Elegance vs. Power

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The towns of Volnay and Pommard perch side by side on a hill just south of Beaune. As the two best known red wine towns of the Côte de Beaune, they’re a perfect example of the power of Burgundian terroir. The appellations share a border, and the towns themselves are less than a mile apart, but their identifying characteristics are nearly opposite.

Hugh Johnson describes Volnay as “fragrant and ethereal,” and Pommard as “dark” and “potent.” Feminine-masculine, elegant-powerful, yin-yang – we’ll let you pick the metaphor; but both can be special, and both can age well. This spring we were thrilled to find an excellent producer with delicious examples from the two towns.

Louis Boillot’s family has made wine in Pommard and Volnay for generations – you might say the terroir is in his blood. But whatever the source of his inspiration, there’s no denying the quality of his wines. Boillot’s Pommard comes from the 2009 vintage, and shows the classic dark tannins alongside the vintage’s signature juicy fruits. This will cellar well, but as with most of the 2009s it’s not required.

We were fortunate enough to pick up some of Boillot’s Volnay from the 2006 vintage, which was just singing when we tasted it in March. The Volnay shows intense blackberry and wild cherry fruit, with more structure than is maybe typical of the appellation. This wine may have a few years before its peak, but with a meal – try veal scallops in a Madeira reduction – there’s no reason to wait.

NOTE: Not available to NY customers.


Ansonia Retail: $45
Offer Price: $38.95

Ansonia Retail $38
Offer Price: $34.95