I’ve tasted quite a few white 2020s, and I was therefore delighted and excited to taste the ’20s at Domaine Leflaive with Pierre Vincent, the estate’s winemaker and general manager.
Improvements in the new Leflaive era
Domaine Leflaive has undertaken some major improvements, including a full re-conception and re-working of its cellars. Previously, Leflaive worked out of two cellars 500 metres apart in Puligny-Montrachet. Now, vinification occurs in only one place, and significant investments have been made to fuel further expansion and improvements.
Gone is transporting the wines between the two cellars, as well as doing the elevage in the perhaps-less-than-optimal cellar at the main estate building on the Place des Marronniers.
Vinification has been optimised to reflect the change to Diam closures, resulting in complex, organic wines that fulfil the Leflaive promise.
The scene is therefore set for the 2020 vintage. And let me make this clear: The 2020s from Leflaive exceed my highest expectations. Pierre Vincent has done extremely well. The wines are effortless and airy with a beautiful, cool balance. They’re refined, with magnificent intensity. In essence, these are white vins d’émotion, and they are gorgeous.
Leflaive and I
Leflaive and I go back many years, and the domaine has provided some of my greatest white Burgundy moments over the last three decades.
When I began collecting Burgundies back in the early 1990s, my financial resources were limited (as now), and I began with reds, buying some 1988s, ’89s, and ’90s. I didn’t have the financial wherewithal to purchase white Burgundies at the time. The first whites I acquired were 1991 Domaine Raveneau Valmur, and the next large investment was some bottles of 1996 Leflaive – both village and 1ers crus. I just opened the last bottle of those a few years back, and the 1996s Leflaives showed brilliantly, showing why one should definitely age white Burgundies. I have tasted many Leflaive wines from the early and mid-1990s, and some of them have been among the best white Burgundies I’ve ever tasted, with the 1996 Batard-Montrachet at the summit, followed by a number of bottles of the 1996 Pucelles.
Years have of course passed, and for my 50th birthday at Restaurant Enomania in Copenhagen (my favourite restaurant), we had Leflaive’s 2010 Chevalier-Montrachet. It was one of the highlights in quite a strong line-up of wines.
Yes, we go way back, Leflaive and I. Mme. Leflaive has given me a lot of pleasure and tremendously memorable Burgundy moments.
The 2020s from Domaine Leflaive
The wines tasted were samples taken from the elevage tanks.
Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet 2020
The Puligny-Montrachet is a brilliant wine, effortless and airy, and really showing well. The minerality is oozing from the glass, perfectly complemented by a discreet citrus note and lovely airy, organic fruit. An impressively refined wine for this level, it is one of the best village wines I have ever tasted from Leflaive. I love the ease and balance in this wine, and admire its precision.
(Drink from 2023) – Fine – (91-92p) – Tasted 15/04/2022 –
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