1999 Marquis d’Angerville Volnay Champans 1er cru

Côte d’Or aristocracy in a glass, something to lose one’s head over. My one and only bottle from this famous estate. It opened a bit off puttingly smelly like any twenty year old who’s just awake after the party that was vintage 1999. Lurking in the middle of the first mouthfuls was a core of deep, intense liquorice flavour that suggested a good bit of ventilation might improve things. A brave double decant and the perfume got sweeter, a little caramel and autumnal but some faded wild strawberry with a ferrous, bloody lip edge was visible through the mist. As the evening wore on and food in the form of a potato and truffle flavoured pizza arrived, the smells freshened and a deep, fine, and well, downright elegant purity of fruit emerged. The cut of perfect acid and iron filing tannin leaving a mouth just watering for more. In no way large scaled but lithe, the fruit a complex of that wild strawberry perfume, kirsch, a fine cocoa sprinkle and that earthy iron. A later reference to Remington Norman’s bourgeoisly informed “Great Domaines of Burgundy” notes that Champans does contain a lot of ironstone amongst the clay and limestone rubble. Well, there’s a coincidence. One of those bottles of Burgundy, well out of reach these days, that shows what caused the infatuation in the first place. Oh well, back to earth.

13.50% alcohol. Cork. Was about €50 in Paris some years ago.

95 points.

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