Wine snapshot : Volnay Champans Premier Cru 2010
Domaine Marquis d’Angerville Volnay Champans AOC Volnay Premier Cru 2010
By Panos Kakaviatos for wine-chronicles.com
25 May 2020
It is always fun to asses wine 10 years later. And although the harvest of the bottle that is featured this week has not been in bottle for 10 years, it has been nearly 10 years since the 2010 harvest.
For this week’s wine snapshot, we look back to almost exactly seven years, as well, since my Wednesday morning, 29 May 2013 visit to the Domaine Marquis d’Angerville in Volnay. It was at that point only five days without rain over the entire month, remarked owner Guillaume d’Angerville, at that time. Note the sound of draining water – lots of it – because it had rained so much. A difficult, but prolonged growing season in 2013 did eventually deliver lighter wines, graceful and fresh rather than concentrated.
But here I feature the 2010 vintage, since I bought some back in 2013. 😉… It is interesting to read rather critical assessments of the vintage just after it occurred, as they tended to stress the difficult growing season at that time, too. Some were writing more favorably about 2009, but I think that such assessments may be a bit of hogwash. As a cooler climate vintage, the 2010s exhibit more elegance and refinement and nuance than many 2009s. You want a racy style? Go for 2010. There is much freshness, ripe and focused fruit, lifting and floral aromatics, supple tannins, vivacity and extract.
The yields were low however given the problematic growing season. Typically one saw small berries with a high ratio of skin to juice. A dry and rather September led to a long ripening period with acidity and ripeness. Alas, prices for many of these top wines – and this one is no exception – are high. A casual look at online pricing results in an average price of no less than $150 a bottle. In 2013, I paid about half that price.
How is the Domaine Marquis d’Angerville Volnay Champans AOC Volnay Premier Cru 2010 tasting today, after not quite 10 years in bottle? For those of you who know my writing here, I have given it a bold, red and underline, which makes it a “nirvana” wine.
Here’s why 😊
The tone and color are on “target” for its age. I’m glad I have two more bottles. By no means “infanticide”, but the wine has many more years ahead. Deep red berry notes, and floral – very much so: more rose than violet. And what “density” of aromas! At the same time such vivacity, as if your sense of smell is happily challenged to dig deeper into understanding the complexity of the wine.
But it seems dominated by fruit and floral. Hints of tertiary aspects, subtle wet earth, after it just rained in the forest, but this is more a background aspect, now. Then you get juicy black cherry. The palate is at once refined and layered, a full bodied wine that never seems heavy but it is substantial. A long finish with lift, energy. An overall feel of velvet. So, a regal nirvana wine!
For those of you who seek point scores, let’s give it 96 out of 100.
About Domaine Marquis d’Angerville
Originating in 1804 as a 15-hectare domaine, the Domaine Marquis d’Angerville is known around the world for the finesse of its wines. In the hands of the d’Angerville family since 1906, the estate produces no less than seven premier cru Volnay wines, the most famous being that from the 2.15 hectare monopole vineyard called Clos des Ducs, where my video was made.
Champans in Volnay
With nearly 115 hectares of premiers cru vineyards and almost 99 of village level, there is a plethora of fine wine to be had from the Volnay appellation of the Côte de Beaune. It is historically known for its elegance and refinement. As Jasper Morris points out in his book “Inside Burgundy”, Champans has long been considered among the best premier cru Volnay vineyards, cited by both Lavalle (1855) and Rodier (1920) as one of three “Tête de Cuvées”.
Domaine Marquis d’Angerville owns over one third of the 11.19 hectares of Champans vines. As you can see on the map, a photo of which I took from a larger Côte de Beaune map, Champans is located on the mid slope just below the main D973 road: prime real estate for fine wine. Check out Wine-Searcher.Com for excellent summaries of appellations. As written there, and I totally agree: “Champans Premier Cru wines are often described as delicately complex with vibrant tannins and good structure. They can be cellared for many years.”