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In July of 2004, I drank a half bottle of the 2002 Domaine Joseph Voillot, Volnay, 1er Cru, Champans at the restaurant that sits directly across from the domaine’s cellar in Volnay. That beautiful bottle motivated me to seek out more wines from this producer and soon my employer was distributing their wines in NY/NJ. A complete write up on the estate can found on the Producer Profile page. Champans is one of the top sites in Volnay and some of the domaine’s oldest vines (1934) are located in this vineyard. Jean-Pierre Charlot, winemaker of Domaine Voillot, considers the bottling to be his top cuvee.  The 2006 Voillot, Champans is not as concentrated as the 2002, but it is stylistically very similar. The nose is very bright and full of red fruits. Although not rich, the wine is intense and strongly flavored. Charlot, who likes to make wines that are silky and elegant, does not use any of the stems in the vinification.  

The Domaine also has a cellar in Pommard and owns several excellent parcels in the village. Planted in 1959, the estate’s vines in the premier cru Rugiens are located entirely in the Bas section of the vineyard. The wines made in this area of Rugiens, along with those from the Clos des Epeneaux, are considered to be the best of Pommard. I opened a bottle of the 2006 Voillot, Pommard, 1er Cru, Rugiens at the same time I opened the Champans. Unable to drink both the same night, I sprayed the bottle with nitrogen and placed it in the fridge. After a couple of days, the wine had softened but was still very reserved in comparison to the Volnay. Charlot’s winemaking techniques made the wine more accessible at its young age than many other wines from the commune, but it still had the classic firmness and rusticity. It is amazing how these two villages, so close each other geographically, produce wines that are so different in profile.

 


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