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Average critic rating : 90.0 points
The Lafarge 2007 Volnay Mitans smells of leather and sauteed chanterelles, along with sour cherry and red currant. Having just commented – in connection with the corresponding Les Aigrots – on the “relative rarity” of tartness in 2007, I now must make note of precisely that trait here, which contributes to a sense of invigoration and saliva inducement, incorporating sassy suggestions of rhubarb and citrus zest such as I would more have anticipated from a 2008 red Burgundy (or a high-acid vintage of Gruner Veltliner!). But while this isn’t a charmer, its grip, energy, and complex interaction of red fruit, fungal, and saline and chalky mineral elements are all hugely entertaining already, and I suspect that if one forgets this for 3-4 years it will perform admirably for that many again, proving itself to indeed be an exception for its vintage. ||Frederic and Michel Lafarge are understandably enthusiastic about their admittedly millerandage-, hail-, and triage-reduced 2008 crop, but insisted that rot was not a significant problem. And even the hail, they report, was minimal in their portions of Clos des Chenes and Caillerets, being largely confined to certain village and generic sectors. All of the 2008s here (even of minor appellation) were still in barrel when I tasted them in March, and would, as usual at this address, be assembled only immediately before bottling. Malos were late here by the estate’s normal standards, but still largely finished by August, and the Lafarges insist that they did not have musts with unusually high levels of malic acidity, in regard to which Frederic observes that a matter of just a few days in picking date in 2008 could make a big chemical difference. Michel Lafarge opines that one needs several months after malo to let a young red Burgundy collect and express itself before one ought even to contemplate bottling, in light of which he cannot comprehend – much less agree with – the many growers who bottled 2008s during the winter. He also emphatically resists the suggestion that 2008 is, in any sense, a throwback to the old normalcy – a subject on which Michel Lafarge has to be one of Burgundy’s most seasoned experts – pointing out that there wasn’t really any need to chaptalize the 2008s, which came in largely in the upper 12s. (Alcohol levels were slightly higher in the impressive 2007s, nearly all of which were picked the first week in September.)||A Becky Wasserman Selection, Le Serbet (various importers), fax 011-33-3-80-24-29-70 Wine Advocate.June, 2010
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