Domaine Marquis d'Angerville - Volnay 1er Cru Clos des Ducs, Monopole 2016 - 750 ml
WHAT THE WINEMAKER IS SAYING
“The wines of 2016 are clean, pure and full of energy.” Guillaume d’Angerville
Harvest started on 22nd September, later than recent vintages, but significantly earlier than the flowering date had originally suggested: the season had caught up, thanks to the splendid second half. There was a sharp contrast between the grapes from the parcels hit by frost and those that escaped. Fruit from the higher plots was “pretty, ripe and clean”. Average yields were achieved in the appellations above the frost contour line, but were very low in the others.
Guillaume summed up the harvest as “a pleasant surprise after a season which will be remembered as the ‘late frost vintage’”. The wines are pure and brim with energy. After the more exuberantly-fruited 2015s, we are back to a classically fresh and elegant style, in which the terroir of each individual plot shines through.
This is the parcel of vines behind the domaine, a 2.15 hectare postage stamp of a vineyard, planted on stony white marl. South to south-east facing and steeply sloping, as if someone has picked up one of its corners, it is a warm site thanks to the reflective white soils. Closed on the nose in July, it had opened wonderfully by October, showing a fine line of rose petal perfume and gentle exotic spices. The palate is sweetly fruited on the attack, weightless, all taking place in the air. Beautifully fine, filigree tannins on the palate. This somehow seeps into you by osmosis, filling your mouth with perfume and flavour.
Domaine Marquis d’Angerville forms part of the very fabric of Volnay. The Clos des Ducs, one of the village’s prime vineyards, lies directly behind the family home of the current Marquis, Guillaume d’Angerville.
The domaine, once part-owned by the Dukes of Burgundy, consists of 14 hectares of vines. The vast majority of this – 12.5 hectares – is premier cru, representing over 10% of the total premier cru plantings in Volnay. Guillaume d’Angerville left the world of finance in Paris to take charge of the domaine upon the death of his father, Jacques, in 2003. The domaine has been in the family for over two centuries, having been acquired in 1805. Guillaume has been supported since 2003 by his brotherin-law, Renaud de Villette, who had worked with Jacques for many years. François Duvivier is the domaine’s régisseur (manager), overseeing both the vineyards and the cellar. The Marquis d’Angerville Pinot Noir clones are unique, producing particularly small grapes, meaning a high ‘skin to juice ratio’ and so a high level of natural tannins. The vines were replanted, following phylloxera, by Guillaume’s grandfather, Sem, shortly after his arrival at the domaine in 1906. A century later, in 2006, the domaine began conversion to biodynamic viticulture and is now wholly biodynamic. In the cellar, the grapes are cooled before fermentation. Extraction focuses on remontage (pumping over) rather than pigeage (punching down). Around a quarter new oak tends to be the maximum. The wines remain in barrel for 15-18 months and are customarily bottled unfined and unfiltered. These are the Volnays that we dream of: elegantly perfumed on the nose, with layered, textured palates. They combine intricate finesse with complexity, power and long ageing potential. Just occasionally, they display a sense of weightlessness which takes your breath away, the soaring flavours seemingly borne from thin air.
TECHNICAL SHEETCountry: France
Appellation: Volnay 1er Cru Clos des Ducs Monopole
Producer : Guillaume d’Angerville
Founded : 1805
Size : 2.15 hectares
Grape : 100% Pinot Noir
Age of the vines : 46 years in average
Culture: Organic / Biodynamic