The wines of Burgundy are not known for their weight. Their grape is Pinot Noir, a delicate, thin-skinned grape that is relatively light in color. The region is relatively northern, and it’s often a struggle for the grapes to ripen fully.
But what they lack in weight, they more than make up in elegance. The reds of Burgundy are unmatched in their ability to convey complexity, subtlety, and grace. In the Côte de Nuits it’s hard to pick a favorite town, but in the Côte de Beaune one name stands above the rest.
Volnay embodies the velvety silkiness of red Burgundy as well as any town in the region. Our producer here is the Domaine Roger Belland, who marries Volnay’s elegance with the domaine’s approachable style. The result is exceptionally fine red Burgundy, that’s also drinkable young.
Master of Wine Jasper Morris highlights three premier crus as the finest vineyards in the town: Caillerets, Champans, and Santenots. (Texts from 1855 and 1920 single out the same three.) And so from a town with no Grand Crus, these wines are as good as Volnay gets. This Volnay is from the premier cru Santenots vineyard, right along the border with Meursault.
Belland’s 2014 Volnay-Santenots is seriously good wine. The nose shows plum, blackberry and spice; the mouth is tense and full, with fine tannins, and a savory, gamey finish. Burghound awarded 90 points, finding “really lovely detail,” “discreet floral aromas,” and “generous medium weight flavors.” This is richer than much Volnay, but doesn’t lack at all for subtlety and refinement.
Picture an old stone chateau on a hillside in Burgundy, on a drafty winter evening a century ago. There’s a crackling fireplace, flickering candles, and a hearty meat on the table — this Volnay is the wine in the glass.
Belland Volnay 1er cru “Santenots” 2014
Ansonia Retail: $68
2+ bottle price : $59/bot
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