Domaine Leflaive farms three adjacent parcels in Chevalier, totaling 4.92 acres of vines; the plantings range from the mid-1950s to 1980. It’s a significant holding at the top of the Montrachet hill, as much for its size as for the wines Leflaive’s team consistently produces from the site. This vintage is more concentrated, or perhaps more saturated with ripe flavors than usual, the heat of August powering the vines to an early harvest. Still, from the moment it’s first poured, that extract has a sunny purity, an umami fragrance of the earth and a lemon blossom honey scent that feigns sweetness later revealed as savory richness in a finish that raises this wine into another realm. Chevalier’s aristocratic soil comes into vivid focus over the course of several days through a scrim of silk. Prepare for your knees to melt and your heart to race as the wine reboots the balance of your senses. Or just enjoy it for what it is: A gracious grand cru, perfectly formed, with the detail of a pointillist painting that will come into focus over the next ten to fifteen years.
The 2009 Chevalier-Montrachet seems to combine elements of the Bienvenues and Batard. An open, floral bouquet melds into in sweet fruit, white flowers and the essence of crushed rocks. The Chevalier possesses striking inner perfume and fabulous balance as it wraps around the palate in stunning style. Leflaive's parcels are located on the higher parts of the slope. 2019+.
"You can’t have wine of terroir without men and women of terroir."
- Domaine Leflaive
Truer words have not been spoken, especially in regards to Domaine Leflaive. Biodynamic viticulture, coupled with the rare fact that each farm worker is salaried and responsible for a specific piece of the vineyard. This fosters devotion and attention to detail. Vincent Laflaive stresses the two values that are of the essence at the Domaine; “allowing nature to do its work, and maintaining a clinical cleanliness in the equipment used to stock and transport the wine.” The wines are developed in the true Burgundian tradition, spending two winters in the cellar, to ensure that once bottled the wine will “stand on both feet”, a local axiom. The wineries roots, no pun intended, trace back to 1717, making it one of the oldest in Puligny-Montrachet. Their Grand Cru vineyards span Cote de Beaune, totaling 13 acres of vines. They are best known for their whites, which can be attributed to their success during the Judgment of Paris where they took 8th place of the 10 wines awarded. Always a favorite with critics, Domaine Leflaive was praised by James Halliday in 2007 when he noted “it is an enviable position to know that every bottle is sold before it is made.” The sophistication and strong minerality of these wines create great longevity, perfect for the cellar, but hard to find. As Anne-Claude Leflaive points out, ‘I think that in your life, if you really want something, heaven helps you and you find people in front of you to help you.’
And here we are...
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