Outstanding New 2019 Volnay Premier Cru

Red Burgundy at its most elegant

Red Burgundies aren’t known for their heartiness. Pinot Noir is a delicate, thin-skinned varietal — and typically tends towards subtlety over strength. But what red Burgundies may lack in weight they more than make up in elegance. The finest examples 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.

Volnay has no Grand Cru vineyards, so Santenots Premier Cru is among the appellation’s finest plots. Its location on the southern border with Meursault signals the elegance and charming aromatics often found in the wine.

Belland’s 2019 Volnay 1er cru is a deft balance act of channeling subtle terroir in a very ripe year. Belland used 80% whole clusters in this cuvée, giving a backbone to the abundant fruit. Resulting wine is gorgeous, easily their most elegant red, with lively aromatics and plenty of substance. Its structure is hidden in the beautiful fruit and its very fine-grained tannins support a wine that will be perfumed, silky, and lacy when it matures.

Burghound awarded 92 points, calling it “Outstanding,” and finding it both “exceptionally rich” and “velvet-textured,” with a “built-to-age finish.” Belland’s wines always drink young, but there’s no rush on this one, and it’s a terrific candidate for the back of the cellar.


Belland Volnay 1er “Santenots” 2019
bottle price: $75

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