“Sleek” New 91-point Volnay: Plums, Velvet, and Silk

Red Burgundies aren’t known for their heartiness. Pinot Noir is a delicate, thin-skinned varietal — light in color and body. It most often shows subtlety over strength, polish over power.

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.

Three of Volnay’s vineyards stand above the rest: Caillerets, Champans, and Santenots. And so from a town with no Grand Crus, these wines are as good as Volnay gets. Today’s Volnay is from the premier cru Santenots vineyard, right along the border with Meursault.

Belland’s 2017 Volnay-Santenots premier cru is a delight. The nose shows plum, blackberry and spice; the mouth is tense and full, with fine tannins, and a savory, gamey finish. Burghound awarded 91 points, calling it “attractively sleek,” spicy and fresh” and “overtly floral.”

This is richer than much Volnay, but doesn’t lack at all for subtlety and refinement.


Belland Volnay 1er cru “Santenots” 2017
bottle price: $69

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