Volnay 1er Cru "En Champans" 2012

The vintage

The harvest began September 17 and continued through the end of the month.

Recalling the 2012 vintage brings on two different sentiments. For one, there is the great satisfaction to have an excellent vintage in terms of quality, especially in red. For another, there is the profound disappointment of tiny yields accompanied by the hail devastation of many vines, from Santenay up to Pommard. The weather was difficult at the beginning of the season but improved around mid-July, which saved the quality of the vintage. Concerning the yields, they are very low, and everything that could have contributed to lowering them happened in 2012: small flowering, poor fruit set, uneven berry size...and unfortunately, hail.

The aromas have a rare complexity and elegance. They offer an astonishing bouquet of spices, cherry pits, black fruits, dried flowers, musk and hard candies. The textures are simultaneously dense and ethereal. The attacks are brisk and the mid-palates are etheral and lengthy. The tannins are soft and well-wrapped in intense fruit that vascilates between tangy and sweet. The suave finishes offer refreshment and persistence.

We left two-thirds whole clusters in Beaune Perrières, Beaune Grèves and Volnay Mitans and 100% in Volnay Les Taillepieds, Corton Clos du Roi and all the Côte de Nuits cuvées, including in our village level Nuits-St-Georges « Les Saints-Juliens ». These are all wines to age for at least ten years, even 20-25 years for the Grand Crus and « Grand » Premier Crus from the Côte de Nuits.

This is quite rare, but we have found slight reduction in most of the wines. As such, we advise to decant them about one hour if they are being tasted before they reach ten years old.

Tasting notes

- Here the intensely earthy nose is also quite somber and reserved with its array of various dark berry fruit and discreet humus aromas. There is good volume and a sleek muscularity to the mineral-inflected middle weight flavors that possess that lovely sense of underlying tension yet culminates in a mildly austere and dry finish. This is likely to add depth and flesh out somewhat with bottle age but I'm less certain that the balance is going to improve with time and my suggested initial drinking window reflects this concern.

Score: 87-90 Tasted: Apr 15, 2014 Drink: 2018+ Issue: 54 - Allen Meadows

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