2008 Lafarge Volnay Clos des Chenes

2008 Lafarge Volnay Clos des Chenes

Year: 2008
Appellation: Volany 1er
Country: France
International Wine Cellar: 93+
Burghound Rating: 94 - Outstanding!
View from the Cellar: 94+
CellarTracker Rating: 91.7
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John Gilman's View from the Cellar; Jan/Feb 2010
Again, the 2008 Clos des Chênes is quite a bit more red fruity than is typical with this wine, and it will make for one of the finest vintages of this great Volnay when the dust settles on the vintage a couple of decades down the road. The stunning nose soars from the glass in a blaze of cherries, red plums, blood orange, a pungent note of violets, striking minerality and a bit of nutmeg and cinnamon in the upper register. On the palate the wine is deep, full and properly reserved, with a rock solid core of sappy fruit, beautiful transparency, laser-like focus and stunning length and grip on the ripely tannic and very complex finish. Great wine. 94+ points.

Stephen Tanzer's Int'l Wine Cellar; Mar/April 2011
Good deep red. High-pitched aromas of black cherry, violet, licorice and crushed stone. Like liquid silk on entry, then concentrated, primary and penetrating in the mid-palate, with beautifully integrated acidity accentuating the wine's dark, medicinal aspect. At once broad and lively on the finish, with rich dark fruit flavors building slowly and staining the palate. I might have picked this blend as a Cote de Nuits wine.   93+ Points.

Allen Meadows' Burghound; May 2011
(Note: from 45+ year old vines that sit just above Champans) This too serves up a remarkably layered if extremely reserved nose that displays plenty of earth and spice as well as very fresh and cool aromas of red and blue pinot, floral notes and an obvious mineral influence that continues onto the tautly muscular and overtly powerful big-bodied flavors that are long, serious and focused on the presently austere finish. It's interesting to compare the quality of the tannins between this and the Caillerets - here they are denser but less fine and as a consequence, this will need a few extra years of cellar time.  94 Points and Outstanding.


Note: from 45+ year old vines that sit just above Champans

Michel Lafarge, and his son Frédéric, called 2008 a "completely unexpected surprise. We thought that we were going to have a potential disaster on our hands yet the wines have turned out very well, mostly thanks to the drying and concentrating effects of a stiff north wind that blew from mid-September until the harvest. The summer weather wasn't glorious and we had a hail storm on the 26th of July. If there is ever any good news resulting from a hail storm, in this case there wasn't much rainfall with it, which means that we could get into the vineyards immediately afterwards to treat the vines, which isn't always the way it works. There was also rot pressure and 2008 is really a vintage that rewarded good vineyard work because it was very, very difficult to have clean fruit without it. You also had to have reasonable yields because if you did, the effects of the north wind and better weather took the grapes from green to ripe in the space of only three weeks. We began picking on the 24th of September and brought in very ripe and clean fruit with excellent sugars. We did a typical vinification, reasoning that with ripe fruit, why not? Overall, we very much like the vintage as it's one where the terroir of each and every wine is front and center." It was interesting when I asked Lafarge senior, who has more than 50 years of experience with vintages in Burgundy, if he could draw a parallel with the style of the wines in 2008. His laconic response was simply "no." As to the Lafarge 2007s, with the exception of a mildly disappointing Vendange Sélectionnées, the wines have turned out almost exactly as previewed last year. There are many that are worthy of your attention and have the added benefit of being approachable earlier than most vintages chez Lafarge. The present plan is to bottle in the '08s in April.




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