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Type
Red Wine

Domaine Albert Boillot Volnay 'Les Petits Poisots' 2017

Appellation
Volnay
Region
Côte de Beaune
Vintage
2017
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$72.00
 
SKU: EBOT02R-17
Overview

A single-vineyard Volnay from the heart of the village, this ‘Petits Poisots’ shows great Pinot fruit in its youth. Delicate Volnay fruit, floral (the typical violet notes of a Volnay),  supple but dense, mouth-wateringly bright, with a long, lingering fruit-driven finish. This is a wine that is charming now, and which will open progressively over the next 5 years. Buy a case and drink a bottle every 6 months over 6 years and you will see a great Pinot unfold.

Producer
Raymond Boillot of Volany is part of the greater Boillot and a cousin of the illustrious Henri Boillot of Domain Jean Boillot. He is a winemaker of some 40 harvests, and has a pedigree as an oenologist and ‘maitre de chai’ for the Reine Pedauque for most of his career. Situated in the communes of Volnay and Pommard, the Domaine Albert Boillot produces appellations Bourgogne White and red, Volnay and a Pommard 1er Cru. These vineyards total just under 10 acres, and produce on average 20,000 bottles a year. Raymond Boillot makes wine in the traditional manner, but with the benefits of modern oenolgical work. The wines are raised in French oak, of which 30% are less that 4 years old. The wines are therefore not marked by much new wood. The wine is sold at the property, directly to the consumer. Elden Selections are the first to import them into the US.
Vintage

BURGUNDY 2017 VINTAGE

If 2016 tested the faith and resolve of wine makers in Burgundy, 2017 has to be seen as recompense, and as a miracle of sorts. While the rest of wine-growing Europe suffered crippling late-spring frosts in 2017, Burgundy for the most part (for once!) survived.

A mild winter and an accelerated spring left the Burgundy vineyards in a vulnerable position when, in the second half of April, temperatures across France barely rose above freezing for two weeks.

Three hard-frost nights pretty much did in Right Bank Chablis once again. But as the rest of Burgundy survived the first week, the growers found the will to fight back. And on the night of April 27th, a year and a day after the 2016 frost that took 80% of the 2016 harvest, a severe frost was forecast for the length of the Cote d’Or.

It’s now a part of local legend how, on the following morning, we awoke in a thick cloud of smoke.  In the early hours, from north to south, the vignerons had mobilized to set alight dampened bales of hay, sending up a cloud cover to filter the first burning rays of dawn. And it worked.

The air was thick, and driving was tricky. A customer at the butcher shop in Meursault jokingly asked for a smoked chicken. And, of course, the authorities were up in arms over the pollution risks.  But the crop was saved, and there has been ever since a spirit of cooperation and solidarity not often seen in farming communities.

After the freeze, May brought in an extended period of warm dry weather.  No mildew or oidium to speak of, no thunderstorms or hail.  Sunny periods, but no lack of rain.  And the vines went in to flower at a very-normal first week of June. Pretty much ideal.

July had a couple of heat spikes, and a hailstorm hit the fancy vineyards in Morey St Denis on the 10th. But nothing worse. August was warm; the lead up to the harvest at the end of the month, hot and dry.

The first grapes were picked in the Cote de Beaune in the last few days of August.  And most everyone was out picking in the first week of September.

There was (as there often is in Burgundy) serious disagreement in 2017 about when to pick. Do you pick early to preserve the acid-sugar balance and freshness?  Or do you hang in there and wait for a little rain to kick-start a stalled photosynthesis, and thereby achieve the holy grail of phenolic maturity?

It’s hard to say who was right.  There are very good wines coming from both camps. But there are iffy wines too.  And that’s the key to understanding 2017.

Picked early, the best wines, both red and white, are fresh, fruit-driven and floral with long minerality.  The iffy wines seem not have adjusted for the solid levels of tartaric acid which left them tart rather than bright, dry and tannic rather than juicy.

Picking late did not seem to have an effect on the balance between alcohol and acidity.  But then, there was no ‘over maturity’ in 2017.  The extra phenolic maturity seems to mean more density and riper tannins, with no sign of flabbiness.

The whites shine, particularly in hard-done Chablis (where there is better balance even than the marvelous 2014s).  In the rest of Burgundy, the whites have the tension of 2014 but the open flattery of 2015.

