2016 Meursault, Sous le Dos d'Âne, 1er Cru, Domaine Olivier Leflaive,Burgundy

2016 Meursault, Sous le Dos d'Âne, 1er Cru, Domaine Olivier Leflaive,Burgundy

Product: 20168007759
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2016 Meursault, Sous le Dos d'Âne, 1er Cru, Domaine Olivier Leflaive,Burgundy

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This famous vineyard in Blagny is close to Meursault Perrières, but totally different in character. There is a satisfying balance of dense Meursault weight and austere, stony minerality. The result is a nerv y and energetic wine which has a sizzling freshness that leaves one salivating. Drink 2020-2025.
Adam Bruntlett, Burgundy Buyer

After studying at business school, Olivier Leflaive headed to Paris to live a rather bohemian life during the 1970s, working in music and television. He returned to Burgundy in 1981 to manage Domaine Leflaive with his uncle Vincent and later his cousin Anne-Claude. Having long-aspired to work for himself, he set up his own négociant business in 1984 and, upon leaving the family domaine a decade later, he gave 15 years’ notice that he would take back his share of the family vines from 2009. Experienced winemaker Franck Grux now makes between 85 and 90 different cuvées, vinifying the equivalent of 120 hectares, of which 17 are estate. The focus here is on elegance and finesse over power. Winemaker Franck Grux is very pleased with the quality of the 2016 vintage, although he explained that the frost damage caused grapes to ripen at different times, which required a great deal of patience and necessitated extending the harvest to three weeks, as opposed to the normal two. The Puligny vineyards were relatively lucky in terms of frost damage, giving good yields. Franck explained that he carried out more lees stirring in 2016 than in 2015 to give the wines more weight, feeling that 2016 is a vintage with comparatively modest body and ripeness. Unless otherwise stated, all wines are domaine.

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About this WINE

Olivier Leflaive

Olivier Leflaive

Olivier Leflaive studied at business school before heading to Paris, where he lived a rather bohemian life in the 1970s. He returned to Burgundy in ’81 to manage Domaine Leflaive with his uncle Vincent and, later, his cousin Anne-Claude.

He set up his own négociant business in ’84, leaving the family domaine a decade later; he gave 15 years’ notice that he would take back his share of the vines.

Winemaker Franck Grux now makes 85-90 different cuvées, vinifying the equivalent of 120 hectares – 17 of which are estate-owned. The focus is on elegance and finesse over power.

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There are more top producers in Meursault than in any other commune of the Côte d’Or. Certainly it is the most famous and popular of the great white appellations. Its wines are typically rich and savoury with nutty, honeyed hints and buttery, vanilla spice from the oak.

Even though it is considerably larger than its southerly neighbours Chassagne and Puligny, Meursault contains no Grands Crus. Its three best Premiers Crus, however – Les Perrières, Les Genevrières and Les Charmes – produce some of the region’s greatest whites: they are full, round and powerful, and age very well. Les Perrières in particular can produce wines of Grand Cru quality, a fact that is often reflected in its price. Meursault has also been one of the driving forces of biodynamic viticulture in the region, as pioneered by Lafon and Leflaive.

Many of the vineyards below Premier Cru, known as ‘village’ wines, are also well worth looking at. The growers vinify their different vineyard holdings separately, which rarely happens in Puligny or Chassagne. Such wines can be labelled with the ‘lieu-dit’ vineyard alongside (although in smaller type to) the Meursault name.

Premier Cru Meursault should be enjoyed from five to 15 years of age, although top examples can last even longer. Village wines, meanwhile, are normally at their best from three to 10 years.

Very occasionally, red Meursault is produced with some fine, firm results. The best red Pinot Noir terroir, Les Santenots, is afforded the courtesy title of Volnay Santenots, even though it is actually in Meursault.

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Chardonnay is often seen as the king 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.

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