Robert Parker 90-92
“The 2016 Volnay 1er Cru Les Mitans includes two-thirds whole cluster fruit and around 30% new oak. Around one-quarter of the vines suffered frost damage here. It has a more charming bouquet than the Champans, the whole bunch neatly disguised and lending discrete definition and focus. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannin and well-judged acidity. It’s quite structured like the Les Champans; however, I discerned more grace and finesse here.”
Anticipated maturity: 2020-2035
More silt with limestone on clay whereas Grevès is more classic clay on calcaire. Misplanted 45 years ago with rootstock that was going to give a lot of fruit and resist disease. Produced a lot of fruit in early days but now it is 45-year-old vines behaving like 70-year-old vines. 20 hl/ha because of the rootstock. It is financially unsustainable but he is insisting on not ripping it out. Two-thirds whole bunch and one-third new oak. Barrel sample. Deep cherry red. Riper and richer cherry fruit in the aroma than the Grèves. But on the palate it has a wonderful texture – elegant, dry yet just flows across the palate in this gorgeous finely tannic texture. Delicate and fresh and so elegant. Delicate and very persistent. You could probably approach this before the Grèves but it has good ageing potential. (JH)
Anticipated maturity: 2022-2032
(two-thirds whole clusters; one-third new oak; the sand on top of the limestone here typically yields relatively soft tannins, according to winemaker Brian Sieve): Good dark red. Cool black cherry aroma lifted by a stony quality. A step above the preceding samples in both juiciness and finesse; in fact, a real high-wire act of captivating sweetness and bright acidity. Very fine-grained, serious wine with excellent grip and length. These 45-year-old vines avoided the frost but yielded very little fruit, as they were very sensitive to rain and wind during the flowering.