Volnay has always been among Burgundy’s most prized appellations. King Louis XI (1423-1483) liked the wine so much that in 1447 he bought every ounce the town produced. Thomas Jefferson collected Volnay, and today it’s considered, along with Chambolle-Musigny, the source for Burgundy’s most elegant and seductive red wines.
Volnay has no Grand Crus, but the premier cru Caillerets vineyard is the finest in the appellation; in fact the local saying goes “he who has no vines in Caillerets knows not the worth of Volnay.” We’ve had delicious bottles from all over Volnay, but one taste of Caillerets and the reasons for its reputation become clear.
Michel and Estelle Prunier are a father-and-daugther team making terrific, traditional red Burgundies in the nearby town of Auxey Duresses. Their finest vines are in Volnay’s famous “Caillerets” vineyard. With such impressive terroir, much of Prunier’s job is to get out of the way – and their understated style is a perfect match. Wine writer Matt Kramer celebrates Prunier’s “signature-free winemaking” in Caillerets, explaining they “do an outstanding job with it,” concluding, “a great Caillerets.”
The 2018 Prunier Caillerets is a delight — the nose is rich and enticing, showing violets, dark chocolate and raspberries. The mouth is balanced, silky, and very long, with terrific density. Alongside a smooth, chalky minerality, look for notes of cassis and forest floor. Jasper Morris awarded 92 points, finding balance between “weight, charm, class, structure,” and concluding “a wine to be proud of.”
Most of the high end red Burgundy we suggest comes from the Côte de Nuits – but for those with the Burgundy bug, Prunier’s Volnay Caillerets is not one to miss.
Prunier Volnay 1er “Caillerets” 2018
bottle price: $89
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