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2022 is a sunny and warm vintage with a immediate generous character.

Highly long-awaited after a 2021 vintage with historically low volumes, the 2022 vintage brought serenity back to the vineyard with a heathy harvest and correct volumes. However, nothing was won. With rainfall accumulations far from excessive, the year 2022 was marked by average temperatures higher than seasonal norms and rainfall deficits from the start of the vine’s vegetative cycle. At the beginning of April, episodes of frost will recall the terrible nights of April 6 and 7 of 2021, but fortunately with an impact beyond measure. The year 2022 is the year of all records for sunshine with the equivalent of an additional month of July. We are therefore talking about a sunny vintage when we talk about 2022.

Chronology of events:

WINTER 2021-2022: Winter takes place in dry conditions creating a lack of water in the soil from the beginning of spring. With an average temperature around 6°C, the first three months of 2022 were not particularly cold.

MARCH: End of March, the increase in air and soil temperatures leads to a raising of the eco-dormancy of the vine which sees its first buds swell.

APRIL-MAY: Little change at the beginning of April, marked by cold days and traversed by a few sudden episodes of frost between April 3 and 11 with temperatures of -3 to -4°C for a week. In mid-April, spring sets in, and the dynamic of the vine growth intensified brutally with an exceptionally very sustained pace. The 3-leaves stage is visible from April 20. Mid-May, the first flowers come out with the equivalent of 2 weeks in advance. They are numerous and flowering takes place in dry and hot weather conditions. At this stage, the speed of the vegetative cycle suggests a very early vintage.

JUNE: The formed berries are start to gain in volume and the saving rains at the end of the month allow the soil to be replenished with water, which until then has been very dry, certainly rescue the 2022 harvest.

JULY: Last decade of July, the berries begin to soften and change color, veraison begins. The weather remained hot and dry, limiting disease in this vintage, and allowing the grapes to ripen correctly. With almost 360 hours of sunshine this month, a record has been reached.

AUGUST: When we returned from holidays, we were surprised and happy to see that the vines did not suffer as much from the lack of water as the drought of the vintage suggested. Yellowing or defoliation, was present but only in certain areas. The vine suffered from heat stress more than water stress in 2022. From August 10, the drop in malic and tartaric acid levels was observed, favoring an increase in pH. Particular attention was therefore paid to these possible gaps in our plots. At the flowering, we anticipated a vintage that was historically early, but the high summer heat caused ripening to be blocked and belied the predictions by postponing the harvest date by almost 10 days. The harvest started on August 24 and lasted 13 days under the summer sun and high temperatures

 

The highlights of the season:
A very marked water deficit throughout the season

Frost episodes in early April
An exceptionally hot and sunny spring and summer

A frantic pace in the development of the vine
An almost irreproachable sanitary state of the grapes

Our opinion on the red wines of Côte de Beaune: A grape variety reputed to be more fragile than its neighbor Chardonnay, Pinot noir better tolerated conditions of high heat and water stress. As long as the winegrowers kept a little more foliage than usual, the grapes were able to evolve slowly but surely towards a very interesting phenolic maturity. Thanks to the fine rains of June and August, it received the water it needed to build itself. Juice yields were, as in 2018, a little more favorable than initially assumed. Nothing to do with an abundant harvest but the yields are better in Pinot noir than in Chardonnay!

The wines have a nice color, easily extracted during vinification and well stabilized thereafter. Contrary to what we might expect from a warm vintage, the wines are not too rich in alcohol (12,5% vol. to 13% vol. natural) with beautiful ripe tannins and sufficient final acidity to preserve fruity, crunchy and silky characters. At this stage, they are approaching the spirit of both the 2018 and the 2020. The malolactic fermentations tended to go quickly, which was not the case for us with red wine departures just at the beginning of February.

Our opinion on the white wines of Côte Chalonnaise: This is a region where the rains of June and August were not identical to those received elsewhere. The water deficit in Montagny, for example, is real. The immediate consequence is a lower yield (rather 48-50 hL/ha than 60). There is a lot of substance in the wines (sugar and acidity at a very good level), with a nice generosity on the palate. The wines are however very dry, in the spirit of their appellation. The malolactic fermentations are slowly coming to an end. The balances seem interesting to us.

