Olivier Leflaive – 2013


DSC06391Tasted in Puligny-Montrachet with Frank Grux, 17th March 2015.

Back in October/November 2014 Frank Grux didn’t want to show his unfinished 2013s, so I instead visited their 12s. Now the 2013s are all in bottle Frank’s happy to show them.

I sometimes think it’s a shame that all producers don’t work in this way, despite (I assume) it being more expensive to open bottled wines – even if the wines show more consistently and thw inemaker is happier with the commentary – but the market, it seems, has other ideas…

Frank on 2013:
“We’ve 80 different white appellations, and not all were the same of course – that said, we had very nice flowering in Chassagne and Puligny but it was more complicated in Meursault. We didn’t have high alcohols but we did have fine phenolic ripeness. Certainly there was a little chaptalisation. We had very little botrytis to sort, because I prefer to harvest a little earlier – so we were in the vines between the 13th and 25th of September.”

The wines…

So it wasn’t just the 2012s – here is an excellent range of 2013 whites, indeed, no need to even mention a vintage, with very fine terroir definition and differentiation in 2013.

2013 Bourgogne Aligoté
A domaine wine from vines around Puligny and Corpeau all made in tank – but small tanks! Full malo, bottled last May, less than 40 hl/ha from older vines, much cordon trained, some of 60 years old so plenty of millerandes…
Some weight of aroma, a little silky and fresh. Middle-weight but lovely mid-palate flavour with a faint perfume. Demonstrative and tasty.

2013 Bourgogne Blanc Les Sétilles
In bottle since November, grapes mainly from Puligny and Meursault plus a little En Remilly, Mercurey and Hautes Côtes. About 60 parcels that delivered about 20k cases. 70% barrel fermented.
More fruit-forward, with aromas of fresh fruit salad. Round, silky, a little richness but also fine balancing, mouth-watering acidity – aided by a faint prickle of dissolved gas. Once more, faintly perfumed in the finish. A weighty and tasty wine!

2013 Bourgogne Blanc Oncle Vincent
100% in-barrel elevage, bottled in September from domain vines.
Less forward but more detailed aromas which are very nicely fresh. A little more richness with a bright and mouth-wrapping fruit flavour. This is really super in the mid-palate and into the finish, that finish being rather mineral accented.

2013 Montagny 1er Cru
Bottled in August – from 3 parcels. 80% barrel elevage.
More depth due an accent of reduction. Wide, mouth-filling and with a lovely intensity of fresh-fruit in the mid-palate, followed by mouth-watering, faintly sweet fruit in the finish – this is a super Montagny!

2013 Rully Rabourcé
About 65% in-barrel elevage.
Discreet but pretty aromas of fresh fruit. A hint of richness and silkily textured, with a weight of fresh flavour. Here is a super extra dimension of flavour that lasts very well indeed. Another excellent wine!
2013 Rully 1er Vauvry
This is a deeper but whiter soil. 4 different parcels blended for this wine.
Also quite a discreet nose but fresh with a little white blossom. Seems a little more mineral, direct and fresher – lovely intensity and fine finishing – this is super too, if very different. Fine complexity.

2013 Santenay Blanc
From 2 vines in Sous la Roche. 100% barrel elevage.
A high-toned character. Becomes ever prettier in the glass. Richness, a little minerality, a subtle silkiness, wide and very, very tasty in the mid-palate and the finish. Tasty wine indeed!

2013 Beaune Le Clos de Monsinières
From the top of the hill. 100% barrel elevage. Bottled November.
Engaging, fresh fruit with pretty detail. A fine attack, fresh and frank, but with a slowly arriving padding to the texture – lovely mid-palate energy and complexity. Super!

2013 St.Romain Sous le Chateau
From 3 parcels all elevaged in barrel.
A little more weight and depth to the aromas yet retaining fine freshness – the first wine with just a hint of barrel in the nose but nothing sweet or vanilla. A little more gas in this one but it’s got fine freshness and energy. Lovely flavour here – a super wine.

2013 Auxey-Duresses
About 85% barrel elevage, made from various parcels, mainly on the Meursault side of the appellation. Majority of wines shown so far receiving 15-20% new barrels.
A little ripe citrus here with a tighter weight of aroma behind. Bright, detailed and complex. Wine of fresh detail and engagement. Another super wine, here more perfumed in the finish.

2013 St.Aubin 1er Le Charmois
From the Chassagne side. 100% barrel elevage.
Fine, detailed high-toned nose. Quite a lot of gas here – wait, and it offers a fine, mineral and super mouth-watering flavour – my style of wine! Arien and dynamic without too much intensity – lovely.

2013 St.Aubin 1er Le Chatagniere
A deeper nose, still fresh but with an accent of reduction. Again some gas, this has a little more richness and silkiness to the texture. Fine balance still, a long line of slowly mouth-watering flavour. More contemplative wine, despite fine freshness.

2013 St.Aubin 1er En Remilly
A very pretty aromatic of freshness and complexity. More attack, and a building, mouth-watering sucrosity. A little softness and silk in the middle. But very fine complexity. Very yum indeed…

Now moving onto wines bottled end of January and into February.

