Classic Volnay: 2009 Lafarge

Posted by CrushWine

The Lafarge M.O.
2009 Domaine Lafarge
Volnay and Volnay Vendanges Sélectionées
"Ultra-elegant... lilting... classic Volnay of charm and grace." - Burghound

Does Lafarge epitomize Volnay? Or is it the other way around?

Here are wines with all the transparency, purity and fine yet firm-boned mineral precision that makes us such big fans of this commune. And Lafarge renders them with the most pure, most perfect vintage expression.

This is their forte: taking exactly what the vintage gives them and adapting to it, working with it, accepting and encouraging it and, ultimately, helping the terroir to shine - no matter what.

And so, in 2009, they did just that. They gave us wines that capitalize on all the dark, deep, saturating washes of ripe, rich fruit, yet they instilled it with life, vibrancy, buoyancy, persistency, with elegance.

Today we are very pleased to offer two of our favorite 2009s from Lafarge - bottles that represent what we think is a sweet spot for both quality and value, particularly in the blockbuster 09 vintage where, while quality is definitely up across the board, so too tends to be pricing.

These bottlings are the calling cards of Lafarge, showing off what Volnay really should be, all at a very manageable price point: 2009 Lafarge Volnay at $59.95 and 2009 Lafarge Volnay Vendanges Sélectionées at $69.95.

Year after year, it becomes more strikingly clear that Lafarge is one of the best producers in the Côte d'Or - never mind that their hometown boasts no Grand Crus. Never mind that today's wines are village-level - they are, as the Burghound's enthusiastic tasting notes assert, "ultra-elegant... lilting... classic Volnay" (as he calls the Volnay bottling) as well as possessing of "textbook purity" and a "delicious, firm, complex and beautifully long finish" (Volnay VS).

This is indeed very strong praise for village-level bottlings, and rightly so: Both wines, with their lacy red fruit, their stony mineral drive and tremendous detail, drink a solid "Cru"-level up, comparable to a 1er Cru wine from many other producers. Note that the VS is sourced from the oldest parcels, planted in 1932; the vines for the standard Volnay are between 25 and 65 years old.

Also keep in mind that a 2005 VS recently opened was absolutely embryonic - dense, taut, closed in on itself - needing another 5 years at least. These are serious bottles.

The Lafarge family is perhaps one of the most deeply rooted in a single place in all of Burgundy. They've been working this same land from their same home base near the old Château de Volnay since the mid-1700s - they know this place with a level of intimacy that's impossible to define and that must be responsible for their conveyance of such a strong notion of terroir. Today, Michel Lafarge and his son Frédéric work together, combining intuition, expertise and humble passion to craft wines that soar with the very essence of Volnay.

As a final note, while we maintain that the 09s are utterly delicious to drink right now, it’s also very clear that these have the guts to age for the long haul. As Michel says astutely, "The key to their potential longevity is that even though the vintage is exceptionally ripe with very high levels of phenolic maturity, the wines remain impeccably well balanced." Both of the wines on offer today should reward five, quite possibly ten years of patience - outstanding trajectory for "mere" villages-level wine.

To order, please email us at or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Ian McFadden
Director, Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits

2009 Domaine Lafarge


From vines 25-65 years old. Burghound: "An ultra-elegant nose features beautiful raspberry, red currant and wet stone hints that are in keeping with the rich, silky and pure flavors that possess a lilting mouth feel that is very Volnay in character, all wrapped in a lacy, balanced and energetic finish. A classic Volnay of charm and grace."

Volnay Vendanges Sélectionées

From vines 60-70 years old. Burghound: "This is also ripe, pretty, ultra-pure and airy with a mix of red and blue pinot fruit with the hallmark stone nuances that complement perfectly the detailed, precise and intense medium-bodied flavors that display text book purity on the delicious, firm, complex and beautifully long finish. A terrific villages."