It was reported that Anne-Claude Leflaive died during the Easter holidays – Jeremy Seysses being the first to publicly relay the news as far as I know. Purely by chance, I drank her 2011 Mâcon-Verzé the day before – and it was perfectly delicious.
Within 2 hours of Jeremy’s tweet, I was asked by one website if I could write a small piece about her – but I declined – not because I thought it a little shabby and rushed, though maybe I did a little – I much prefer something a little more considered and discreetly later – but the real reason was that I didn’t feel qualified. Although I’ve tasted at Domaine Leflaive at least 7 or 8 times, it’s always been with Pierre, Eric or Antoine – of-course I’ve shaken the hand of Anne-Claude a number of times, but I didn’t really know her; she said little and always stayed in the background. Of-course, I don’t need to know her in order to appreciate the way she has significantly remodelled a great old domaine – magnificently, and with real purpose too. All vintages offer the potential for disappointment, but Anne-Claude has ensured that Domaine Leflaive have all they need to be at the pinnacle of Puligny, indeed the pinnacle of Burgundy. I wish those that take up the formidable reins of Domaine Leflaive all success.
Although people differ on what ‘type’ was the cause, everybody seems sure that Anne-Claude succumbed to cancer. Some say that she was also trying to treat her cancer in a more biodynamic way – cancer is cruel and Anne-Claude was only 59 – but if this unequivocally principled approach made Anne-Claude feel better, even if only spiritually – then good for her.
I will find an appropriate time to toast her!