Michel Lafarge – 2017


DSC09316Tasted in Volnay with Frédérick Lafarge, 14 November, 2018.

Domaine Michel Lafarge
15 Rue De La Combe
21190 Volnay
Tel: +33 3 80 21 61 61

Frederic on 2017:
Well, the wines are not quite on the same level as 2002 but they are really on high level where the balance of production was kept. I’m convinced that we saved much of the vintage from frost with smoke, then the flowering went very fast in the first days of June and we were away – the speed of growth was tremendous. 2017 justifies the saying ‘don’t judge in the first year from vintage – and here we see. There’s a very fine distinction between the terroirs too. Fur us this is a really great vintage – 35 hl/ha for 1ers, 39 hl/ha for villages – that was the key, plus the date of harvest. We cut our first grapes 01 September, then had a short pause before restarting on the 5th. In 2018 we also started 01 September though with a slightly shorter pause before restarting.

“1947 and 1967 are similar vintages to 2017…

“But in Beaujolais we had hail. The vines had pushed well after the hail of 2016, but then we were hit by the hail twice. A very big triage was needed but we nice wines though with ridiculous yields.

The wines…

Simply a super address in 2017 – you and I both would not have expected less. The Beaujolais are also fantastic – though in some cuvées there’s very little…

Starting with les blancs:

2017 Bourgogne Aligoté Raisin d’Orée
80 yo vines, planning to bottle in March
Hmm, deep almost a hint of petrol to this wine – very inviting. Supple, layered, just enough energy to avoid being too composed. Very tasty…

2017 Meursault
Three parcels between Volnay and the village of Meursault
A lovely width of fine, fresh Meursault aroma. Saline, long wide such a beautifully pieced together wine.

2017 Meursault Vendanges Selectionée
Near Santenots, only make in good vintages – it needs some volume too.
Extra depth of flavour, fine, slightly grained, spiced complexity. Ooh great waves of finishing flavour – bravo!

2017 Beaune 1er Clos des Aigrots
A wider, more open and more fruited nose. Wide on the palate with more freshness, lots of beautiful, delicious energy. A big finishing wave of flavour too – yes!

Les rouges:

2017 Bourgogne Passetoutgrains l’Exception
80 years old, half pinot, half gamay grapes always maturing at the same time, near Meursault. Grandfather first commercialised this. Two wines, a Volnay and this called Exception after him.
A bright, floral and fresh nose. Like-wise on the palate, melting, mouth-watering fresh, direct flavour – excellent flavour, a beauty.

2017 Bourgogne Pinot Noir
4 different parcels at the bottom of the Volnay hill.
A fine, tiny-fruited complexity slowly growing with floral references. Hmm much more density with very fine depth of flavour – vibrant finishing with dried fruit – very lovely and holding so well in the finish.

2017 Cote de Beaune Villages
Could also be labelled (red) Meursault, but not made for 5 years due to low yields
Ooh a beautiful berry nose with flowers – my new favourite. Supple but with a growing structure – wide, melting and with a fine depth and intensity to the fresh flavour . This I love! Bravo. Lovely finish…

2017 Volnay
A little more colour. More density, more concentration of aroma. Good volume, a structural wine, mouth-watering, a little more overt tannin. Lovely flavour in-between. Delicious but bear the structure in mind.

2017 Volnay Vendanges Selectionées
4 different climats here
Very pure red fruit of freshness and some line. Good volume, not more flavour than the last wine but more melting, fine mouth-watering flavour.

2017 Beaune 1er Clos des Aigrots
A nose that starts seemingly tighter but with more shape – latent concentration. lots of fresh volume again, just a little more structure on the bones, an extra depth to the concentration too. ooh this is good – bravo!

2017 Beaune 1er Grèves
96 yo in 2017 the oldest vines of the domaine – ‘We thought the consecutive years of hail might have finished a part so after 2014 vintage we pulled out 25% replanting in 2017. The rest have recuperated well though.’
A width of aroma, faintly spiced. Wide, silky, depth of concentrated flavour. Composed, thoughtful wine. Layers in the finish. A very lovely thing.

2017 Pommard 1er Pezerolles
Was none in the hailed vintages.
Ooh here is a gorgeously deep nose. Energy, lithe muscle, depth of flavour, relatively sleek but of fine energy. A faint caramel from the barrel. Excellent wine of great persistence.

2017 Volnay 1er Les Pitures
Since 2015 only in magnum,
Ooh this has a gorgeous nose. Lots of freshness and amplitude. Here is more overt structure with a modest astringency. Ooh it’s really good…

2017 Volnay 1er Mitans
Hmm a wide nose, floral a little wc in the complexity. The flavour of the wc permeates all here – wide, layered but with good freshness – really a great thing! Plenty of finishing tannin.

2017 Volnay 1er Caillerets
More deeper red notes than the high tones of my expectation. More volume and freshness here, a grain of structure then very fresh but pure, almost mineral flavours. Long, long, long

2017 Volnay 1er Clos des Chênes
Much more volume of aroma. Hmm, more composed but deep flavour, mobile and mouth-watering but less-so than others – this has the edge in concentration though, long, and lugubrious….

2017 Volnay 1er Clos du Château des Ducs
Hand destemmed.
A nose with less volume but more floral sophistication. The precision of terroir and freshness. Hmm, depth, layers of fine flavour here. Good energy, weight of flavour. Here is everything – bravo.

2017 Chiroubles
Ooh, that’s a big deep nose. Such a beautiful texture to this big, concentrated wine. Ooh open and super delicious, the nose is almost too much. Super. The last drops in the glass are very elegant.

2017 Fleurie
8 hl/ha
Hmm, less colour. A nose that’s so fine and elegant. Hmm, layered, opening wider and wider, a touch of tannin. Not full power, but full elegance. Bravo!
2017 Fleurie Clos Vernay
1.3 ha, a granite and quartz base. Elevage in a foudre and not hailed. 25% wc
Not super wide, but a nose of much interest. Hmm, depth, energy, more mid-palate intensity, and ooh lots of energy and mega interest – bravo!
2017 Côte de Brouilly
En fermage in the heart of the appellation near Thivin – 60 yo vines.
Deeply attractive nose, floral accents. Fresh, super energy, ooh the most complete of these wines. Layers, energetic and absolutely delicious. Bravo!

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