I have been exploring and learning about Burgundy wines for a while. It started with this bottle of Volnay, the subject of today's post. There is no prototypal Burgundy: perhaps the most terroir-driven wine-making region of France, grasping the sheer variety of bounty in the region — depending on factors like soil composition, vineyard site, climate and of course, vine age and the wine-making process itself — is a task unto itself. This diversity (that manifests in the form of various levels of classifications) makes it challenging, but also exciting. My enthusiasm and passion for wine renewed, this, then, is a first of what I hope will be a regular series, where I write about wines that I find particularly memorable. (There will, of course, be wines from other regions.) —Premshree
André Porcheret and his granddaughter Cataldina Lippo oversee Domaine Monthelie-Douhairet-Porcheret that has several appellations in the Côte de Beaune region of the Côte d'Or, including Volnay. This premier cru (there are no vineyards designated grand crus in the region) comes from the Champans vineyard, located in the heart of the Volnay region with east and south-east exposure, surrounded by other premier cru climats. Per Gregory Castells of Martine's Wines the soil in this vineyard is very rocky and made of very hard and tight limestone with a red thin top soil; the upper part of the slope has more friable marl while the bottom sits on sediments. The average age of the domaine's parcel is around 40 years.
Ruby red, perfumed bouquet, with a medium body, smooth tannins. I detected hints of cassis, ripe cherries, and fennel on the nose. You first think of it as delicate, but on sipping you want to reconsider. The resulting impish tension notwithstanding, this is an easy drinking, beautiful wine that wants you to drink it instead of spending time contemplating it. Doesn't need much time to decant. This wine lives up to what you might expect a typical Volnay expression to be like: delicate, elegant and complex.