x
  • Country ranking ?

    393
  • Producer ranking ?

    6
  • 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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Vintage 2018

Burgundy 2018: An ideal vintage

The 2018 vintage was met with a unanimous show of satisfaction from the north of Bourgogne to the south. The exceptional weather, especially during the harvest period, resulted in grapes with perfect health, allowing picking to extend over almost a whole month. Initial tastings ahead of the Hospices de Beaune Wine Auction have given an early idea that 2018 will be a truly great year.

The vines had built up some reserves over winter thanks to some very rainy weather, and the growth cycle began on the late side. When the sun started to show in April, the vines sprang into life, with budburst taking place very rapidly. The mild weather then allowed the plants to make up for lost time, even getting ahead of the average. Frosts in April sent a shudder across the whole region, but damage remained very limited. Flowering and fruit setting took place without hindrance.

Summer saw constant heat and drought, apart from a few hail storms in early July that were of no great consequence. The vines continued to grow at a fast pace until mid-August. Veraison took a little longer in places, the heat and lack of water affecting some of the younger vineyards. Nonetheless, since the hydric reserves had been restocked over winter, most of the vines came to maturity nicely thanks to the ideal weather conditions.

The first grapes were picked in the last 10 days of August. Since the dates of flowering, the rainfall and temperature varied greatly from one area to another, harvesting extended into the last 10 days of September.
The fruit was in extraordinarily good health, and the weather was perfect, allowing each winemaker to harvest at the optimum moment. The mood was serene across the whole wine region, producers enjoying this magnificent vintage that combined quality and quantity. Many think this will be one of the best vintages in many years.

Vinification of the whites went without a problem, the grapes having retained a good level of acidity despite the heat.
The reds required a little more attention during vinification due to the relatively high level of potential alcohol.

 

White wines

In 2018, the aromatic complexity of the white wines is incredible. They are explosive on the nose, with an amazing diversity that reflects each terroir. The wines have a certain crispness and good minerality. In the mouth, they are rounded and generous, balanced with a nice tension.

Red wines

The 2018 reds have a seductive intense color. They are already well structured and powerful, with nicely- integrated tannins and good concentration of fruit. These exceptional wines are perfectly balanced, and are already tasting well in their first flush of youth.
This is a delicious vintage with splendid maturity.

Crémant de Bourgogne

This is a benchmark year, with expressive aromas that vary from one varietal to another, promising balanced and aromatic base wines. The Pinot Noirs are generous, with notes of cherry and rose, resulting in balanced wines with a pleasant freshness. The Chardonnays are powerful, with moderate acidity, making them well- rounded. The fruit aromas reveal some exotic notes, nuanced by fragrances of apple and peach. The Gamays have delicate aromas of raspberry and strawberry, underscored by citrus touches (clementine, lemon). The Aligotés are sharp and lemony, as usual, with good length in the mouth.

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

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Written Notes

The 2018 Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru has an intense bouquet of lemon thyme, crushed limestone, and traces of orange pith and citrus peel that gain intensity with aeration. The palate is underpinned with a fine, almost razor-sharp bead of acidity. There is a wonderful crescendo of flavor here, leading to a multifaceted, lemongrass-tinged finish that lingers with a saline aftertaste. This is sheer class, a tremendous Chevalier-Montrachet.96-98

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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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