I have been tasting, drinking and buying the Domaine Leflaive wines since the early 1990s – and always considered these wines to be among the very very best whites from Burgundy.
To be honest I had some slight doubts in the mid 2000s … but from 2008 Domaine Leflaive seem to have improved quality even further and is now back at the very top of the game … seen from my stemware at least.
While I always loved the Leflaive wines I never had the opportunity to visit this magnificent estate in Puligny-Montrachet. In November 2014 my luck changed … and my first visit at Domaine Leflaive was on my Burgundy schedule.
Domaine Leflaive – Visit November 2014.
It was on a rainy afternoon on the third of November 2014 ….
I was received at Domaine Leflaive by the winemaker Eric Remy who has been in charge of the wine making since the 2008 vintage.
Eric first explained about the weather and growing conditions for the 2013 vintage, all in all a pretty difficult and troublesome journey for the grapes and vineyards towards the harvest.
Despite these problems Eric seemed pretty happy with the result … and a impressive lineup of whites was waiting in steel tanks in the Domaine Leflaive cellar … from the Bourgogne Blanc to the Chevalier-Montrachet.
So to the tasting …
Overall impression of the 2013s from Domaine Leflaive
The 2013s from Domaine Leflaive are quite intense aromatically with a crisp and quite crunschy acidity .. powerful yet balanced … expressive but still refined and focused. I really enjoy the vibrant energy and nerve in the acidity of this vintage. As a vintage they can’t (in my view) quite match the magnificent 2010s but will most likely stand their ground with other recent vintages. The 2013s are indeed of fine quality and will provide excellent drinking, given sufficient time in the cellar.
One of the things that impresses me most about Domaine Leflaive is the coherence and high quality over the full range of wines. Even the Macon-Vérze (not tasted) and the Bourgogne Blanc are infused with the Leflaive DNA and offer a Leflaive experience at a attractive price point.
The second thing is the excellent expression of terroir in all the wines – even the Bourgogne Blanc offers a nice mineralic expression – and going up to the 1er crus the differences in terroir are very well defined and expressed beautifully. If my memory serves me right these differences were less defined and pronounced back in the mid 1990s before the biodynamic viticulture was fully employed at Domaine Leflaive.
In my mind the biodynamic viticulture employed since 1997 has taken these wines to another level in expressing the terroir … and still they have managed to keep the Leflaive style and DNA intact … a pretty impressive achievement.
Tasting notes from tasting on November 3rd 2014
All the wines were tasted from steel tank at Domaine Leflaive.
Domaine Leflaive, Bourgogne Blanc 2013
The Bourgogne Blanc 2013 is a very attractive glass … the bouquet is expressive offering a quite airy mineral infused fruit – with notes of citrus, pear and some tropical fruit hints. On the palate quite rich – but beautifully focused and long for this level – nice fresh finish with a citrus inflected minerality. Love the balance and focus … impressive display of minerality for a Bourgogne Blanc.
Domaine Leflaive, Puligny-Montrachet 2013
The Puligny-Montrachet village is a big step of in focus and display of terroir. The minerality is bursting from the glass … complimented by citrus notes and a lovely airy fruit. On the palate focused and crisp … with a lovely cool fruit energized by a crunchy mineralty. A benchmark wine … textbook Puligny … love this wine .. also in 2013.
Domaine Leflaive, Meursault Sous le Dos d’Ane 2013
The Meursault Sous le Dos d’Ane offer a more rounded and “opulent” expression than the Puligny village. In the nose quite tropical and rich – supported by a rather delicate minerality. On the palate quite rounded and filigree … good weight and intensity. In a sense more delicate and refined than the Puligny. While I personally like the outgoing mineralic style of the Puligny … I do appreciate this lovely Meursault.
Domaine Leflaive, Puligny-Montrachet Clavoillon 2013
The Puligny Clavoillon is a step up in quality. In the nose expressive fruit notes of acacia blossom, white peach, pear supported by a generous citrus infused minerality. On the palate lovely concentration … quite intense and vibrant with a lovely drive and nerve from the crisp acidity. Really like the expression of terroir and balance in this wine … don’t overlook Clavoillon in the quest for the bigger wines.
Domaine Leflaive, Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatieres 2013
The Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatieres offer a more rich and ripe side of Puligny. The bouquet is showing rich and quite exotic orchard fruits infused with a quite filigree minerality. On the palate rich and detailed, a more weighty midpalate with a long mineralic finish. Lovely energy and nerve from the crisp acidity … a lovely Folatieres.
Domaine Leflaive, Puligny-Montrachet Les Combettes 2013
The Puligny Les Combettes offer even more weight and richness than the Folatieres and Clavoillon. In the bouquet rich and quite exotic orchard fruits … pear, acacia and white peach … balanced and supported by fresh citrus notes and a intense minerality. On the palate bigger and richer than Folatieres … it’s long, intense and powerful with a mineral and citrus driven minerality. The energetic acidity in this vintage really suits the Combettes terroir … lovely juice.
