Domaine Marquis d’Angerville forms part of the very fabric of Volnay. The Clos des Ducs, one of the village’s prime vineyards, lies directly behind the family home of the current Marquis, Guillaume d’Angerville.
The domaine, once part-owned by the Dukes of Burgundy, consists of 14 hectares of vines. The vast majority of this – 12.5 hectares – is premier cru, representing over 10% of the total premier cru plantings in Volnay. Guillaume d’Angerville left the world of finance in Paris to take charge of the domaine upon the death of his father, Jacques, in 2003. The domaine has been in the family for over two centuries, having been acquired in 1805. Guillaume has been supported since 2003 by his brotherin-law, Renaud de Villette, who had worked with Jacques for many years. François Duvivier is the domaine’s régisseur (manager), overseeing both the vineyards and the cellar. The Marquis d’Angerville Pinot Noir clones are unique, producing particularly small grapes, meaning a high ‘skin to juice ratio’ and so a high level of natural tannins. The vines were replanted, following phylloxera, by Guillaume’s grandfather, Sem, shortly after his arrival at the domaine in 1906.
A century later, in 2006, the domaine began conversion to biodynamic viticulture and is now wholly biodynamic. In the cellar, the grapes are cooled before fermentation. Extraction focuses on remontage (pumping over) rather than pigeage (punching down). Around a quarter new oak tends to be the maximum. The wines remain in barrel for 15-18 months and are customarily bottled unfined and unfiltered. These are the Volnays that we dream of: elegantly perfumed on the nose, with layered, textured palates. They combine intricate finesse with complexity, power and long ageing potential. Just occasionally, they display a sense of weightlessness which takes your breath away, the soaring flavours seemingly borne from thin air.