2010 Burgundy - Joseph Voillot

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Some Burgundy tasters are comparing 2010 to 1978 – historically one of the great vintages, with beautiful and graceful wines of exceptional balance. The wines are transparent, which means they really show off the distinguishing characteristics of the different villages and the vineyards within.

2010 is the vintage of the millerandage, or "shot berries" a rare occurrence caused by the weather during the flowering of the grape vines, which in 2010 took place over two and half weeks – much longer than usual. The result is tiny grapes that are packed with flavor, have thicker skins and more concentration,  and there is a depth of flavor to these rare vintages where these grapes predominate. Other quirks in the weather severely reduced the size of the harvest, with some producers only making one-half the amount of wine as they made in 2009.  

An informal survey of a group of Burgundy lovers, taken at the dinner table, produced interesting results when the group was asked to pick their favorite village in Burgundy for red wine. I expected a majority vote for Chambolle, but Volnay actually won. Fortunately we don’t really have to make this Solomonic choice, but we do love good Volnay, and have had inspirational wines from Lafarge, de Montille, and d’Angerville, not to mention the old wines from Pousse d’Or…

Overlooked in this line-up of the best wines of Volnay is Joseph Voillot, whose wines are certainly less well-known in the US, and are not represented in many cellars. Voillot has won our admiration over the past 10 years with excellent wines that can hold their own against bottles from the more famous domaines. Voillot’s wine has great transparency, with each bottling really showing terroir and finesse.  Voillot made excellent 2010's, and they represent good value in this vintage which is already in high demand the world over. 

 

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Voillot, Joseph 2010 Pommard Vieilles Vignes

5 parcels covering 3 acres, average vine age 51 years old.  Definite earthiness on the nose, and more candied cherry on the nose than the Volnay VV; mineral with clay and iron; good fruit, tannin, crisp acidity and a very long finish with lingering red fruits. Kind of quiet on the palate at first, with penetrating depth and a long, brooding finish. Drinking very well with lots more to come.

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Voillot, Joseph 2010 Volnay Vieilles Vignes

A blend of 9 parcels totaling 5 acres, the average age of the vines is 41 years. High-toned Pinot nose with wood perfume of spices — like Chinese five spice and cinnamon, and black cherry, and smoke; some tannins, good grip, with mouth-coating minerals on the finish. A bit tight today, but very nice.

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Voillot, Joseph 2010 Volnay 1er Cru Les Fremiets

1.5 acres, the vines were planted in 1932, 1959 & 1978.  Lots of limestone on the nose and on the palate, with earth and spice; very tangy and mineral-y and perfumed.  This is right next to Pommard Fremiets but is very, very Volnaysien. The wine is elegant but the fruit is compact and nowhere near ready to drink.

 

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Voillot, Joseph 2010 Volnay 1er Cru Les Champans

4.2 acres with vines planted in 1934, 1971 & 1985.  Smells like earth and clay and has great raspberry aromas – a deep sweetness; lots of fruit on the palate.  Good weight in the mouth, open and lovely and very appealing, with a very long finish of dark berries.  Really lovely, complete wine, with great potential.

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Voillot, Joseph 2010 Pommard 1er Cru Pézerolles

1 acre of vines planted in 1963. Today the richest aromatics of the group. Lots of spice – licorice and anise — and minerals and ripe raspberry fruit; good mouth-weight and palate cleansing acidity on the finish.  Very good balance.

 

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Voillot, Joseph 2010 Pommard 1er Cru Rugiens

0.62 acre planted in 1959 in Rugiens Bas.  Spicy and rich – much more about earth than fruit; medium bodied with great red cherry fruit and a refreshing blast of acidity on the very mineral and  long finish. Really classy wine.

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