2013 Meursault
An assembly of about a dozen parcels; a mix of about 60% lower slopes and 40% higher slopes.
A modest but very classic nose of Meursault offering faint ginger-bread. Gas but still good balance behind – actually excellent balance behind. This is finely textured, faintly rich but with super freshness on a long wide line of flavour, modestly perfumed too in the finish.
2013 Meursault Les Clous
A mix of dessous and dessus between Tillets and Vireuls.
Fine, fresh Meursault aromatics with a faint reduction – very attractive. A little more gas here. A hint more minerality, again a little silk to the texture with richness of ripen fruit texture. Wide and interesting flavour in the finish. Longer finishing too. Another fine wine, here with a hint of tannin in the finish super…

2013 Meursault Les Narvaux
Again a blend of dessous and dessus.
A fresh nose with a little more herb – it takes a while to show a more Meursault impression. More direct, less gas, lithe and energetic. Here’ s a big kick of complexity and a more pronounced perfume in the finish. Fine…!

2013 Meursault 1er Les Charmes
3 parcels of vines on average a little more from the bottom than the top.
Deep, vibrant, complex nose – I am engaged! Wide, fresh, insinuating intensity – lovely. Just gets wider and wider on the palate – even after you swallow, adding just a little complexity in the finish too. Excellent.

2013 Meursault-Blagny 1er Sous le dos d’Ane
At the limit of Meursault-Perrières (above) – in bottles 2 weeks.
Nose is just a little diffuse today. Big, mouth-filling, a mix of sweet fruit and fresh acidity, nicely textured and faintly rich with quite some dynamism. Lovely finishing too, again with just a phenolic touch of tannin. Super!

2013 Meursault 1er Genevrières
Contributions only from the higher part of this vineyard in 2013.
Clearly a Meursault nose, though rather discreet today. Mineral, complex and lithe – the flavour wraps around your palate. A lovely peak of fresh mid-palate flavour too. Long and super…

2013 Chassagne-Montrachet
11 parcels.
A fresh, faintly herby Chassagne nose but a with a nice citrus core too. Direct and fresh but a wine that really opens out in the mid palate that is sweetly mineral and with an accent of tannin. Really lovely…

2013 Chassagne-Montrachet Les Pierres
A much tighter aromatic. In the mouth the shape and line is similar to the last wine but with just a little extra richness of fruit – still mineral and fresh though – also much more perfumed in the finish. Very yum..

Two domaine wines: bottled at the end of February:

2013 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Clos St.Marc
One of three proprietors – in Vergers.
More aromatic intensity – clean lines of Chassagne aroma. Fresh, direct and concentrated. The smooth texture slowly catching up. Perfectly packaged and slightly perfumed finishing fruit – lovely wine.

2013 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Abbaye de Morgeot
A little tighter, more depth perhaps to this nose though. Bigger and a little sweeter in the mouth – but still with a lovely acid-led balance and lightness of touch – despite great intensity. Super wine. This holds very well in the finish…

2013 Puligny-Montrachet
Made from about 35 different parcels; some domaine though mainly bought, and covering virtually all the lieu-dits of Puligny. Bottled only last week.
A tight aromatic but the palate makes up for it with fresh attack and nice complexity for a villages – there’s lovely energy here.

2013 Puligny-Montrachet Les Enseignières
Faint but pleasing freshness to the aromatic. A little more direct acidity and super freshness – really intensely flavoured – wow! A mouth-watering waterfall of a villages…

2013 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Champ Gain
This and the next wine bottled just after mid-Feb.
Fresh and very engaging aromas. Silky despite some gas. Direct and concentrated. Really excels in the mid-palate and finish where there’s a super extra dimension of flavour. Really super wine.

2013 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Referts
A faint extra ripeness on the nose. A little more attack, with a deeper register of flavours too. A wine that gets wider and wider, longer and longer with the same complexity of the Champ Gain. More powerful wine here though.

2013 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Folatières
Wide and fresh, and the first wine with just a suggestion of creamy oak. Very wide in the mouth with super freshness. The flavour goes on and on, surfing a beautiful acidity. Lovely, lovely…
2013 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Les Pucelles
Here is a more discreet yet wider nose. More gas but also with a more lithe and mineral impression. Indeed very much more mineral, with a special intensity of mid-palate flavour. This just holds and holds. A brilliant length, brilliant wine.

2013 Bienvenues Bâtard-Montrachet
From a long-term contract.
Not the most demonstrative nose, yet highly engaging and complex with a faint undertow of sweet barrel. Very wide on the palate, with a quickly growing intensity too – seems to get wider even after you swallow. The flavour continues to bloom – super…

2013 Bâtard-Montrachet
Domaine vines.
Interestingly, a more direct and fresh aroma that’s a little mineral. Super-complex, a wine that just holds and holds and holds the flavour. An ever-present. Brilliant!
2013 Corton-Charlemagne
One barrel from each village – low yields in 2013 as normally there are two barrels from each village. Bottled early March – as were all the GCs.
A deeper aromatic. Muscled, vibrant flavour, more mineral with fine but not over-emphasised energy. Joyous mid-palate flavour. Simply excellent.
2013 Montrachet
From the same source as my favourite from last year – Latour – lets see!
Depth of aroma coupled with a little reduction. Just a little distracting gas to start. There is weight of flavour, flavour that slowly fills ever corner of your mouth. More and more dimensions of flavour. Concentrated and with a fine texture. The intensity of flavour is an ever-present. Nicely mineral the flavour clings to my teeth. Another dimension.

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?

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