Thierry Glantenay is fast becoming one of the stars in the Côte de Beaune, producing some fantastic wines from some of the most famed terroirs in the region. The family domaine is only small….some 7ha in size but they meticulously tend their own vines and the wines are made with a considered hand in the cellar.
I’ve always been a fan of the wines of Volnay….it’s a beautiful little village….in fact if I was to picture the most perfect looking Burgundian village, Volnay would take the prize. It’s squished between Pommard and Meursault and in a rare occurrence, although there are no Grand Cru vineyards in the commune, 1er Cru vineyards outnumber village vineyards which gives it the big thumbs up from me.
I spent a week in Burgundy last year and would drive along the D973 through Volnay several times a day on the way to my digs in Saint-Romain usually taking a wrong turn somewhere between Volnay and Auxey-Duresses when the combined factors of too many tastings, too much food and driving on the wrong side of the road took its toll.
There are 30 odd Premier Crus in Volnay…..well Santenots is actually located in Meursault …..which is quite curious…anyway that’s just how the French roll ok? Les Santenots, if planted with pinot noir…. makes Volnay-Santenots, if planted with chardonnay it makes Meursault Premier Cru or Meursault Santenots….but we’re not finished there….it can also just be called Volnay…..or Volnay 1er Cru….who said Burgundy was hard to wrap your head around.
Regardless….it is a highly respected site and here are some links to some maps of Volnay and Meursault so you can stare at something pretty and try and make some sense of all that. A quick thanks at this point to a fine gentleman called Bill from Burgundy Report and the team at Kobrand for maps of much awesomeness.
This sharing of vineyards, while at first seeming to be a sinister plot devised by the French to confound dim-witted wine drinkers like myself, is in fact a long standing tradition dating back well into the 19th century.
It’s by far the biggest 1er Cru in the appellation at 29 ha and as to be expected from a vineyard this size, the soils vary widely with gravel, fine sand, iron, limestone and red clays in various incarnations….and some heavy hitting producers are also producing wines from the climat….names such as Domaine Leroy, Comte Lafon, Matrot and Sylvie Esmonin.
Thierry Glantenay trained as an engineer and his wines are considered and finely crafted. He uses no more than 25% new French oak in the elevage and produces wines or great focus, precision and clarity with a shimmering transparency where the voice of terroir has the most cutting tone.
Dark cherry red in hue.
Perfumed and fragrant with lifted sour cherry, red plum and redcurrant fruits. There is plenty of spicy aromas with hints of sandlewood, tobacco, sweet vanilla oak, earth, roast game and violets. A beautiful smelling wine….very pretty but concentrated, rich and not lacking in aromatic oomph.
Concentrated, energetic and perfumed in the mouth with flavours of vivid, sour red cherry and red-fruits. The wine shows great precision and finesse with good drive across the palate. Flavours of exotic spice, light cedar, tobacco, ginger cake, pepper, game and dried flowers, vie for the drinkers attention but meld together beautifully. There’s some light smokey and sappy nuances and plenty of earthy, minerally facets to keep the grumpiest of rockheads happy.
Great focus throughout, a bright, sapid, minerally line of acidity and a curtain of ripe, stony, slightly grainy tannins. The finish lingers nicely with memories of spice, flowers and cherry fruit. Plenty of Santenots power and aging potential along with a good dash of Volnay generosity of fruit….a great balance. Lovely drinking now and a good bet for cellaring.
Price: $95 – Closure: Cork – Alcohol: 13.5% – Source: Sample – Importer: Andrew Guard Fine Wines