RIP Michel Lafarge, 1928-2020

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William Kelley
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RIP Michel Lafarge, 1928-2020

#1 Post by William Kelley » January 16th, 2020, 7:25 am

Hearing sad news out of Burgundy that Michel Lafarge has passed away. The special cuvée of Passetoutgrain the Lafarges made in his honor of his 90th birthday, from vines as old as him, takes on a new significance. Anyone who reads French and wants to learn more about his long and fascinating life should read Anne Lafarge's La passion d'une vie (2018). I'll be raising a glass to him this evening.
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D@vid Bu3ker
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Re: RIP Michel Lafarge, 1928-2020

#2 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » January 16th, 2020, 7:36 am

:(
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David K o l i n
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Re: RIP Michel Lafarge, 1928-2020

#3 Post by David K o l i n » January 16th, 2020, 7:37 am

RIP

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RyanC
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Re: RIP Michel Lafarge, 1928-2020

#4 Post by RyanC » January 16th, 2020, 7:39 am

RIP. To me, Lafarge wines *are* Burgundy. Honest, soulful, pure, intense but in no way heavy, ageworthy, and a little angular and rough around the edges.
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Sh@n A
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Re: RIP Michel Lafarge, 1928-2020

#5 Post by Sh@n A » January 16th, 2020, 7:50 am

I wish the family well. From everything I have heard, good people.
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Re: RIP Michel Lafarge, 1928-2020

#6 Post by Frank Murray III » January 16th, 2020, 9:03 am

Lafarge was the burg producer who woke me up to the wines of the area. I remember vividly bringing the 2007 Lafarge village burg to a small party and I was the only guy enjoying it, while everyone else doped up on Belle Glos. That Volnay tasted of dried red fruits, soil, acidity and structure. I don't have any more of it and yet I still keep my eyes out for it when I see cellars being sold off and older Burgs offered. A memorable wine as in that moment, I was ready to receive it.
  • 2007 Domaine Michel Lafarge Volnay - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Volnay (7/31/2011)
    This is a brisk, edgy wine. I gave this several hours of slox ox time, call it about 4 and drank it through this window. Lighter colored with a volume of brisk red fruit and leathery, mineral-like tannin. Lot of tension and structure packed into this wine, which I enjoyed. Only had one bottle but if I had another, I'd let it age another 5 years.
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I too wish the family well and my thoughts are with them today.
My best wines for 2019:
2014 Marie Courtin Eloquence BdB Extra Brut
2017 Rivers-Marie PN Platt SC
2009 Roederer Cristal Brut

My best wines of 2018:
2017 Kutch Falstaff Sonoma Coast PN
2012 Marguet La Grande Ruelle Ambonnay

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Richard T r i m p i
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Re: RIP Michel Lafarge, 1928-2020

#7 Post by Richard T r i m p i » January 16th, 2020, 9:12 am

Such an awesome old school producer. I've only ever met Frederic but love his humility and approach.

RIP and thanks for the great wine!

RT

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Re: RIP Michel Lafarge, 1928-2020

#8 Post by Hal Blumberg » January 16th, 2020, 9:21 am

RIP. A great man and winemaker.

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Re: RIP Michel Lafarge, 1928-2020

#9 Post by Greg K » January 16th, 2020, 9:30 am

Terrible news. I've loved the wines and all my interactions with the family. RIP.
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Re: RIP Michel Lafarge, 1928-2020

#10 Post by Jim Anderson » January 16th, 2020, 9:51 am

Sad day. I hope for the family that this was peaceful and as easy as the hardship that death can be. A 1990 Chateau sure Clos des Ducs from way back when was among the wines I would consider to be a head turner in my early Burgundy days.
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Re: RIP Michel Lafarge, 1928-2020

#11 Post by Mel Knox » January 16th, 2020, 10:00 am

A wonderful man.
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Re: RIP Michel Lafarge, 1928-2020

#12 Post by John J » January 16th, 2020, 10:06 am

RIP. Respect for a long and notable life. 1985 Clos des Chenes was one of the the wines what turned me into a Burgundy lover.
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Re: RIP Michel Lafarge, 1928-2020

#13 Post by Joel Singer » January 16th, 2020, 10:15 am

Very sad news indeed. One of the highlights of my wine life was our visit with him. He was charming, fully engaged and generous. My profile pic is he a I, taken behind his place in the Clos du Château des Ducs vineyard. RIP.
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Re: RIP Michel Lafarge, 1928-2020

#14 Post by Brady Daniels » January 16th, 2020, 11:17 am

Truly sad news. For a silver lining, they are one of the domaines lucky enough to have a successor who seems just as talented and passionate.
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Re: RIP Michel Lafarge, 1928-2020

#15 Post by Jonathan H » January 16th, 2020, 11:29 am

Very sad news. One of my absolute favorite producers! I have been buying his wines since the beginning of my foray into collecting wine. I will be popping a Lafarge wine soon and toasting to him.
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Re: RIP Michel Lafarge, 1928-2020

#16 Post by G. Greenbaum » January 16th, 2020, 12:32 pm

RIP. An Icon
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Re: RIP Michel Lafarge, 1928-2020

#17 Post by Doug Lee » January 16th, 2020, 1:25 pm

True. A great man. Deep condolences to the family.