Domaine Leflaive, Puligny-Montrachet Les Pucelles 2013
The Puligny-Montrachet Les Pucelles is a real step up in quality and refinement. In the bouquet more refinement and depth in the fruit … a bit understated … but offer layers of fruit and crisp filigree minerality .. notes of citrus, pear, white peach. On the palate more depth and concentration than the other 1er crus – its intense, very refined and balanced – focused by the lovely 2013 acidity and the delightfully detailed and refined minerality. I just love this terroir … gorgeous.
Domaine Leflaive, Bienvenues Batard-Montrachet 2013
The Bienvenues Batard-Montrachet 2013 is a very expressive and energetic wine … bursting with minerality. The bouquet is quite expressive with hints of tropical fruits, citrus and a very powerful crunchy minerality. On the palate a step up in concentation and power from Les Pucelles … the minerality is very expressive but in my view perhaps not as refined as Pucelles. I really like the outgoing minerality and the crisp acidity … has the extra grand cru intensity .. but is perhaps lacking a bit of the effortless delicacy found in Les Pucelles. Nevertheless a lovely energetic grand cru.
Domaine Leflaive, Batard-Montrachet 2013
The Batard-Montrachet is somehow offering more balance and refinement than the Bienvenues Batard-Montrachet. The “tank” tasted was harvested on the plot just above the Leflaive plots on Bienvenues Batard-Montrachet but should be close to the final blend. The bouquet offer layers of rich expressive mildly exotic orchard fruits, intense and weighty with a quite filigree minerality. On the palate weighty and powerful with a layers of fruit and a refined and intense minerality. Impressively balanced and intense … but in my view not quite matching the magnificent 2010 Batard.
Domaine Leflaive, Chevallier-Montrachet 2013
The Chavalier Montrachet is quite a step up from the Batard in both weight and mineralic refinement. Slightly reduced but nevertheless offer deep layered fruit … notes of white flowers, accacia blossom … infused with a filigree and refined minerality. On the palate rich, almost silky, weighty and powerful with a effortless and balanced expression. Is very vinous and rich but beautifully balanced by the crisp acidity and the fine minerality. A big wine … will need plenty of time in the cellar …
The 2013s wines from Domaine Leflaive show fine promise, and confirm the high very high quality in the previous vintages.
I find the 2013 vintage exiting due to the vibrant and crisp acidity … and while it’s not quite at the same level as the 2010s it will offer delightful drinking. I adore vintages like the 2008s with their vivid and outgoing acidity and mineralic expression … and I find a quite bit of this energy in the 2013s from Domaine Leflaive… but with more weight and intensity. These wines will be interesting to follow over the next decades.
Tasting Notes for this producer
- Domaine Leflaive, Chevalier Montrachet 2004 July 20, 2017
- Domaine Leflaive, Chevalier Montrachet 2008 February 20, 2017
- Domaine Leflaive, Chevalier Montrachet 2006 December 22, 2016
- Domaine Leflaive, Puligny-Montrachet Les Pucelles 2000 October 11, 2016
- Domaine Leflaive, Puligny-Montrachet Clavoillon 2014 September 1, 2016
- Domaine Leflaive, Chevalier Montrachet 2007 October 14, 2015
- Domaine Leflaive, Batard Montrachet 2007 September 26, 2015
- Domaine Leflaive, Batard Montrachet 1996 July 11, 2015
- Domaine Leflaive, Chevalier-Montrachet 2010 April 13, 2015
- Domaine Leflaive, Chevallier-Montrachet 2013 April 3, 2015
- Domaine Leflaive, Batard-Montrachet 2013 April 3, 2015
- Domaine Leflaive, Bienvenues Batard-Montrachet 2013 April 3, 2015
- Domaine Leflaive, Puligny-Montrachet Les Pucelles 2013 April 3, 2015
- Domaine Leflaive, Puligny-Montrachet Les Combettes 2013 April 3, 2015
- Domaine Leflaive, Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatieres 2013 April 3, 2015
- Domaine Leflaive, Puligny-Montrachet Clavoillon 2013 April 3, 2015
- Domaine Leflaive, Meursault Sous le Dos d’Ane 2013 April 3, 2015
- Domaine Leflaive, Puligny-Montrachet 2013 April 3, 2015
- Domaine Leflaive, Bourgogne Blanc 2013 April 3, 2015
- Domaine Leflaive, Puligny-Montrachet Clavoillon 2012 January 23, 2015
- Domaine Leflaive, Puligny-Montrachet 1996 January 4, 2015
- Domaine Leflaive, Puligny-Montrachet Les Pucelles 2010 May 30, 2014
- Domaine Leflaive, Puligny Montrachet 1999 February 5, 2014
- Domaine Leflaive, Puligny-Montrachet Les Pucelles 2000 January 8, 2014
- Domaine Leflaive, Puligny-Montrachet Les Combettes 1996 January 3, 2014
- Domaine Leflaive, Puligny Montrachet 2001 June 19, 2013
- Domaine Leflaive, Puligny-Montrachet Les Pucelles 1996 March 27, 2013
- Domaine Leflaive, Puligny-Montrachet Les Pucelles 2002 March 12, 2013
- Domaine Leflaive, Batard Montrachet 2010 February 25, 2013
- Domaine Leflaive, Puligny Montrachet 2010 November 28, 2012
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