2012 Volnay Clos du Chateau des Ducs Michel Lafarge



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£153.00

Average critic rating : 91.0 points

90-92

90-92

The 2012 Volnay 1er Cru Clos du Chateau des Ducs is the 0.57-hectare monopole of Lafarge from an average of 80-year-old vines. Despite coaxing it remains stubbornly reticent on the nose, coquettishly revealing sea cave scents, perhaps a suggestion of what is to come with bottle age. The palate is more expressive with silky tannins, very pure red berry fruit, fine mineralite and a sophisticated, focused finish that lingers in the mouth. This has a wonderful weightless quality to it. Very classy. ||I visited Domaine Michel Lafarge, tucked away in the nooks and crannies of Volnay village, where winemaker Frederic Lafarge, Michel’s son who has worked at the domaine since 1978, escorted me through his cramped 13th century arched cellars that are covered head to toe in thick black mold. You could imagine a witches’ coven in a dark corner. Instead the only thing being conjured up here is magical wine. In any case, space is not so much of an issue these days since Frederic told me that he lost 80% of the biodynamically cultivated crop in 2012 that affected all his parcels. Nevertheless, the show must go on and Frederic seemed sanguine about the travails. Ever a thoughtful, softly spoken gentleman, I can imagine that he would take it in his stride, with recourse to his father if necessary. He commenced picking on September 20, but in earnest from September 24. The fruit is de-stemmed and undergoes natural ferment with prudent pigeage. These were generally light and tensile, predominantly Volnay wines surfeit with mineralite and poise, the prudent use of oak (around 15% maximum) allowing the individual terroirs to be expressed articulately. They will provide pleasurable early drinking, yet Lafarge’s wines tend to be deceptively long lived if you can manage to track them down. eRobertParker.com.December, 2013

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