Comtes Lafon – 2016


Tasted in Meursault with Dominique Lafon, 02 November, 2016.

Domaine des Comtes Lafon
5 Rue Pierre Joigneaux
21190 Meursault
Tel: +33 3 80 21 22 17

Dominique on 2017:
​2017 is a good vintage of whites and a super vintage of reds. They could be the best that I have ever made in red, despite volume like 1999 in some places. The whites are classic from an aroma perspective. Reds have good maturity – not too much, not too dense – I like the balance. Airy wines vs 2015…

Dominique on 2016:
​We harvested the frosted vines first, because if there was anything, it was just one cluster, so a lot of power was pushed into each one.

“I’ve got 120 barrels from 16 hectares – 350 is possible here. For instance ​I’ve 8 versus 55 barrels in Clos de la Barre – that’s never been seen in 30 years – though maybe 1974 was of a similar level. The villages provided 5-10 hectolitres per hectare, then there was 10-12 hl/ha in Santenots. Yet I had a normal harvest in Meursaults Charmes and Genevrières – and they look really good. Mâcon was great, even though there was some hail, and in those vineyards just 20 hl/ha – pretty much the story is of great quality but what about the volume.

“The whites ​make me think of my 2000s – and I think I made very good 2000s. Despite the frost, the terroirs speak really well.

Dominique on Pricing:
Pricing, I really don’t know – that’s a year away. It’s always about the context of quality, the economy and the vintages before and after. I may, possibly, not offer the wines to professionals, maybe just the private client list – there simply isn’t enough wine – indeed nothing from some places. They say a vintage like this comes once in a working life – well I’m happy that it’s now behind me!

The wines…

Without picking out a favourite, or offering individual recommendations, I can say that this is such a great series of reds, and all to keep! The whites sometimes showed that they certainly require their ongoing elevage by not always showing the polish and precision, that is the hallmark of this cellar, yet the wines perfectly exemplify the fresh, delicious purity of the vintage.

2016 Monthelie 1er Duresses
​1.05 hectares brought 8 barrels, normally it would be between 20 and 23 barrels. Will maybe bottle this early.
A round, if not overtly open nose, but expressive with inviting fruit. Supple, fine, nice structure. Classic and delicious, with an extra wave of finishing flavour. Super stuff.

2016 Volnay 1er Clos des Chênes
​6 barrels in 2017, only 2 in 2016.
More powdery fruit to start, but also becomes more vibrant. Much more structure and minerality, not an overtly fruity Clos – like the 2015 – beautiful finesse and length here.

2016 Volnay 1er Champans
99 year-old vines.​ Very little pigeage in 2016 – only 2-3 then remontage. With 25 hl/ha – this was the least frosted.
Here there are bright and precise fruits. Tight muscle, structure, a wine that needs to unwind. But it does open and unwind in the finish. Really super!

2016 Volnay 1er Santenots du Milieu
This is a large 3.5 ha plot. A normal result would be 50 barrels – 29 barrels this year.
Just a faint reduction, underneath that there’s vibrant fruit. More the line here, steely but delicious. I love the line, with serious but then melting flavours.

Les Blancs…

2016 Meursault
Racked at the end of July into tank, with some lees.
A good volume of aroma, not a completely formed aromatic, but already some spice. Ooh, delicious in the mouth though – a melting depth of deliciousness. Not hyper-crystalline but generously gorgeous.

2016 Meursault Desirée
​0.5 hectare and only one barrel
A tighter nose but no defaults. More direct, more fresh and detailed aromas. Clarity and elegance, just a little more austere than the ‘Meursault’ today. Beautifully finishing though.

2016 Meursault Clos de la Barre
The vines here now average about 70 years old.​ There should be 50 barrels of wine but there’s just 8.
Classic Meursault nose – spicy and complex. In the mouth it’s fresh and melting. Just a little suggestion of austerity in the finish. This still in barrel…

2016 Meursault 1er Bouchères
​Ooh, that’s nice – complex, fresh aromatics. Really complex on the palate, wide, changing, fresh and mineral. Really delicious. Bravo! Lovely radiating layers of finishing flavour too.
2016 Meursault 1er Goutte d’Or
​”One third the normal volume – but that’s better than a tenth!”
Super nose – wide, complex, faintly spicy – this is a yes! Fresh, mineral, modestly austere, layered – just so much to find, enjoy and follow. Love! Another burst of flavour in the finish.

2016 Meursault 1er Porusots
​Tight with a fine citrus aroma – yellow/green at the core. A little more open, not quite soft, but today not the same precision and structure at the start – but then more mineral in the finish. Always improving in the glass.

2016 Meursault 1er Genevrières
​A normal harvest volume – this, like the last, tasted from barrel.
Ooh, the nose is so on point – wow gorgeous! Wide, bubbling energy, a little flesh on the texture, melting flavour, absolutely seductive. Even the too young bottles here are too good!

2016 Meursault 1er Charmes
​Ooh – wide, fresh, sweet and with super aromatic depth. Bigger – lots of volume here, silky and concentrated too, delivering slow waves of flavour over the palate – bigger isn’t necessarily better, but this is delicious…

2016 Meursault 1er Perrières
‘​We never have a big harvest here.’
Extra wide, subtle freshness and modest depth. More direct intensity, cushioned but the energy here digs a finger in your side – it’s harassing me! Delicious melting flavour – but wait for a hopefully smoother ride!

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?

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