Neal Martin - 29/12/2017
About this WINE
Domaine Leflaive is the most famous estate in Puligny-Montrachet. After the untimely death of Anne-Claude Leflaive in April 2015, the estate is now being managed by Brice de la Morandiere with the winemaking under the control of Eric Remy (in succession to Pierre Morey who retired in 2008).
Leflaives have been extant in Puligny since 1717 but the real founder of the domaine was Joseph (1870-1953) who was succeeded by two of his sons, Vincent and Jo. However it was under the stewardship of Anne-Claude between 1990 and 2015 that the domaine became a leader in Burgundy’s biodynamic movement, the whole property being converted in 1997.
The wines are aged for 12 months in 25% new oak and are then transferred to steel tanks where they are allowed to clarify naturally over the second winter. They are then fined and bottled. Leflaive produces superb wines that combine richness and depth of fruit with elegance, refinement and perfect balance.
Leflaive has 22 hectares of vineyards, including 10 hectares of Premiers Crus (in Puligny Montrachet: Les Combettes, Les Pucelles, Le Clavoillon, Les Folatieres and in Meursault-Blagny, Sous le Dos d'Ane) and no fewer than 5 hectares of Grands Crus (Chevalier Montrachet, Bâtard Montrachet, Bienvenues Bâtard Montrachet and a tiny holding of Le Montrachet).
Jasper Morris MW, Burgundy Wine Director and author of the award-winning Inside Burgundy comprehensive handbook.
Bourgogne Blanc is the appellation used to refer to generic white wines from Burgundy, a wide term which allows 384 separate villages to produce a white wine with the label ‘Bourgogne.’ As a result of this variety, Bourgogne Blanc is very hard to characterise with a single notable style, however the wines are usually dominated by the presence of Chardonnay, which is just about the only common factor between them. That being said, Chardonnay itself varies based on the environmental factors, so every bottle of Bourgogne Blanc will vary in some way from the next! Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris are also permitted for use in Bourgogne Blanc under the regulations of the appellation.
As Bourgogne Blanc is very much an entry-level white wine for most regions in Burgundy, prices are usually very reasonable, and due to the terroir and climate of Burgundy, Bourgogne Blanc wines tend to have a strong acidity to them, combined with a vibrant and often fruity palate when compared with other whites from the New World, say, allowing fantastic matchmaking with many different kinds of food.
Chardonnay is the "Big Daddy" of white wine grapes and one of the most widely planted in the world. It is suited to a wide variety of soils, though it excels in soils with a high limestone content as found in Champagne, Chablis, and the Côte D`Or.
Burgundy is Chardonnay's spiritual home and the best White Burgundies are dry, rich, honeyed wines with marvellous poise, elegance and balance. They are unquestionably the finest dry white wines in the world. Chardonnay plays a crucial role in the Champagne blend, providing structure and finesse, and is the sole grape in Blanc de Blancs.
It is quantitatively important in California and Australia, is widely planted in Chile and South Africa, and is the second most widely planted grape in New Zealand. In warm climates Chardonnay has a tendency to develop very high sugar levels during the final stages of ripening and this can occur at the expense of acidity. Late picking is a common problem and can result in blowsy and flabby wines that lack structure and definition.
Recently in the New World, we have seen a move towards more elegant, better- balanced and less oak-driven Chardonnays, and this is to be welcomed.