Volnay "Champans" 1er Cru 2008, Marquis d'Angerville
This Champans was the star of the Marquis d'Angerville wines tasted at the Justerini & Brooks annual Burgundy event in London. But first a snapshot of the challenges faced by wine-makers in the 2008 vintage: the vineyards suffered from oidium and mildew due to the wet summer which required careful removal of the affected grapes. In early September the grapes were dried out by the cool "vent du nord". Both these factors resulted in low yields and a unique style of wine. This Champans is good, thick, complex, tooth-coating with flavours of blackberry and plum. The key to 2008 is late-picking (this Champans was picked on September 26 and 27) and very strict selection on the "table de trie". Quality is highly variable -- grapes picked before the vent du nord dried out the summer rain will be dilute and green. Wines made without rigorous elimination of imperfect grapes will have a tainted flavour. So 2008 looks like being a case of gems in the mire.