Domaine des Comtes Lafon, Volnay AOC
Domaine des Comtes Lafon, Volnay AOC

Domaine des Comtes Lafon, Volnay AOC

Burgundy, France 2020 (750mL)
Regular price$145.00
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Domaine des Comtes Lafon, Volnay AOC

The phrase “great wine is made in the vineyard” has real meaning as applied to Lafon, and there’s no better example than this 2020 Volnay.

Lafon’s wines are the wine equivalent of bespoke tailoring: Whether it’s a white from Meursault, the family’s signature, or a red from Volnay, like today’s, you are not getting off-the-rack Burgundy—you’re getting wine which, regardless of label, will be carefully rationed to loving homes around the world (luckily, ours is one of them). At this point, Domaine des Comtes Lafon isn’t selling wine, it’s placing wine. It’s a nice position to be in, and it’s been hard-earned: Since taking over his family’s estate in the 1980s, at the tender age of 26, Dominique Lafon has been a Pied Piper of organic and biodynamic farming in tradition-bound Burgundy, convincing many others to follow his early example and eliminate chemicals from their vineyards. This 2020 is a pristine example of the most careful, hands-on vineyard stewardship imaginable, and there is, as you might expect from a producer of this level, more than meets the eye here: Although it carries a ‘village’ designation on its label, this wine is sourced from Lafon’s younger vines in two Volnay Premier Crus, “Santenots” and “Champans” (“young” being 20-30 years old, as opposed to close to 100 in some Lafon parcels of Champans). It is blue-chip Burgundy that is drinking well already (especially in the ultra-ripe 2020 vintage) and will continue to do so over the next decade or more.

In the glass, it displays a dark ruby core moving to garnet and pink at the rim, with seductive aromas of blackberries, wild strawberries, cherry kirsch, violets, black tea, dark chocolate, and underbrush. It is medium-plus in body and pleasingly plump on the palate thanks to ripe, soft tannins. Bright and balanced acidity lends it a kind of weightlessness that only the very best red Burgundies manage to deliver, so whenever you decide to open one—I’d say one now; one in 3 years; and one in 5 years—decant it 45 minutes before serving in your best Burgundy stems at 60-65 degrees.

Domaine des Comtes Lafon, Volnay AOC




Enjoying the greatest wines of Beaujolais starts, as it usually does, with the lay of the land. In Beaujolais, 10 localities have been given their own AOC (Appellation of Controlled Origin) designation. They are: Saint Amour; Juliénas; Chénas; Moulin-à Vent; Fleurie; Chiroubles; Morgon; Régnié; Côte de Brouilly; and Brouilly.

Southwestern France


Bordeaux surrounds two rivers, the Dordogne and Garonne, which intersect north of the city of Bordeaux to form the Gironde Estuary, which empties into the Atlantic Ocean. The region is at the 45th parallel (California’s Napa Valley is at the38th), with a mild, Atlantic-influenced climate enabling the maturation of late-ripening varieties.

Central France

Loire Valley

The Loire is France’s longest river (634 miles), originating in the southerly Cévennes Mountains, flowing north towards Paris, then curving westward and emptying into the Atlantic Ocean near Nantes. The Loire and its tributaries cover a huge swath of central France, with most of the wine appellations on an east-west stretch at47 degrees north (the same latitude as Burgundy).

Northeastern France


Alsace, in Northeastern France, is one of the most geologically diverse wine regions in the world, with vineyards running from the foothills of theVosges Mountains down to the Rhine River Valley below.

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