Spotlight on Red Burgundy: Marquis d’Angerville Volnay Premier Cru 2008

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Volnay is for many the leading Pinot Noir cru in the Cote de Beaune. There tends to be tremendous consistency and quality at the village level and above.

Style in Variation

Volnay’s vineyard land is relatively small in size compared to other Burgundy communes, but this does not prevent a concentration of top vineyards down its central corridor. The soils vary from Bathonian limestone in the southwest on the border with Meursault to Argovian limestone in the middle and back to Bathonian in the northeast on the border with Pommard. These variations, along with myriad other small differences between vineyards, seem to result in an impressive range of fruit expression, though most Volnay remains consistently delicate and pretty.

Classic Wine from a Burgundy Pioneer

Marquis d’Angerville is one of the most important names in Burgundy and a leader in Volnay for top quality Pinot. Domaine bottling in Burgundy was invented here – i.e. the practice of the Domaine bottling and labelling its own wine. According to Clive Coates, this was a response to the then Marquis’ criticism of merchant frauds going on in the 1930’s that lead to the negocients black-listing his wine. So he had to do it himself, and was eventually followed by Armand Rousseau and Henri Gouges. Not a bad start.

d’Angeville is known for elegant but intense wines. They de-stem for fermentation, cold soak and ferment at low temperatures. The oak treatment is deft, with only 15% new. The Domaine converted to biodynamic farming in 2006.

This wine is not vineyard labelled, but bears only the moniker “Premier Cru”. As such, I do not know the exact source of fruit that goes into this, but understand it is a blend of various premier cru sites.

Despite the unclear origins, the substance here is outstanding. This is classically Volnay in its expression and elegance. It is drinking beautifully for a 2008 and demonstrates the quality of that vintage when you choose good growers. The scent is very pure cherry and is highly expressive. The palate is impeccably balanced, with lots of freshness and a superb acid structure coupled with rich, expressive and full fruit: the Marquis d’Angerville style. A very impressive wine.

Excellent to Excellent+
~$50 at Vinopolis, Portland

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