Domaine Michel Lafarge Volnay Premier Cru 2002
The Lafarge's have been vignerons in Volnay since the 18th century. They started bottling in the early 1900's, a rarity for a small estate. They have had loyal customers for generations, selling their own wine in barrels to Parisian restaurants as far back as the 1850's. Their history may not be as visible as a Domaine de la Romanee-Conti but is perhaps even more remarkable. For it is easier, if not less honorable, for people whose income does not solely depend on an estate to pursue quality. And it is also harder to allow oneself to slip when one is constantly in the limelight. The greatness of these wines will hit you after you've visited the whole vintage, after you're familiar with everybody else's take. It's a year later and you've tasted back and forth throughout the Cote, you've done your work, you're intellectually armed. You spot that bottle of Lafarge. You know the estate intimately, you're a fan. What could possibly surprise you more than it being excellent. But at the first sip, the word genius escapes in a whisper. Because these wines are exactly what the vintage should be. And this, vintage after vintage, come rain or shine. The wines of Domaine Michel Lafarge are infallible. And they are so great they don't come to you, you have to work up to them.
Celebrated as some of the best wine in the universe, red wine from Burgundy, otherwise known as red Burgundy, is Pinot noir. In fact Burgundy is the birthplace of Pinot noir and the source of the planet’s most sensual, delicate, valuable and sought-after Pinot noir wines.
Understanding and enjoying red Burgundy can stay simple, with a basic knowledge of its subregions, become more intricate by dialing down to the villages and vineyards or become a life-long passion, exploring climats (plots of vines), vintages and the post French Revolution land ownership laws. In any case, a fine red Burgundy will display refined nuances of black currant, red fruit, earth, spice, alluring floral aromatics and have great elegance, complexity and longevity.
Most famous, praised and collected of Burgunday are those from the Côte d'Or. Hundreds of millions of years ago, the area now called Côte d'Or was under a warm ocean whose sea floor has, over time, shifted and decomposed into various layers of limestone, sandstone and clay interspersed with ancient fossilized sea creatures. This is what is referred to as the famous escarpment upon which all of the highly sought-after Grands Crus and Premiers Crus vineyards can be found. In other words, from north to south, the best vineyards of Gevrey-Chambertin, Morey-St-Denis, Chambolle-Musigny, Vougeot, Vosne-Romanée, Flagey-Echezeaux, Nuits-St-Georges, Aloxe-Corton, Pommard and Volnay follow the path of this ancient sea bed.