Volnay, one of the greatest red wines of the Côte de Beaune
It is one of the most famous appellations of the Côte de Beaune. Although the vineyard of Volnay does not have any Grands Crus, more than half of its surface is classified as Premier Cru. Here, Pinot Noir is king and the AOC only concerns red wines. Smooth and delicate, the wines of Volnay are often described as "feminine"; however, some of the crus are more full-bodied, especially in their youth. These wines are among the greatest in Burgundy and will accompany all exceptional moments and sophisticated dishes.
General presentation of Volnay
The vineyard of Volnay is located high up on the Côte de Beaune, in the Côte d'Or. Between Meursault to the south and Pommard to the north, this Burgundian village is located a few kilometres southwest of Beaune. It has some 220 hectares of vines, of which more than 130 are classified as Premier Cru. About thirty hectares are located in the commune of Meursault. On this Climat named Les Santenots, only the red pinot noir wines benefit from the Volnay Premier Cru appellation. They are among the most renowned and sought-after wines of the Volnay vineyard. The white wines retain the AOC Meursault.
No Grand Cru in Volnay, but great Premiers Crus. About thirty Climats are thus classified, among which one can quote: Clos de la Barre, Clos de la Chapelle, Lassolle, Champans, Les Caillerets, Taille Pieds or Clos des Chênes.
Pinot Noir is the king grape variety of the Volnay appellation. A few accessory grape varieties are authorised, namely Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris, but they are rarely used.
Characteristics of Volnay
Volnay wines are often described as feminine, especially when compared to the red wines of the neighbouring AOC, Pommard. Their nose is always fine and distinguished, their palate light and subtle.
The colour of the Volnay is a beautiful ruby red. Their aromatic bouquet opens with fruity notes typical of pinot noir: redcurrant, cherry, raspberry and blackberry. Floral aromas complete this pleasant palette, notably rose and violet. With age, the wines offer nuances of sweet spices such as cinnamon and liquorice, to which are added musky touches and cooked prunes. The Volnay Premier Cru wines are more concentrated in their aromas and evoke blond tobacco, rose and red and black fruits.
Some AOC Volnay wines are more full-bodied. Each climate, each winemaker and each vintage give rise to wines with specific qualities.
These red wines have a good ageing potential: 3 to 8 years on average. The Premier Cru wines can be kept for up to 20 years, or even longer for the best of them.
How to taste a Volnay
Supple, velvety and with great aromatic intensity, a Volnay is a natural accompaniment to sophisticated dishes, such as roast poultry or game birds cooked in a roast or stew. For a daring meal, a Volnay red wine lends itself to vegetable woks, couscous or tajine. Finally, it goes well with strong cheeses such as Camembert or Brie.
Serve a Volnay AOC at a temperature of about 15-16°.