Robert Parker 93
The 2012 Volnay 1er Cru Clos des Ducs offers possibly the most intriguing bouquet this year. It certainly has the most complexity with nuanced dark cherry, cranberry leaf, raspberry and cold stone scents that initially seem a little austere but open nicely with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannins. The oak is a little more conspicuous at this moment, although that will be subsumed with time. The finish is composed and contains an attractive white pepper, almost white fennel-like note that is sustained throughout the aftertaste. Very fine. Drink 2016-2030.
Anticipated maturity: 2016-2030
(production here was just 9.5 hectoliters per hectare, according to Duvivier): Healthy dark red. Deep, soil-driven aromas of black cherry, mocha, coffee and truffley underbrush are lifted by a subtle floral topnote. Intensely flavored and creamy, but with a firm spine of minerality giving the wine grip and keeping it light on its feet. This wonderfully sweet Volnay has buns of steel. Finishes with uncanny length and lift. This potentially great wine was bottled mostly in numbered magnums and should be a real collector’s item, not to mention very long-lived.
Anticipated maturity: 2029-2045
Three hailstorms in Volnay " the first during the annual ‘Elegance des Volnay’ celebration, Guillaume recalls. ‘As we were sitting down for dinner on 30 June 2012, the first hailstorm hit, in front of 30+ disbelieving vignerons of Volnay and their guests. Another hailstorm hit as the guests were leaving the party, around 1 am. A third one took place in early August.’ So yield was <10 hl/ha. Harvest 22 September, pH 3.68. The total quantity made was just 1,287, of which 1,200 were put on the market, plus about 100 bottles for the library and to be sold for charity. Guillaume’s previous assistant made the mistake of selling six bottles to a Beaune restaurateur who made a killing by on-selling to a Canadian. Lustrous ruby. Very shaded colour and very rich ripe aroma. Absolutely attention-grabbing " Guillaume d’Angerville thinks unrepresentative of Clos des Ducs " with fine tannins just pushing in under a comfort blanket of richness and super-ripe bitter-cherry fruit. Very glamorous and gorgeous. Super-clean on the finish with just a little hint of asperity. Firm and upright.
Anticipated maturity: 2021-2042