Tasted in Volnay with Frédérick Lafarge, pictured with daughter Clothilde, 17 November, 2020.
Domaine Michel Lafarge
15 Rue De La Combe
Tel: +33 3 80 21 61 61
Frederic on 2020:
“Magic! Really everything was perfect; a mild but wet winter so there was plenty of water in the ground. The growth took off in April and never really stopped. Flowering was done by 22 May – I’ve never seen it so early. The rain came when needed despite the heat of the summer. We started harvesting 22 August – all but the Passetoutgrains and the aligoté were picked in August, but in the end, it was also our longest harvest – almost one month. The hardest part was keeping the harvest team together – but I’m very happy and for both colours. It’s also the fifth consecutive vintage with practically nothing to triage.”
Frederic on 2019:
“A small harvest. An easy, mild winter again but drier. I was pruning in February in sunglasses, but after this early time came the black frost in the early days of April. Lots of ‘filé’ – lost grapes. The season followed-on with the heat and great light – we didn’t have grilled grapes and harvested from 9 September. A vintage that’s very representative of the terroirs, I think – very classic. We lost about 60% of the harvest though… ”
The wines chez Lafarge in 2019 have a special delicacy, an elegance, yet they also lack for nothing. There are so many beautiful things here in this vintage.
Starting with les blancs:
2019 Bourgogne Aligoté Raisin d’Orée
Over 80-year-old vines
A bright line of aroma, not so wide. Lovely texture and a certain richness too – the balance is fine though, becoming ever more mouth-watering in the finish – and a great finish!
Three parcels between Volnay and the village of Meursault
More aromatic width. More mouth-filling too – not quite the textural richness of the aligote, but with more insistence to the wider flavour – there’s more of a panorama here. Great finishing again – really persistent.
2019 Beaune 1er Clos des Aigrots
More airy, suggesting florals. More structural too – super freshness – open architecture. Almost juicy flavour. Ooh, thats my favourite!
Over 80 years old, half pinot, half gamay grapes always maturing at the same time, near Meursault. Grandfather first commercialised this.
Bright red berry – so pure. Driving, not too sweet, sweeping lines of deliciousness here – great wine, faintly tannic, but always under control – bravo!
4 different parcels at the bottom of the Volnay hill.
Ouch – such a beautiful nose of fruit and flowers. Open, pure, intense in the middle – not full-bodied – but it doesn’t need to be, to be great!
A deeper nose, pure but less forward, depth though. More width, slightly more structural, yes an extra depth to the finishing flavour becoming wider, wider… great finishing.
2019 Volnay Vendanges Selectionées
4 different climats here
A little wider impression, though otherwise similar. More structure, more mouth-filling. Then a burst to the finishing flavour and holding strong.
2019 Beaune 1er Clos des Aigrots
An impression of volume but still a more guarded nose – a purity of red berry above. Wider, texturally different too. More layered in style, a great line, practically mineral finishing.
2019 Beaune 1er Grèves
98-year-old in 2019 the oldest vines of the domaine with 90% of the original vines – ‘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 more floral width to this nose. Structural, weight but also an airy style – that’s a great combination. A little extra mid-palate richness and depth to this flavour.
Airy red berry fruit, slowly becoming more and more perfumed. More mouth-filling, but still airy in style. Beautifully perfumed flavours – so delicate yet still with such depth. Bravo Pommard!
2019 Volnay 1er Mitans
A little more width of perfume here, still an airy style to this wine. So mouth-watering, a faint extra richness and silk to the texture. There’s extra in the finish here – more weight, a little salinity too.
2019 Volnay 1er Caillerets
An impossibly tiny nose yet still with purity and with clarity. A touch of tannin, but practically no grain or dryness. A mouth-watering width that slowly gains in stature. But a great, great finish – fabulous here. Where did that come from?
Since 2015 only in magnum,
A little more depth of aroma. So delicate, but with depth, not big wine but otherwise practically perfect in all dimensions. Subtly long only.
2019 Volnay 1er Clos des Chênes
Just a little more width of aroma, then slowly growing depth too. Extra attack. A little more depth and salinity to the complexity, less perfectly packaged today but otherwise with more of everything. The finish clearly more open and wide and holding…
Hand destemmed. 70th vintage of Michel so will make a change to the label.
The widest nose, open, pure, super-fine, then it’s also deep too. Energy, very faint tannin, more middle presence. Growing insistence. The best wine in the cellar for sure but also a wine that, easy as it is to approach, you should wait for the longest too. Vibrant wine.
Frederic: “Our Beaujolais were bottled last week. I think it a super vintage; we averaged only 30 hl/ha but were very happy with the grapes – we have very harmonious wines. ”
Wide, floral, this nose with a little graphite minerality. Such energy, cool fruit, faint grain, but all the while very tasty, A different but fine style to this structure. Super finishing.
Two climats assembled, both on pink granite.
A fuller nose, more red fruit perfume than the flowers of the Chiroubles. Mouth-filling, a hint of structure, but depth of flavour too – very open in style, reflective of their Volnays…
2019 Fleurie Joie de Palais
1.2 of their 6 ha.
More floral perfumed, wide but not deep. More structural, more attack, but nothing hard. Delicious, elegant flavour over the palate with more intensity in the finish – really super wine.
2019 Fleurie Clos Vernay
1.3 ha, a granite and quartz base. Elevage in a foudre and not hailed. 25% wc
A much different nose, structurally, elegantly like the others but here with a different style of minerality supporting it. Lots of volume again, layered, the tannin, grabs the gums but there’s no grain to it. Lovely wine.
En fermage in the heart of the appellation near Thivin – a mix of granite and blue-stone with 60-year-old vines.
A more vertical nose and with extra freshness too, mineral below, floral above and a faintly herbed almost pyrazine component too. The most presence of all these wines – mouth-filling, wide, a depth to this flavour too. A really big finishing flavour. Bravo.