The 2013 Bourgogne Passetoutgrain l’Exception has a gorgeous, very pure bouquet that soars from the glass: red cherries, bergamot and just a hint of wilted rose petals. There is real exuberance from the glass. The palate is full of ripe Morello cherry and fresh strawberry notes, extremely well-judged acidity and a poised, vivacious finish that is difficult to resist drinking directly from barrel! I always look forward to my visit to Michel Lafarge in the maze-like alleys of Volnay. In many ways it encapsulates Burgundy: small domaine, choice parcels, great history, a loyal following, dank and claustrophobic vaulted cellars thickly smothered with white mold like something out of a 1974 episode of Dr. Who, a bit disheveled in appearance…untidy perhaps, charismatic bordering upon legendary patriarch and wines so exquisite that they make you want to quit and just go home with that sweet nectar tingling in your mouth. Michel Lafarge himself greeted me at the domaine. He must be over 80years old now but he was still happy to discuss the vintage until his son Frédéric came along (doubtlessly delayed by what must be Burgundy’s slowest elevator.) Frédéric absolutely loves 2013 and described how it was a long growing season after a humid and wet spring, one where the grapes reached phenolic ripeness at low sugar levels. (NM)
An expressive and complex nose features notes of pepper, cherry and earth where the latter element is also notably present on the delicious, energetic and solidly concentrated flavors that terminate in a frank and direct finish.
The 2013 rendition of the Lafarges’ Cuvée Exception is pale in color, but aromatically quite lovely, wafting from the glass in a red fruity mélange of strawberries, cherries, woodsmoke and a beautifully complex base of soil tones. On the palate the wine is medium-bodied, tangy and loaded with intensity of flavor, with great transparency, bright acids, lovely focus and sneaky length and grip on the very well-balanced finish. A lovely bottle of gamay. (Drink between 2016-2025)
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