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Maison Champy Volnay 1er Cru Les Taillepieds 2009

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With several recent Volnay harvests heartbreakingly ruined by hail, it’s lucky we liked this wine so much in 2011 to buy sufficient quantities of a bottle that has been maturing perfectly since then.

In the centre of a slope, south of the village of Volnay and adjacent to the more famous Clos des Chenes, lies the vineyard of Taillepieds - named after the small stones that traditionally cut the feet of its workers.

The star winemaker, Dimitri Bazas, is a man with a passion for beautiful Burgundy and biodynamics, working the organic vineyards following the cycles of the moon and planets.

This production method certainly can deliver stunning wine - including many that feature the telltale violet aromas present in plenty of the bottles produced in Volnay village.

But it can prove challenging - we still smile at the time the (then) head of the company was left tearing his hair out after Dimitri sent all of the bottling line workers home, as it had changed from a fruit day to a root day.

Country: France
Region: Burgundy
Subregion: Côte De Beaune, Volnay
Vintage: 2009
Colour: Red
Grape Variety: Pinot Noir
ABV: 13%
Bottle Size: 75cl
Closure: Natural cork
Style: A temptress
Organic: Yes (certified)
Biodynamic: Yes (not certified)
Drink With: Soft cheeses such as Brillat-Savarin, Chaource or Mont-D’Or

Tasting notes

We found the Maison Champy Volnay 1er Cru Les Taillepieds 2009 attractive and moderately coloured, appreciating both its bouquet and finesse.

The fruits of the 2009 vintage were so ripe it was easy for some producers to include too high an alcohol content - but here everything was controlled perfectly, as the 13 percent alcohol is testament to.

A complex and intense nose delivers beautiful red berry fruit aromas, plus those evocative violet notes and some hints of the minerality of the soil.

Chewy fruit was foremost on the palate, plus a dusting of cocoa - although some more savoury flavours are starting to appear with bottle age and these are especially noticeable in the aftertaste.

And the tannins are there but they’re fine-grained so they won’t interfere with your enjoyment of the wine - they certainly didn’t interfere with ours.

It’s very approachable for drinking right now - but it still has a good decade or so ahead of it, so those of you capable of keeping your hands off the corkscrew will reap the rewards.

Roger Barlow, Jan 2017.

From Jancis Robinson's Purple Pages:
Deeply coloured (relatively). Restrained dark-fruit fragrance. Then more savoury on the palate. Firm but finely textured and well integrated oak. Finishes fresh and dry. Held back at the moment, unlike some 2009s. 2015-2025. 17 Points