VOLNAY

2019 1er Cru Fremiets Domaine Comte Armand

Grapes Pinot Noir
Colour Red
Origin France, Burgundy
Other Practicing Organic
District Côte d'Or
Sub-district Côte de Beaune
Village Volnay
Classification 1er Cru
ABV 13.5%
Vineyard Fremiets

Clay and stones, a warm site, and this is rich and supple, very ripe fruit flavours, elegant, lovely and concentrated and long. Drinking range: 2028 - 2038 L&S (Oct 2020)


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A perfumed, ripe and airy nose offers up pretty notes of various red berries, rose petal and an interesting hint of spiced tea. The elegant, plump and delicious medium weight flavors flash an attractive minerality and fine delineation that carries over to the mouthcoating finish where the only nit is a touch of warmth. This is lovely and a wine that should also be reasonably approachable young if that’s your preference. Drinking range: 2027 - Rating: 90-93 Allen Meadows, www.Burghound.com (Apr 2021)

Cask sample. Transparent crimson – quite a contrast to wines from some of this domaine's neighbours. Not especially expressive on the nose at the moment but it gives the impression there is quite a bit going on underneath. Very sweet start on the palate backed up with quite crunchy tannins. Long and rich. Definitely set for the long term. Punchy and vital. Drinking range: 2027 - 2044 Rating: 16.5 Jancis Robinson OBE MW - www.JancisRobinson.com (Jan 2021)

The 2019 Volnay Les Frémiets 1er Cru was completely de-stemmed. It has a more complex, intellectual bouquet than the Village Cru as you would expect, armed with vivid blueberry, cassis and raspberry scents, blood orange emerging with time. The palate is medium-bodied with a gentle grip on the entry. I find more red fruit here compared to the Village Cru. This gains decent weight and gifts more salinity towards the chalky-textured finish. Excellent. Drinking range: 2023 - 2042 Rating: 91-93 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (Dec 2020)

Domaine Comte Armand

A domaine totalling nine hectares, of which the most important part is a magnificent five hectare monopole of the Pommard Premier Cru Clos des Epeneaux, which was put together by Nicolas Marey in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (along with the DRC Romanée Saint Vivant 'Marey-Monge'). These vineyards were all sold, except for the Clos (now been enclosed by a wall), which came to Jean-François Armand as a dowry when he married Nicolas' daughter in 1826. The Volnay vineyards were added in 1994, followed by parcels in Auxey Duresses.

The current Comte Armand is a lawyer living in Paris, but very supportive of the régisseurs who have looked after this domaine for the thirty years or so that L&S have been buying here. The 1980 vintage, made by one of the many Rossignols of Volnay who was in charge at the time, was for us a great introduction to the possibilities of the great Clos des Epeneaux vineyard. Then came the era of Pascal Marchand, a young Quebecois who came to do a harvest with Domaine Bruno Clair and just never left. He began a period of radical restructuring and the introduction of organic and then biodynamic farming, while making very dark, dense and long-lived wines. Benjamin Leroux, hugely respected amongst growers who approach things from an organic or biodynamic point of view, then took over, and refined this approach and changed the way the parcels of vines are divided up for harvesting, paying less attention to just the age of the vines, and more to the underlying soil types. Claude Bourguignon was employed to provide a full geological survey of the Clos as the basis for this. Under Benjamin the wines of the Clos gained in finesse and precision, while still having the depth and richness expected of a great Pommard.

Both Pascal and Benjamin were keen to expand beyond the confines of the Clos, and the Domaine also has vines in Volnay, and, a particular enthusiasm of both Pascal and Benjamin, in Auxey Duresses, where they are convinced of the great potential of some of this village's undervalued and neglected terroirs. Paul Zinetti, who had worked with Ben for four years, took over in 2014.

The vineyard is cultivated organically (ECOCERT certified) and biodynamically. The grapes are entirely de-stemmed, but left intact, for a five to eight-day cold maceration before the fermentation, which lasts five to ten days, and then the wine remains in the fermenters for between three and fifteen days, depending on the vintage. In most years, the total time with skin contact will be around four weeks, which is longer than most. The wines will then be aged in barrel for between eighteen and twenty-four months, with new wood limited to 30% for the wine from the old vines of the Clos, down to none at all for the village wines.

Paul said from the outset that he wanted to make to make a less tannic wine in the Clos, and one which is more about aromatic length. In this he is continuing the route that Ben was following, but perhaps taking it even further.

This wine isn't currently part of a mixed case, but you can always browse our full selection of mixed cases here.
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