2017 Domaine Thomas Bouley Volnay Vieilles Vignes

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2017 Domaine Thomas Bouley Volnay Vieilles Vignes

When Thomas Bouley joined his father Jean-Marc at the age of twenty in 2002 (fourth generation vigneron, his family has roots in Volnay since 1512), he vowed to make the domaine one of the finest in Volnay. Since taking over completely in 2012, he has more than achieved his goal, and is spoken of in the same terms as Frédéric Lafarge. His knowledge and enthusiasm are breathtaking.

He is entirely focussed on making the best wine possible, and this means constant work in the vineyards: you get the impression he knows the foibles of each individual vine on his nine hectares, and he can certainly tell you the exact soil composition and microclimate of each of his 29 plots. Here intervention is kept to a minimum, and he believes in encouraging the vines’ natural vigour: no fertiliser is used, no systemic treatments, no green harvesting, and hedging as late as possible after flowering. This gives him a greater number of smaller bunches, with a better skin-to-juice ratio.

Thomas has some of the choicer vineyards in Volnay and Pommard: Clos des Chênes, Caillerets, Carelles, Fremiers and Rugiens, as well as a 1er cru in Beaune. His wines are expressive, pure and full of energy.

2017 saw a welcome return to normal yields after years of hail and frost. Rain in the spring caused a little disease pressure, but flowering conditions were perfect, although towards the end of the growing season the lack of rain started to become an issue. Fortunately, it rained at the end of August, saving his vintage. The wines are a delight: fresh, relaxed and full of life.

Generally, Bouley vinifies over indigenous yeasts for about three weeks in open vats after a short cold maceration, with fermentation temperatures allowed to reach 32°C. Typically, élevage occurs in 30-50% new oak over 2 winters (18-20 months). There is no fining or filtration.

0.7846 ha of vines planted in 1935 and
1959 ; Southeast facing at bottom of slope;
4 parcels, admixture clay and limestone
with deep soil

Vibrating table triage; 100% destemming; cold maceration
(14°C.) in concrete or stainless vats followed by
fermention for two weeks at up to 32° C.; punchdowns.

20 months on fine lees
in oak barrels; 30%
new. No fining or
filtration.