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Domaine Bernard & Thierry Glantenay, Volnay (2015)
Thierry Glantenay has taken over at his family domaine and is now producing exquisite, ethereal Volnay and full, powerful Pommard from many of the best terroirs. Thierry also has a small but brilliantly sited plot of Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Folatières that has 80 year old vines. He only produces a few hundred bottles a year though and has loyal customers for it; I have put up my hand as the wine is fabulous. He poured it for me at the end of our tasting and I could still taste it as I drove the car back down the hill out of Volnay and back to Beaune. They don’t have a lot in quantity to offer as the domaine is only 7 hectares. They farm their own vines and make their own wines ensuring the best available quality. Such is this domaine’s reputation that grapes and juice have regularly been sold to some of the top Burgundy negociant houses (including Dominique Laurent). Thierry would like to eventually bring an end to this as he would prefer to bottle everything himself – and all his customers would like more wine! A reserved and gentle character, he was at pains to explain that he doesn’t practice extreme viticulture, preferring to achieve balance and harmony in the vineyard. Likewise in the winery, everything is done gently but with perfection. Thierry trained as an engineer and so is always asking questions of himself and his methods, perfecting things with each effort. Across the board these wines are precise, focused and reflective of their underlying terroir, with great sappiness and depth in the mid-palates, coupled with brilliant structural integrity that makes them, to me, amongst the finest wines made in the southern half of Burgundy. Thierry is a meticulous and talented winemaker, who uses no more than twenty-five percent new oak for any of his top wines, allowing for a beautiful synthesis of pure fruit, delicate framing and a beautifully transcribed expression of terroir in each and every wine. There is a refined elegance and perfumed precision to the Glantenay wines that is very special, and is most impressive when working with the sometimes rather youthfully “sauvage” elements that can be found in young Pommard. Thierry is one of the stars of the Côte de Beaune, and because he is working in the village of Volnay, rather than Vosne-Romanée or Gevrey-Chambertin, his brilliant wines also offer extraordinary value in today’s crazy world of Burgundy pricing.