Dominique Laurent is a former pastry chef who started a small negociant business in Nuits-Saint-Georges, in Burgundy’s Cote d’Or, in the late 1980s. He produced his first vintages a few years later, and quickly developed a reputation for making very small quantities of excellent wine sourced from old vineyards. In 2006 Laurent made the leap from negociant to grower with the purchase of a few acres of vineyards. Today Domaine Laurent Pere et Fils owns 23 acres in Nuits-Saint-Georges. He is known for his extreme approach to “hands-off” winemaking, and for his habit of sometimes using “200% new oak,” meaning that one cuvee is sometimes transferred twice to new oak barrels. About 30,000 bottles are produced annually and his wines have earned cult status with some Burgundy collectors.
Volnay is a small appellation with just 904 vineyard acres and a town of fewer than 500 residents. Nevertheless, to Burgundy enthusiasts, it's a jewel. Clive Coates calls Volnay “one of the most delightful wines and one of the most rewarding communes in the Côte d’Or.” Robert M. Parker Jr. described Volnay as “the queen of the Côte de Beaune.” Volnay has always been appealing. In the 13th and 14th centuries the powerful Dukes of Burgundy acquired land there and built chateaux. The medieval town sits on the hillside above the vineyards and the appellation is restricted to red wines made of Pinot Noir. Though there are no Grands Crus, there are 35 Premiers Crus. Some reviewers say the lighter soil of Volnay, compared with Pommard to the north, makes Volnay wines more delicate and elegant than wines from neighboring appellations. Robert M. Parker Jr. wrote that Volnay has a “high-quality level of winemaking…The top Volnays possess an immense, seductive fruitiness and lushness…”
This red wine is relatively light and can pair with a wide variety of foods. The grape prefers cooler climates and the wine is most often associated with Burgundy, Champagne and the U.S. west coast. Regional differences make it nearly as fickle as it is flexible.