The reds are juicy and crisp and open, and the regional appellations will be ready to drink soon. More serious appellations will be considered ‘typical’, in the best sense of the word: classic wines from a vintage that Burgundians will love. They are likely to be lost in the hub-bub that the 2018s will bring.  But the yields were good in 2017, so you will be able to find them for a while.  And you’ll do well to seek them out.

Appellation

VOLNAY

COTE DE BEAUNE

The village of Volnay is perched on the slope of a hill, above the band of premier cru vines, high up in the Côte de Beaune. The hill itself is oriented slightly differently from the general run of the country so that the vines face south-east rather than east. Volnay has more than 50% of its appellation classified as premier cru. There have been some recent changes, and as of 2006, some of the premiers crus have been combined. Chanlin is now part of Pitures. Les Aussy is now in Le Roncet. Carelle sous la Chapelle and Carelles-Dessous have become Carelle-Dessous la Chapelle. And En l'Ormeau is now part of Les Mitans. The Volnay appellation is twinned with Volnay-Santenots, grown in neighboring Meursault on soils suited to the Pinot Noir grape.

Produced in the commune of Volnay for appellation 'Volnay' and in Meursault for Santenots 1er Cru, appellation Volnay includes 29 premiers crus.

Wines

Volnay admired for its delicacy, its juiciness and its bouquet, is always described (by the non-PC Burgundians, at least) as the most feminine of the Burgundy reds. Though some parcels produce tighter and more muscular Pinot Noir, most Volnay is known for finesse. Color ranges from ruby to garnet, and the nose is famously of violets, though with age you get the classic Burgundy Pinot secondary aromas of spice and undergrowth. But its precocious fruitiness makes it apt to be opened fairly young, especially in delicate vintages.

Terroirs

Oolitic limestone bears a resemblance to the reddish igneous rock porphyry found in the Morvan district. It is pink in color with pale green inclusions and overlain by banks of schist. At the top of the slope, this limestone predominates. Lower down we find white, chalky argovien limestone. Lower still are reddish bathonien limestone, pebbly and with iron content. The soils at the foot of the slope are deeper and more gravelly. Altitudes are in a relatively narrow band at 230-280 meters.

Color

Red wines only - Pinot Noir

White wines from Chardonnay are grown in the climat of Santenots (commune of Meursault) which are entitled to the appellations Mersault 1er Cru or Meursault-Santenots, or Meursault.

Production surface area

1 hectare (ha) = 2.4 acres

206.70 ha (including 117.65 ha premier cru)

Food

Its velvety finesse combined with aromatic intensity makes Volnay a partner for sophisticated poultry dishes, roasted and glazed, which meld with the fruit and spice aromas of the wine. Better still, especially for the premiers crus, is feathered game, stewed or slowly braised, or simply roasted. The intensity of Volnay allows it to go well with many full-flavored cheeses.

Appellations

On the label, the appellations Volnay and Volnay 1er Cru may be followed by the name of a specific vineyard, known as a climat. 'Santenots' is a separate climat lying within the appellation 'Volnay' and classified as premier cru.

The following climats are classified as premier cru:

Carelle-Dessous la Chapelle

Champans

Clos de l'Audignac

Clos de la Barre

Clos de la Bousse-d'Or

Clos de la Cave des Ducs

Clos de la Chapelle

Clos de la Rougeotte

Clos des 60 Ouvrées

Clos des Chênes

Clos des Ducs

Clos du Château des Ducs

Clos du Verseuil

En Chevret

Frémiets

Frémiets - Clos de la Rougeotte

La Gigotte

Lassolle

Le Ronceret

Le Village

Les Angles

Les Brouillards

Les Caillerets

Les Lurets

Les Mitans

Pitures Dessus

Robardelle

Santenots

Taille Pieds

The following climats are village wines from a single vineyard, known as a lieu-dit:

Beau Regard

Cros Martin

En Vaut

Ez Blanches

Ez Echards

La Bouchère

La Cave

La Gigotte

Le Village

Les Aussy

Les Buttes

Les Combes

Les Famines

Les Grands Champs

Les Grands Poisots

Les Jouères

Les Lurets

Les Pasquiers

Les Petits Gamets

Les Petits Poisots

Les Pluchots

Les Serpens

Paux Bois

Sur Roches

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