The Premier  Cru Volnay came from a trip 4-5 years ago.  Volnay is a village in Burgundy.  I remember old men playing pétanque on a communal, gravel court.  We were on the lookout for a nice cafe but we saw nothing.  That is a big difference between Italy and France.  Every small village in Italy has a cafe with some wizened old men who seem to spend all day there.  Even the most prestigious vineyards/towns in Burgundy had nowhere to socialize or snack.

To the wines:   I decanted them an hour or so before drinking.  The Volnay was closed, bitter and disappointing.  We shipped it from Burgundy and got slapped with huge customs duties.  (We had been told that there was chance we might escape taxes as their application was random.  It was  not to be. )  So, with that memory of additional expense, I was doubly disappointed.  The Goldeneye was smooth and delicious.  Slutty and available. Lots of fruit but not overwhelming like a California Cab. We enjoyed a glass before dinner and it lasted into the first course.  I returned to the Burgundy for my next glass.  What a revelation!  It opened up completely.  Vegetal rather than fruity.  Three dimensional.  Celery and definitely barnyard on the palette.  Great with food.  We had a white bean, bacon and arugula salad from the Patrica Wells Paris cookbook.  The Volnay stood up to it really well.  The Goldeneye had faded a little bit.  Apparently, it went well with the chicken. I am baconatarian (“vegetarian except for bacon”) so I skipped the chicken.

In the end, both were great and I would have them again, though they are on the expensive end.  The US vs France wine clichés were reinforced.