Domaine de Montille Volnay 1er Cru 'Les Taillepieds'
- Burgundy, France
Often the most complete of the de Montille Volnay premiers crus, this comes from two parcels of 80-year-old vines, both below the village on either side of the road. Floral, nuanced and malty, it isn't excessively marked by its 100% whole bunches, partly because the wine has such depth, freshness and acidity.
95/100 Tim Atkin MW for Decanter
Taillepieds is a class apart in Volnay - the Queen of Cote des Beaune reds, and a regular contender for elevation to Grand Cru. Gravel on limestone soils give a bracing salinity to the wines which help season the rolling waves of intense and varied aromas and flavours of a vineyard that includes vines over eighty years old. 100% whole bunch fermentation allows further complexities to surround the spicy, salty, high-toned minerally red and black fruits which manage to be vibrant and juicy yet brooding and burly at the same time. One of our most sought-after reds every Burgundy campaign, and with good reason.
Tasting with winemaker Brian Sieve at de Montille is always a pleasurable education, and once again we were treated to an impressively consistent set of wines, including the domaine’s best whites since 2014, accompanied by his typically measured appraisal of the vintage and the market. Regarding the latter, Brian suggests that prices are due to stabilize but that demand is relentless and quality high - “your top domaines are going to swing and miss on very few vintages”, and with certain domaines guiding particular crus on a specific trajectory, 2017 could be seen as excellent value in a few year’s time.
Of the vintage, Brian says 2017 is built for serious pleasure, with svelte tannins and juicy structure holding plenty of strawberries and raspberries. Preferring to pick early when grapes still have two thirds tartaric acid, and only a third malic acid, he believes the domaine’s 2017 reds have the supple richness and concentration of 2016 with the quantity, acidity and primary red fruit profile of 2011. Easy to understand, balanced and graceful, with alcohol bordering 13%, 2017 is good news for drinkers and yet he sees nothing to suggest the wines won’t age well.
Etienne de Montille meanwhile begins by quoting neighbour Michel Lafarge who said 2017 is “a mix of ‘59 and ‘61”. In his own reds, Etienne sees a rare vintage with plenty of plush, fleshy fruit and early integration, a sense of floral freshness like 2007, but with tension and spiciness due to their preference for varying degrees of whole cluster. This is allied to a rare intensity of minerality and salinity, accompanied by no harsh, square tannins, and so he is delighted by the sense of harmony in the wines. And then there are the whites… “best since 2014”, without quite the same density and volume, but with same transparency, salinity and vivacity.
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