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Re: RIP Michel Lafarge, 1928-2020

#18 Post by Odd Rydland » January 16th, 2020, 2:06 pm

I was there in 1997 with my family and as a novice was treated gracefully and with respect by this grand old man and his son. In loving memory. RIP.

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Re: RIP Michel Lafarge, 1928-2020

#19 Post by William Kelley » January 16th, 2020, 3:07 pm

Odd Rydland wrote:
January 16th, 2020, 2:06 pm
I was there in 1997 with my family and as a novice was treated gracefully and with respect by this grand old man and his son. In loving memory. RIP.
Many, many people must have stories such as this. I first met him, just to shake hands, when I first visited Burgundy as a student. And I last saw him at the Beaune market in early December, buying his groceries. Such a kind and genuine family, and what incredible wines!
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Re: RIP Michel Lafarge, 1928-2020

#20 Post by Scott Brunson » January 16th, 2020, 3:48 pm

Greg K wrote:
January 16th, 2020, 9:30 am
Terrible news. I've loved the wines and all my interactions with the family. RIP.
us too.

so sad, but a life well lived.
RIP
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Re: RIP Michel Lafarge, 1928-2020

#21 Post by Kelly Walker » January 16th, 2020, 4:13 pm

The finest producer of the village. Such a wonderful family. RIP.
What Kevin Shin said.

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Re: RIP Michel Lafarge, 1928-2020

#22 Post by dcornutt » January 16th, 2020, 4:34 pm

Such a wonderful family. Frederic and Chantal have always been so warm and accepting along with Frederic's father, Michel. I wish them all peace.

Michel was a man with a quick wit and great insight. So interesting to see his take on the modern vintages. A man who has seen it all. RIP.
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Re: RIP Michel Lafarge, 1928-2020

#23 Post by Barry L i p t o n » January 16th, 2020, 9:53 pm

One of my very first connections to burgundy, I met him first at a dinner hosted by Woodland Hills wine club. I would always be granted an appointment, and the family (son Frederick) were always incredibly warm and cellar door prices incredible priced (pro consumer). Amazing wines, I’d often run to the ATM after tasting the wines at the domaine.

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Re: RIP Michel Lafarge, 1928-2020

#24 Post by Steen T Olsen » January 16th, 2020, 10:58 pm

May he rest in peace. Sad news indeed.
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Re: RIP Michel Lafarge, 1928-2020

#25 Post by Thomas Keim » January 17th, 2020, 1:34 pm

My first introduction into great Burgundy was my first visit to Burgundy and tasting the 1980 vintage at the estate. Always in awe of Lafarge, RIP
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Re: RIP Michel Lafarge, 1928-2020

#26 Post by Chris.C. » January 17th, 2020, 3:05 pm

Adapted from a recent blog post, which seems much more pertinent today:

I am no Burgundy expert, but I know enough to know that the Domaine Lafarge Clos du Château des Ducs Volnay 1er Cru is one of the top handful of wines from the Côte de Beaune, which places it in rarified territory indeed. I have been lucky enough to visit the domaine a couple of times.

First down into the ancient cellar – drawing samples from barrels, shivering from the damp, warming the tasting glass with the palms to coax delicate aromas, ancient bottles resting peacefully under thickening black mold. Then outside into the bright sun and just behind the cellar, hemmed in from above by the village of Volnay, sits the domaine’s prized monopole vineyard, the Clos du Château des Ducs. Neat rows of sparse-yielding stumpy old pinot noir vines, insect control by free range chickens. Wonderful. There is no place like Burgundy.

I took recent delivery of a few precious bottles and had to open a mini-vertical.

2005 Domaine Michel Lafarge Clos du Château des Ducs Volnay 1er Cru. Definitely the darkest and most opaque of the flight. Dark fruit, brambly, not billowing from the glass. But great floral lift in the mouth. Riper and rounder than the others, a meaty note. Fine tannins, heavier still than the younger wines.

2013 Domaine Michel Lafarge Clos du Château des Ducs Volnay 1er Cru. More fragrant than the 2014, nice red fruit. And more masculine on the palate, tighter, bit creamy texture shaped by barrique. Less overtly fruity today than the 2014 and I’m not sure it’s as long.

2014 Domaine Michel Lafarge Clos du Château des Ducs Volnay 1er Cru. The lightest and clearest of the three. The nose here more herby than the 2013, silky red fruit and bright acidity on the palate. Open and quite a friendly wine today.

They are lovely wines, and it’s always a joy to taste what comes from what one has seen. If I am candid, having experienced the romance of the domaine tints my objectivity toward what’s in the glass. Even at favourable ex-cellar prices, these are not inexpensive wines and for what they cost I would like a bit more wow. That’s Burgundy – supply and demand at work and not a soul to blame for it. But that is not the discussion for today.
They are the purest, cleanest wines of all, and whatever people want to pay for these simple agricultural products is more than fine by me.
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