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Average rating 93.0

The 2013 Volnay 1er Cru Clos des Ducs has that citrus-like freshness; that Seville orange marmalade trait that was tangible in a range of mature Clos des Ducs tasted the previous week. There are touches of violet that emerge with continued aeration. The palate is very feminine and refined, laid back almost, but that distracts from the structure underneath and the persistence and minerality on the finish. This is a regal, perhaps one should say, "ducal," Clos des Ducs that should drink beautifully over the next 25-30 years. But as I discovered at the vertical, this vineyard needs several years in the cellar.||This year I spent a little more time at Marquis d’Angerville. Having participated in an epochal vertical of Guillaume d’Angerville’s Clos des Ducs monopole in London the week before, I made sure to spend time walking around the vineyard. It is amazing what 20 minutes of promenading around the vines can do for your perspective and insight (readers can read the results in a separate article in this issue.) ||When I visited last year, I could detect the disconsolation in Guillaume’s voice, faced with an empty cellar after his vineyards were devastated by hail. This year, his spirits were lifted after the relatively “abundant” 2014. While some of his crus were severely affected, the final quantity was better than he had predicted when the gods had decided to crush his hopes of a normal vintage back in June. And returning to the 2013s in barrel, he remained optimistic, indeed surprised at their progression…||“We harvested from 5 October, the first time since 1984 that we started in that month and we finishing five days later,” he explained. “We were unaffected by the rains during the Monday – they were not significant. There was a marginal chaptalization but only tiny amounts. The tannins are very ripe - there are no angles to the tannins and the wines seemed to gain “meat” during their élevage. At the beginning I was concerned that they might be a bit skinny. The malolactics were late and most of them did not finish until September 2014. The premier crus were raised in 20% new oak although it is difficult to get that number exact when the crop is so small. I find that they are quite advanced and if they continue to perform like this it might be an earlier rather than later bottling”. ||Two thousand and thirteen sees the return of d’Angerville’s Volnay Villages that was not made in 2012 (the tiny amount of Bourgogne Rouge will be for private use only.) The centerpiece of the premier crus put a distance between themselves and the village crus and less propitious Volnays this year. The best wines, such as the Clos des Ducs and the Taillepieds, are taut and linear with that prickle of acidity, almost symmetrical at times. I could see why Guillaume might have initially feared that they were skinny at the beginning of their maturation period. Rather than fleshy there is a sense of athleticism in these wines, a nascent energy. Likewise, I understand Guillaume’s observation about “meatiness” and this trait was particularly expressed within his superb “Les Champans”. Overall, given the unenviable circumstances that surrounded the growing season, Guillaume and his team pulled victory from the bag against the odds.|, 2014

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