This Fremiets is a true highpoint of the appellation this year. The vineyard lies on the Pommard side of the village and actually shares some of its neighbour’s ferrous soil structure, which you can sense in the long and structured finish. However the aromatic red cherry perfume and silken tannins remind you emphatically of its Volnay heart. Quite delicious.
There are only two barrels of the 2015 Volnay 1er Cru Frémiets, which was impacted by the hail and consequently yields were reduced to 15 hectoliters per hectare. The vines here are more than 80 years old, assisted by younger 30-year-old vines. It tended to have small grapes on the older vines, generally with thick skins. The nose is a mixture of red and black fruit, raspberry coulis and wild strawberry, a touch of thyme. The palate is well structured with sappy red berry fruit, a pinch of white pepper and nicely structured on the finish à la Pommard, which is unsurprising given its location. What a beautiful Volnay. One to seek out if you couldn't get your mits on the Clos des Epenaux. Drink Date 2019 - 2035
Clos des Épeneaux is widely regarded as the greatest site in Pommard. This 5.23 hectare monopole walled vineyard has been in the Comte Armand family since 1826. Paul Zinetti took over from Benjamin Leroux as régisseur in 2014, and is rising to every challenge at this small, characterful domaine. All efforts are directed towards coaxing elegance instead of power from the profound soils of Clos des Épeneaux. The wines have the strength of character of quintessential Pommard and Volnay, but are also some of the most sophisticated, nuanced expressions you might taste across these two neighbouring appellations. The Auxey Duresses 1er Cru, too, is delightful. An understated use of new oak matches the textured fruit, and gentle handling in combination with intuitive biodynamic practices afford these wines both strength and delicacy. This is often tipped as one of the best value top domaines in the region, and with good reason.
A red wine appellation only, wines from Volnay might be considered the most revered of southern Burgundy. They have been celebrated since the 18th century for their delicacy. But they are not fruit forward like those of Beaune or Chorey Lès Beaune nor have the brooding structure of Pommard.Instead, they have superb linearity, focus and poise while sheathed in velvety tannin. This slightly reticent personality comes out even more with a bit of age, though some can be approached very young. There are no grand cru vineyards in Volnay, but there are some excellent premier cru examples including Volnay Les Champans and Volnay Les Caillerets. Chardonnay grown in the shared Santenots vineyard must be labelled as Meursault.