Domaine de la Pousse d'Or Volnay Clos de la Bousse d'Or Premier Cru 2008
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Domaine de la Pousse d’Or has for decades been the collector’s choice for expressive and memorable wines from Burgundy’s most hallowed terroirs. This historic estate is one of the Burgundian elite, in a similar realm of such exclusive wineries like Romanée-Conti and Comte de Vogüé, with its strict selection and seamless winemaking. The history of Pousse d’Or in Volnay underscores its influence throughout the ages. In 1855, the winery was part of a larger domaine that included such names as Romanée-Conti and Clos de Tart. Originally called La Bousse d’Or (Bousse, in old French, means earth; thus, “golden earth”), the Domaine changed owners a number of times until legend Gérard Potel took the reins. It was Potel that put the estate’s wines on the map, with the elegant, refined style that Pousse d’Or is still known for today. In 1997, Patrick Landanger purchased the winery and its vineyards. In the mid-2000s, Landanger added an impressive collection of Côte de Nuits vineyards (from Domaine Moine-Hudelot) to his portfolio. Pousse d’Or has three premier cru monopoles, or exclusively estate-owned vineyards, in Volnay: ‘Clos de la Bousse d’Or,’ ‘Clos des Soixante (60)-Ouvrées’ and ‘Clos d’Audignac.’ Pousse’s attention to detail and dedication to organic viticulture (the estate is not certified but has followed organic principles for years) is serious. Vineyards are cared for without the use of pesticides or herbicides and are regularly plowed. Grapes are harvested and sorted by hand, and bunches are destemmed and fermented on indigenous yeasts in temperature-controlled tanks. Wines are aged from 15 to 18 months in French oak barrels, with between 30 to 50 percent new wood, depending on the cru. In recent vintages, Landanger has been experimenting with terracotta amphorae for aging some of his premier cru wines. All wines are bottled by gravity and are unfined and unfiltered.
On the hillsides between Pommard and Meursault, Volnay is one of two villages in the Côte de Beaune that is recognized for its extraordinary Pinot Noir. Pommard is the other; the rest of the villages are most known for some of the most exceptional Chardonnay in the world. While Volnay Pinot Noir tends to be light in color and more delicate than that of Pommard, they typically stand on par with each other in regards to quality and demand.
Volnay can’t claim any Grands Crus vineyards but more than half of it has achieved Premier Cru status. Volnay Premiers Crus vineyards stretch across the entire village from northeast to southwest, abutting and actually falling “into” Meursault. Where they merge is a vineyard called Les Santenots. Pinot Noir grows in this Meursault Premier Cru but since that village is most associated with stellar whites, the Pinot Noir from Les Santenots, takes the name Volnay Santenots. Immediately above it are Volnay’s other prized Premier Cru, Le Cailleret, Champans, Clos des Chênes and Le Cailleret.
Volnay Pinot Noir are earthy with red or blue fruit. Aromas such as smoke, herbs, forest, cocoa and spice are common and on the palate they are gorgeous and concentrated with finesse but won’t truly charm you without some age.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”