Lafarge Special: From the Vault 1996-2006

Posted by CrushWine

Domaine Michel Lafarge: From the Vault
Selections from 1996-2006
Volnay - Volnay VS - Mitans - Chenes - Ducs

Well, the "little" Lafarge email we sent out on Saturday caused quite a stir.

It was just a few cases of 2005 Volnay Mitans, but the response was overwhelming. We were still getting calls and emails yesterday even though we were oversold by more bottles than the tranche ever had.

Seems that people like Lafarge as much as we do.

So I spoke with Stephen, and we decided to put our entire treasure trove of back-vintage Lafarge bottlings on special - we're talking lowest prices in the nation on everything - provided you can actually find the bottles in the U.S., which in most cases you cannot.

Please note we've included complete stock numbers so you know exactly how much wine we have available - this will be first come, first served, so if you are interested, please respond immediately!

While we've included the Burghound's full notes below (where available, he did not review the 96 Greves), we'd like to add a few things. First, Lafarge's 96s are absolutely stunning - these are wines we've bought, drunk, fallen in love with and then reordered every and any chance we could get. I'm afraid this well will run dry soon, so don't miss them. These are wines for Volnay purists - they are so alive, so delicate, so ultra-fine with their minerality and quivering structure. I can't recommend them enough.

The 2000 Chênes is ludicrously priced, and we only have 9 bottles, so I'll leave that alone. Same deal with the 2005 Volnay - this is priced nearly the same as the current-release Volnay and, well: It's from 2005. This case will disappear near-immediately.

The 2006 Mitans is probably the underdog of the offering, but Lafarge's Mitans is one of those bottlings that is gaining tremendous momentum, and like all Lafarge bottlings it is a beautiful wine of "finesse and understatement." Personally, I think 2006 is a great vintage at Lafarge - the general size of the vintage matches up well with the house's style.

So, you know the deal - quantities are limited; give us your maximum order, and we'll do the best we can.

Please email us at or call the store at (212) 980-9463 to order.

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

Domaine Michel Lafarge

1996 Beaune Les Grèves
I drank this on Saturday night; when older Lafarge comes in, it sits on the shelf anywhere from 2-5 minutes before the staff starts picking at it. I grabbed one near-immediately, and it did not disappoint. That said, Grèves is a different expression than Volnay; it is more masculine, burlier. The 96 Lafarge Grèves has dark savory fruit, woven with earth and mineral - I decanted this wine for a few hours before enjoying it with a hearty meal. Honestly, I would cellar this for a few more years.

1996 Volnay - Vendange Sélectionées
Burghound: "Pure and quite fine on the nose with its pretty red fruit aromas but its a bit meager and hard on the finish even though there is good definition and focus to the flavors. In short, this is an aromatically pretty wine but the hardness on the finish leads me to conclude that it's unlikely to ever be a charmer." Unlikely to be a charmer? Incorrect: I've had this wine a number of times and it is very charming; that "hardness" seems to me more that delicate spine of mineral that Volnay can often show.

1996 Volnay 1er Cru Clos du Château des Ducs
Burghound: "Wonderfully pure, drop dead gorgeous Volnay fruit of stunning elegant and detail which leads to medium weight flavors that offer much better concentration than the average '96, all underpinned by solid structure and bright finishing acidity on the long backend. As it usually is, this is a wine of finesse and not power but there is plenty of mid-palate punch and near perfect balance should permit a very long and slow evolution. I would check back in 2006 or so but it won't surprise me if yet more time is required."

2000 Volnay 1er Cru Clos des Chênes
Burghound: "This is still quite deeply colored and even after 10 years of age, shows no softening around the edges. The nose is very richly fruited with still very fresh and primary aromas that are earthy and quite ripe, combining with unusually concentrated flavors (in the context of the vintage) and all wrapped in a dusty, intense and gorgeously detailed finish that delivers admirable length. This is a delicious yet altogether serious effort that packs ample power and punch and it will age effortlessly for another two decades, perhaps longer."

2005 Volnay
Burghound: "This is quite ripe yet the red and dark berry fruit aromas are airy and pure with an abundant earthiness present on the rich, serious and rather brooding middle weight flavors supported by excellent dry extract and ripe structural elements on the solidly long finish. Very good quality here for a villages level wine."

2006 Volnay 1er Cru Clos des Chênes
Burghound: "Here the aromas are equally ripe with an earthier and more deeply pitched aromatic profile that serves up a strikingly pretty array of red raspberry and currant, plum and violets that introduces, rich, full and more powerful flavors that possess a gorgeous mouth feel and ample mid-palate concentration that buffers the most prominent tannins on the driving, energetic and explosive finish. As it usually is, this is the best in show in 2006."