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News

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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25 different wines with 68 vintages

Highlights

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users.    or    to see wine moments from your world.

 Jancis Robinson MW, Wine Writer (United Kingdom)  tasted  13 wines  from  Olivier Leflaive . In a tasting of  13 wines 

Olivier Leflaive Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru 2014 – Reductive flint and smoke on the nose. Exquisite oak intergration – real mastery of the creaft here. Great volume, goegeous purity and superb concentration. Outstanding.

8m 27d ago

 Allen Meadows / BWW2022 - Best Burgundy Critic of the World, Wine Writer (United States)  tasted  1 wines  from  Olivier Leflaive . In a tasting of  17 wines 

Domaine Comte Georges de Vogue Musigny Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes 2018/ A ripe and super-fresh nose offers up notes of black raspberry, plum liqueur, Asian-style tea and a whiff of incense. The racy, intense and mineral-driven big-bodied flavors retain outstanding delineation as well as an abundance of palate soaking dry extract before delivering stunningly good length. This incredibly powerful effort is both classy and highly complex and like the Bonnes Mares, is a wine that will live for decades. With that said, it's not so backward and compact to preclude it being approachable after only 10 to 12 years. 
Barrel Sample: 94-97

1y 2m ago

 Juha Lihtonen / The Best Scandinavian Sommelier 2003, Pro (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Olivier Leflaive . In a tasting of  8 wines 

Whenever there are Montrachet and Chambertin from great vintages on the table, there seems not much room for talk of the other wines. However, this time the underdogs – Giaconda Pinot Noir 1999 and Salwey Henkenberg GG Grauerburgunder 2016 – managed to draw the attention....though only for moment:) It was once again proven that Chambertin and Montrachet from top vintages like 2005 and 2010 need to be decanted well in advance (4-5 hours) to deliver their true colours.

2y 10m ago

 Julia Harding MW, Wine Writer (United Kingdom)  tasted  1 wines  from  Olivier Leflaive . In a tasting of  25 wines 

Henschke Hill of Grace 2004 / 100% Shiraz grapes from pre-phylloxera material brought from Europe by the early settlers in the mid-1800s and grown in the Eden Valley wine region. Matured in 100% new French (50%) and American (50%) hogsheads for 18 months prior to blending and bottling.
Slightly greyish but deep garnet. Intensely sweet dark cassis fruit plus some cedary leafy notes. Rich and smooth and really plush, generous and silky but also very moreish and juicy. pH 3.6, TA 5.7 g/l,

2y 10m ago

 Janet Bernard, Wine Merchant (France)  tasted  3 wines  from  Olivier Leflaive . In a tasting of  16 wines 

Louis Latour's 2010 Montrachet Grand Cru displays a pale yellow hue. Complex, ethereal nose with really refreshing mint. The swirls bring out pleasant subtle hints of vanilla followed by greengage plum. The palate offers surprising exotic red fruits, lovely freshness, and long tanginess. Classic powerful Burgundy with gorgeous length and character. A wine to keep for several years. 96 points

3y 9m ago

 Gerald Lu, Sommelier (Singapore)  tasted  1 wines  from  Olivier Leflaive . In a tasting of  13 wines 

Coche Dury Corton-Charlemagne 2012 / The nose gives off a fine bouquet - typical of the appellation - of brioche, spices and white fruit fragrances on a slightly vanilla-flavoured base. On the palate, it offers intense freshness and richness that underline the perfect balance of this strong wine.

4y 3m ago

 Liudmyla Rudenko, Wine Importer (Russia)  tasted  1 wines  from  Olivier Leflaive . In a tasting of  24 wines 

DRC Montrachet 2010 / Creamy and inviting, wrapping the texture around lemon curd, apple crisp and sweet baking spice flavors. Tightly woven, with a vibrant structure pulling all the elements together on the long finish. Expansive on the savory aftertaste. 95p

4y 3m ago

 Christer Byklum , Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  10 wines  from  Olivier Leflaive . In a tasting of  19 wines 

Jean-Marc Boillot Bâtard-Montrachet 2007 / Pale lemon yellow. Citrus, minerals, detailed nose, some minerals, somewhat tight, orange blossoms, apples, faint smoky note nose. Fresh acidity, fruity, detailed, nuanced, ripe notes and fresher green apples, touch of grapefruits, lemons, smoky notes and faint peaches touch, long. 95p

4y 9m ago

 Clive Coates / MW, Wine Writer (France)  tasted  3 wines  from  Olivier Leflaive . In a tasting of  31 wines 

In Burgundy, 2010 prices rose, but not by much. Growers were already aware of the deficit in quantity when they announced their 2009 prices, so a gentle shading upwards (I speak in Euros), was the order of the day, except that the elastic between the village wines and the less fashionable premiers crus on the one hand, and the grands crus and top village premiers crus on the other, continues to widen. You will pay increasingly higher prices for Richebourg, Puligny-Montrachet, Les Folatières and Vosne-Romanée, Les Beaumonts, while Savigny-Lès-Beaune, premier cru and Paul Jacqueson's Rully, La Pucelles remain a bargain.

5y 4m ago

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