, finely pure fruit – in this vintage it’s very Volnay…

2020 Pommard 1er Cru Les Epenots
From Petits Epenots, in the last part before Beaune Epenottes, below Pommard Boucherottes. Similar oak elevage to Caillerets
A deep nose, serious, faintly spiced, growing in aromatics with air – lovely perfume but you need to wait for this. Direct, more structural but with super mouthwatering energy and more minerals. Great, great finishing wine here. Almost a sparkling complexity of finishing flavour. Currently serious – it’s Epenots! – but easily with great potential.

2020 Pommard 1er Cru Pezerolles
A nose thats less forward, more diffuse today, there’s some very faint interest but harder to approach. More width, more mouth-filling here the wine is not as focused and together but still broader. There’s some potential here for sure

2020 Pommard 1er Cru Les Rugiens
A width here, a touch of almond milk, complex, absorbing aromatics. Fuller, more layered delivery of flavour including some creamy oak in the mix. Really complex – what a pleasure!

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