Domaine Henri Boillot Volnay 2011 and Volnay Les Fremiets 1er Cru 2011
Volnay is one of my personal favourite villages and is a regular go-to. In the last few years, Henri Boillot has become, in my view, one of the highest quality producers in Burgundy, both with his Domaine (estate fruit) and Maison (negocient). The consistency is due to meticulous farming, both at the owned Domaine property and the leased Maison holdings – for example the yields are a very low 22 and 26 hectoliters per hectare. These are modern Burgundies, harvested on the later side and always delivering impressive, powerful fruit. There is also always a beautiful minerality to these wines. In my view they are ideal Burgundies.
Don’t confuse this domaine with the several other Boillot properties. Henri Boillot is tops. Henri inherited the domaine from his father in 2005 and it includes holdings in Meursault, Puligny-Montrachet, Savigny, Beaune and Volnay. Henri Boillot also makes a number of grand crus through his negocient arm Maison Henri Boillot.
The mastery here comes with complete control from farming to cellar. Sorting is intense after hand harvesting. The red grapes pass through two rounds on the sorting table. The grapes are then cold soaked. We can’t forget the importance of Henri’s cellar work too – gentle crushing, rapid cooling of musts and fermentation up to 30 days in 350 litre barrels (larger than barriques) to retain freshness. Then ageing for 18 months in barrique.
Both the Volnay village and the Volnay Les Fremiets are masterful wines. The village Volnay is ripe and potent with tea-like tannins and exuberant mineral influences. It is drinking well right now but can handle another 5 years. It is premier cru in quality.
$100 Spec in BC
Les Fremiets has always been one of my favourite vineyards, and Henri Boillot’s 2011 is no exception. This is incredibly complex wine that is only just beginning to show its breadth. The material is muscular and needs a little time to relax, though its beauty is palpable already. A significant step up from the village.
~$150 Spec in BC