Rating 92 - 94Reviewed by William KelleyIssue Date 4th Jan 2019Source Interim January 2019 Week 1, The Wine AdvocateThe 2017 Volnay 1er Cru Clos des Chnes is the most complex and concentrated wine in the Lafarge cellar, wafting from the glass with notes of sweet plums, spices, candied peel, espresso roast and dark chocolate. On the palate, its medium to full-bodied, deep and multidimensional, with a layered mid-palate framed by an abundance of chalky structuring tannins, concluding with a long, chalky finish. The Lafarge parcel is located at the northeastern extreme of Clos des Chnes where its more sheltered from the wind than much of the vineyard, which may partially explain why it always seems to stand apart from other domaines renditions.The 2017 is a lovely success for the Domaine Michel Lafarge, one of the great estates of the Cte de Beaune. As usual, these are elegant and classically proportioned wines, cut from quite old-fashioned cloth. The suppleness and purity of fruit that characterize the vintage at its best are on evidence, and the domaines lower appellations will drink well in their youth, but the emblematic wines will emphatically reward bottle age. Indeed, to my palate, its only with time that these soulful Volnays reveal the true extent of their quality. Lafarge followers will find stylistic parallels with both 2007 and 2000. And thankfully, despite some spring frost, this is a comparatively generous crop for a domaine beset with below-average harvests for the better part of a decade.