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  • Country ranking ?

    665
  • Producer ranking ?

    18
  • Decanting time

    -
  • When to drink

    2020-2035
  • Food Pairing

    Salads

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The Story

The Grand Cru Chevalier Montrachet sits high on the hillside overlooking Le Montrachet, Bâtard Montrachet and the village of Puligny Montrachet far below. 

As a leader of biodynamic viticulture, Domaine Leflaive is renowned for the attention to detail and care that goes in to nourishing each vine from ground to bottle. This organic method of cultivation enriches the soil with plant-based compounds, thus sparing the vines of harmful herbicides and allowing the wine to exude the particularities of the Puligny-Montrachet terroir.

Their Grand Cru wines have consistently scored highly with Wine Advocate, Neal Martin describes them as “wines with audacity and ambition.” Le Montrachet, Batard Montrachet, Bienvenue Batard Montrachet and Chevalier Montrachet dominate Wine Advocate’s top scorers from this domaine, all of which are produced in tiny quantities. It is also worth noting that Neal Martin flags up Domaine Leflaive’s ability to “transcend the limitations of the growing season” – so even in less than favourable vintages their wines are worthy of consideration.

For those looking for an accessible opportunity to taste the top quality white Burgundy produced by this domaine, their Bourgogne Blanc and Mâcon Verzé provide just that.

Domaine Leflaive’s wines age excellently. Allen Meadows has previously noted that one particular vintage of Le Montrachet “even at almost 20 years of age… is still cruising along like it was only 10 as the freshness of the aromas is uncanny.” To help judge when the wines are ready to drink, Domaine Leflaive’s website provides an excellent database of recommendations by wine and by vintage.

Sol argilo-calcaire: 3 parcels in the Chevalier-Montrachet appellation.
Chevalier du bas sud: 6.5 ouvrées (0.69 acre) planted in 1957 and 1958.
Chevalier du bas nord: 21 ouvrées (2.22 acres) planted in 1955, 1964 and 1980.
Chevalier du haut: 19 ouvrées (2.01 acres) planted in 1974.
Surface: 1ha 99a (4.92 acres).

Method of culture: Long, gentle pneumatic pressing, decanting over 24 hours, then racking and running into cask of the must.
Alcoholic fermentation in oak casks, 25% new (maxi 1/3 Vosges, mini 2/3 Allier).
Maturing: after 12 months in cask, the wine is aged 6 months in tank where it is prepared for bottling.
Homeopathic fining and very light filtering if necessary.

Biodynamic: Manual harvesting with grape sorting and optimisation of choice of date through parcel-by-parcel ripeness monitoring.

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Written Notes

Domaine Leflaive Chevalier-Montrachet 2005 A lunch at Alto in Brizzy (usually deservedly chockers but on this day, sadly deserted as no one yet back into riverside restaurants after our floods but one is keen to help local businesses and if it means drinking wines like this, so be it) with some mates saw a few really nice wines hit the table. I was especially delighted when this emerged as they have been my all time fave white Burg producer for many, many years. There was possibly a dip in quality a while back but they are right on song these days, and for some time. I remember the '82 and '83 of this wine. Both monumental. And a good friend showed me a little trick (it is hard to do for several reasons as will become obvious). Drink half the glass and then put the rest aside for 3-4 hours (we decanted this bottle which helps perform a similar function). It is amazing how a superb white wine can become something truly mindboggling, with that time – I dread to think of the massive number of bottles that have gone to their graves without revealing their best. Ditto with any Montrachet you are lucky enough to find. It is hard to do as obviously, one wants to drink the thing, not have it sit there for hours. Also, one has to watch that a waiter doesn't top it up with something else (still remember a blend of Rousseau Clos St Jacques and Warre's vintage port – not half bad but neither as good as if they had remained separate) or even worse, take it away thinking you have finished. And before we get onto the wine itself, one thought. I know that Montrachet reigns supreme in the minds of white Burg lovers but for me, Leflaive’s Chevalier is the equivalent of almost anyone else's Montrachet (and be careful of those tricky spell check machines – tried to turn my Leflaive into a laxative). The wine itself. Truly stupendous. Unbelievably complex – you could eat it. Layered flavours of oatmeal, honey, peaches, cream, matchstick, a little wet stone and much more. Finely balanced but what was astonishing was the incredible length of the finish. Taste it for days. And not only that, the wine retained amazing intensity throughout. A little more age might just nudge it up a point. 99
  • 99p

Full yellow with a gold tinge. Very ripe aromas of dried yellow stone fruits, pineapple and chalky minerality. Then round, silky and seamless, offering lovely integrated acidity but relying even more on its minerality for balance (Morandière described this wine as "a less extreme version of the 2015"). At once tactile and smooth but still backward, offering mouthfilling flavors of apricot, citrus fruits and acacia flower that gained in depth as the wine took on oxygen. A very rich style but without any easy sweetness, this wine may well enjoy a 30-year lifespan. (13.7% alcohol; 3.22 pH; the harvest began on September 16 but the Chevalier-Montrachet came in on the 20th after a few days with a north wind that concentrated sugars and acids; still, this was a drought year with a blockage of maturity, according to Brice de la Morandière)

  • 95p

Served blind. Towards lemon yellow. Minerals, flint, butter, lemons, elegant nose, lovely. Fresh acidity, elegant, fresh, some nuts, lemons, quite intense and fairly nuanced, detailed and long. I was on 2004 Leflaive Bienvenues. 95

  • 94p
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Information

Origin

Beaune, Burgundy

Other wines from this producer

Bâtard-Montrachet

Bienvenue-Batard-Montrachet

Bourgogne Blanc

Corton-Charlemagne

Montrachet

Puligny Montrachet

Puligny-Montrachet

Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Clavoillon

Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Combettes

Puligny-Montrachet, Clavoillon 1er Cru

Puligny Montrachet Les Folatieres

Puligny-Montrachet Pucelles

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