Our opinion on the white wines of Côte de Beaune: In general, the vines of Chardonnay appreciate the strong dry heat much less and this is still true with this vintage. The rains were a little more sustained in the north of the Côte than in the south. Throughout the sector, the levels of natural sugars were good (12,5% vol. to 13,5% vol.). There is therefore no excess at this level. Despite the high temperatures, the total acidity is very correct. The malic acidity is not very important quantitatively, the malolactic fermentations are here also ending almost everywhere in the cellars that we had voluntarily cooled in December to gain a little time for ageinpage2image146963120page3image2572442944

2022 is a sunny and warm vintage with a immediate generous character. Without going against nature, we will have to give him some time in the coming weeks to calm certain personality traits.

The volume harvested here are satisfactory but still lower than those estimated in summer.

A bit like in 2015 and 2019, the heat caused sweating and concentration. The comparison with other vintages is premature, but the two vintages mentioned above have characteristics in common with 2022.

 

 

THE 2018 HARVEST

The fall of 2017 was dry until the end of October, allowing the winegrowers to work the land and enable the abundant rain in November and December to penetrate deep into the soil. January 2018was also very wet, with 350mm of rain and the mildest temperatures since 1945. February, however, was dry and fairly cold; some 2-3° below seasonal norms.

Rain returned in force in March with 110mm falling across the month, compared to an average of 50mm. This allowed reserves to be built up, which were greatly appreciated later in the season. Right from the start of April, the weather turned unusually mild. This led to rapid budburst across the region in the middle of the month. The shoots grew so fast that it took just a week for the vines to show three full leaves, and no longer be under threat from frost.

May was also striking, with almost constant sunshine and very warm temperatures. Fungal diseases such as downy and powdery mildew cropped up in places, but in general were very well contained. We nonetheless had to remain vigilant and spray regularly with sulfur. FLOWERING occurred between 22- 30 May, indicating a very early harvest.

June saw the hot and sunny weather continue, with extremely favorable conditions. A few rainstorms struck at the right time to stop the vines suffering any hydric stress, which began to threaten towards the end of the month in some sectors. BUNCH CLOSURE occurred on the Côte de Beaune around 30 June.

Then in early July, the first signs of VERAISON were seen on those vines that had not suffered from lack of water. Sunshine was at a maximum and growth slowed in places, particularly in terms of the younger vines or those on shallower soil. Inversely, the older vines and those on deeper soil really benefitted from the water reserves established earlier on in the year. A few rain showers of 15-20mm in mid- August helped the grapes advance in terms of ripening. As 20 August approached, some of the whites in those areas that ripen early had attained the levels we wanted for harvest, unlike the Pinot Noir grapes which appreciate the heat and need more time. The days were hot and sunny.

As in 2015, we opted to start harvesting at an easy pace on 27 August, taking advantage of the exceptional weather and adapting our picking to avoid the heat. Picking ended with the most late- ripening vines on 15 September.

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History

The Leflaive Family has been rooted in Puligny Montrachet since 1717. In the 20th century, Joseph Leflaive (1870-1953), a descendant of the founder, Claude Leflaive, steadily acquired parcels of exceptional 1er Cru and Grand Cru vineyards mainly in the village of Puligny-Montrachet and was one of the precursors of domain bottling (mis en bouteille au domaine); Domaine Leflaive began exporting to the United States in the early 1930’s.

Olivier, Jo’s son, was co-manager of Domaine Leflaive with his uncle Vincent, from 1982 to 1990, and with Anne-Claude, his cousin, from 1990 to 1994.

Entrepreneurial and creative, in 1985 Olivier started his own business, focusing solely on quality, buying grapes and managing vineyards, with a team directed by Olivier Leflaive himself. With his own team in place, Olivier Leflaive was able to source wines from outside of Puligny-Montrachet.

 

In 1995, Olivier Leflaive in mutual agreement with his family, left Domaine Leflaive to concentrate on Maison Olivier Leflaive.

