The King of Chardonnay’s Cult Pinots:
2005 Lafon Volnay 1er Cru Santenots-du-Milieu

Posted by Ian McFadden

Along with d'Angerville and Lafarge, Lafon makes some of the top examples of the village.

Lafon's whites get so much attention, especially his rare Montrachet, that most people overlook his work in Volnay.

This is a shame. His Santenots is one of the great wines of Volnay. My full initiation into the magic of Lafon's Santenots was a bottle of '78 a few years ago. It was a brilliant bottle.

photo of Lafon Volnay 1er Santenots

It is a masculine expression of Volnay. Santenots is a richer site with clay soils and hard rock underneath. For all of its texture and richness, the magic here is the transparency. Lafon's Santenots always has a ridiculous clarity, as if both soil and stone were pulverized into the wine itself.

The 2005 Santenots is a legendary vintage of the wine. It has all of the structure and intensity that the vintage is famous for. There's also plenty of finesse. 

While the 2005 is just starting to enter its drinking window, it's clear that it has a long life ahead of it. There's a stony core that's sheathed in velvety and spice-inflected layer of fruit. The Santenots delivers incredible aromatics of violets and muscular notes of topsoil.  

Lafon's Volnays are only chased down by a few insiders, and while the fan club is small, it's also a fervent one. This means two things: first, in terms of Burgundy, the value is very good. It also means that the wines tend to disappear quickly when they surface.

To order, email offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

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

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Burghound (2008): "A perfectly ripe, expressive and wonderfully fresh nose of deeply pitched cherry, spice and violet aromas that are more elegant still as they announce rich, full, sweet and velvety mouth coating flavors that offer outstanding detail and superb depth of material on the strikingly long finish. There is a gorgeously appealing sense of harmony here with really lovely transparency. A great Santenots but note that this will require extended cellar time."