As Burgundy is the backbone of our selections, you can imagine the #1 question I receive is on recommendations for under-the-radar and younger producers making waves. Very few names I feel comfortable putting in the same category of Thomas Bouley of Volnay.

Today, I'm happy to offer the 2016 release of Bouley's top wine, Volnay 1er Cru Clos des Chênes.

Family succession in Burgundy can lead a domaine in many directions. The stewardship of Domaine Jean-Marc Bouley by Thomas starting in 2012 has proven to be a tremendous success. Thomas joined in 2002 to work alongside his father and throughout that time the domaine's popularity steadily grew. 

Why does Bouley's work stand out from a region filled with young talent? The top wines walk that high-wire balance between sappy, concentrated fruit and deft incorporation of new wood - it's this marriage that really sounded the fireworks upon initially tasting. Perhaps the biggest change since Thomas took over in 2012 has been the stark fine-ness to the wines, it's impossible to miss. Out of his range, Clos des Chênes really captures this quality the very most, and Burghound's Allen Meadows took notice,

"I very much like the texture of the extract-rich medium weight plus flavors that are at once powerful yet refined, all wrapped in a very firm, balanced and long finish." (April 2018)

The Iron Fist in the Velvet Glove moniker is one which always encapsulates this top tier of Volnay Premier Crus. The village often can be referred to as feminine in style, but just as much as grace is Clos des Chênes's calling card so is that regal sense of grip that makes it the ultimate cellar candidate. 

Among the range of 1ers worthy of Grand Cru elevation I would point to Clos des Chênes first. 2016's dream conditions for reds of intense concentration and perfect balance make this an ideal time to familiarize yourself with a top young talent and his tête de cuvée bottling.

Clos des Chênes comes from just a 0.43 hecatre parcel of vines planted in 1951 and 1971 near the upper portion of the vineyard. Grapes are mostly destemmed, fermentation takes place in concrete, and élevage is in 20% new French oak barrels.