Today, the Maison Olivier Leflaive controls 50 acres of vineyards in property located mainly in Puligny-Monrachet, ChassagneMonrachet, Meursault and Pommard. Since 2010, Maison Olivier Leflaive has recovered its ownership in legendary vineyards managed by Domaine Leflaive after the lapse of an 18-year lease to the Domaine.

Being a grower and grape buyer enable Maison Olivier Leflaive the strength to produce wines from Côte Chalonnaise and Côte de Beaune. The wines of Maison Olivier Leflaive are widely regarded for their precision, elegance and finesse.

 

 

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Vineyards

The philosophy of Olivier Leflaive is to produce simply great wines. There are no secrets to this – everything starts in the vines with good grapes. Olivier, Franck and their team are lucky to have strong relationships with some of the best winegrowers on the Côte, people who grow their vines with care and attention.

Although the quality of the harvest is key, vinification and ageing also play a major role in bringing out the essence of each appellation. Franck Grux and Philippe Grillet make it their daily task to ensure the quality of the wines and respect for the terroir. As such, the estate’s approach is to treat each cuvée individually. 

In a similar way, Olivier has continued to expand his estate since its creation. Running the business means guaranteeing maximum control over the vines. Today, the estate covers some 17 hectares, and is the result of carefully-managed acquisitions over the years.

Olivier Leflaive’s vocation is not just about making good wine. It is also about bringing a human face to the world of wine and breathing fresh life into it.
Maintaining a personalized and convivial relationship with his clients, taking the time to share the richness, diversity and sensitivity of the world of wine through a complete oeno-touristic immersion from vine to glass – these are some of Olivier Leflaive’s other ambitions.

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Winemaking

We vinify and age the equivalent of 120 hectares of vines (including 17 of our own), the majority of which are white wines from the three prestigious Côte de Beaune villages of Puligny-Montrachet, Chassagne-Montrachet and Meursault, as well as from Chablis and the Côte Chalonnaise.

Our daily mission is to produce top quality grapes. This involves a sustainable approach to working the vines, and also supporting our partner winegrowers in cultivating their plots using an organic or biodynamic approach. We have not any organic certification as we don’t hesitate to use chemical treatment if it’s really necessary.

  • Moving towards buying 100% grapes & must
    When Olivier began, a large part of his purchases were of wine because he didn’t have the necessary equipment to buy in grapes or must (non-fermented grape juice). Gradually, this proportion decreased and today, some 95% of purchases are of grapes and must, signifying better control over the process. The aim is to continually improve the quality through prudent investment in the production apparatus.
  • Regular monitoring of the vines
    Franck, Bertrand and the other members of the technical team carry out regular visits to the vines under contract throughout the year, accompanied by underwriters and winemakers. These occasions offer the perfect opportunity for discussion.
  • Manual harvests for our suppliers
    Our own teams of pickers manually harvest a large part of our partners’ vines (40 hectares). Grapes from a further 20 hectares are delivered to us and the remainder comes as must direct from the press.
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Inside information

We vinify and age the equivalent of 120 hectares of vines (including 17 of our own), the majority of which are white wines from the three prestigious Côte de Beaune villages of Puligny-Montrachet, Chassagne-Montrachet and Meursault, as well as from Chablis and the Côte Chalonnaise.

Our daily mission is to produce top quality grapes. This involves a sustainable approach to working the vines, and also supporting our partner winegrowers in cultivating their plots using an organic or biodynamic approach.

We have not any organic certification as we don’t hesitate to use chemical treatment if it’s really necessary.

For many years, Olivier and Patrick have wanted to grow the estate, and taking over the family legacy of the Domaine Leflaive seemed like a natural development in their shared adventure. Having been director of the estate with his uncle Vincent and then his cousin Anne-Claude from 1982 to 1994, it was important to Olivier to be able to share his vision of these prestigious appellations.

 

The vines grow on terroirs whose reputations speak for themselves. They include  Chevalier-Montrachet, Bâtard-Montrachet, Les Folatières and Les Pucelles in Puligny-Montrachet, and Blagny Sous le Dos d’Ane in Meursault; great names that evoke great moments.

Historic properties of the Domaine Leflaive, the vines have been cultivated according to biodynamic principles for over 20 years. This philosophy is continued to this day.

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26 different wines with 74 vintages

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