Robert Parker 89
Cooked cherry, cassis, and espresso on the nose of Lafon’s 2007 Volnay Clos des Chenes lead to a palate whose bark- or leather-like tannins are reinforced by peppery, gingery pungency. This boasts impressive grip and may well be worth following for 4-6 years, but it needs serving in contexts where its tannin will prove advantageous. Dominique Lafon’s vineyards were hit hard by the July, 2008 hail, with his largest site ” Santenots du Milieu ” worst hit, and reduced in production by two-thirds, all of which he bottled together, rather than (as more usually) declassifying the young vines portion to village Volnay. Crop loss was due to dehydration as well, a factor compounded by late harvest. (â€œBut before October,â€ relates Lafon, â€œthe fruit simply was not ripe.â€) Lafon’s chagrin ” coming on the heels of two challenging vintages for Pinot ” was more than assuaged, though, by the superb quality of his Meursaults in both 2007 and 2008 (on which I shall report soon in these pages). A Becky Wasserman Selection, Le Serbet (various importers), fax 011-33-3-80-24-29-70; A Daniel Johnnes Selection imported by Michael Skurnik Wines, Syosset, NY, tel. (516) 677 9300; Classic Wine Imports, Norwood, MA, tel. (781) 352 1100; Beaune Imports, Berkeley, CA, tel. (510) 559 1040
Anticipated maturity: 2010-2016
The 2007 Volnay Clos des Chênes 1er Cru from Domaine des Comtes-Lafon is blossoming into a lovely wine. It has a gorgeous cherry pit and tomato vine bouquet, fragrant and airy and revealing touches of desiccated orange peel with time. The beautifully balanced palate is linear and crunchy in texture, displaying slightly grainy tannin and hints of bell pepper toward the sappy, slightly abrupt and conservative finish. I thought it might be Lafarge, because occasionally I find Dominique Lafon’s Volnays heavier, but the style of the growing season impinges upon what is now an elegant and classic Volnay.
Anticipated maturity: 2019-2030
Delicately aromatic with a light peppery note. Lovely vivacity. Smooth, silky tannins, elegant and fine. (JH)
Anticipated maturity: 2011-2017