Tasted blind at the Burgfest 2014 tasting, the 2014 Volnay 1er Cru Les Santenots-du-Milieu from Comtes Lafon is blessed with a sensual bouquet with plenty of dark cherry and blueberry fruit, maybe a slight malic scent just underneath. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy red berry fruit, a fine line of acidity, fresh and tensile with impressive mineralité coming through toward the finish. This is a stylish, well-crafted Santenots that should age well in bottle and may eventually merit a higher score. (NM)
(13% alcohol; less than 20 hectoliters per hectare produced): Good bright red. Pretty aromas of dark cherry, menthol and dark chocolate. Rich, broad, ripe and dry; more mouthfilling than the foregoing samples but still with a light touch. (The pH here is 3.4, but Lafon noted that the '15s have lower pHs and higher acidity.) Lovely depth to the fruit, spice and soil tones. Finishes very long, with refined tannins, superb energy and excellent balance. This will probably be accessible relatively early, like the Monthélie.
An elegant, cool and beautifully complex nose displays a discreetly spicy array of red berries plum, violets, tea and a wisp of warm earth. There is really lovely delineation to the concentrated and vibrant medium-bodied flavors that exhibit a taut muscularity while remaining refined and well-balanced on the firm but not austere finale. This is often a very impressive wine chez Lafon but in 2014 it is a bit more elegant than usual.
The substantial Lafon holdings in this excellent premier cru allow for proper elevage even in years with a very short crop load like 2014, and this translated nicely in this vintage. The very classy nose offers up a youthful mix of dark berries, cassis, espresso, woodsmoke, a bit of venison, dark soil tones and a gentle framing of new wood. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, reserved and quite elegant in structural terms, with suave, fine-grained tannins, lovely focus and grip and a long, primary and promising finish. A very lovely example of Santenots du Milieu. (Drink between 2022-2055)
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