Tasted in Puligny-Montrachet with Franck Grux, 18 March 2021.
I’ve visited this domaine for a number of years but in one visit there’s only so much you can taste – and Olivier Leflaive is mostly known for their whites. Today I made a second visit to take a look at their not inconsiderable portfolio of reds!
Franck on reds and 2019:
“Reds are roughly 15% of our production here – that’s still nearly 20 cuvées – the whites and reds are always at a different stage of elevage so now is a good time to look at them. They were all bottled in December and January – we are still bottling some whites…
“All our reds are bought as grapes – just a little Chassagne and Bourgogne are domaine grapes plus a few small parts that contribute to other cuvées but we do the work in some of these vineyards too.
“In 2019 our only real problem was maturity – there were some high degrees but the grapes were not quite ripe. In the end, we had good acidities and I think the cold cellar helps us with that too – so we had quite late malos – not before March and not all finished before July. Only a small filtration was done but no fining. There’s a little pigeage but only a little – we were very prudent in 2019 – there was some remontage though. Slowly but surely…”
A very good range of reds, complimented by a couple of properly great reds!
2019 Bourgogne Rouge Cuvée Margot
Named after Olivier’s daughter. ‘Local grapes’ – a lot from Puligny some from Corpeau, Meursault and Volnay – a little wider too from Hautes Côtes, Chorey and Maranges – in total about 20 parcels, the grapes all mixed – only the Hautes Côtes has some separate elevage as it’s bought a week or two later.
Plenty of colour. A nose of depth, slightly powder – perhaps the glass. Round, clean, supple and fresh. A suggestion of darker barrel but it’s very well integrated. Long, yes a little barrel here but long and tasty. I’d wait 12 months for this – but a very fine Bourgogne.
2 parts of domaine and three other contracts.
That’s a dark colour. White pepper on the nose. Deep-flavoured, slightly reductive – a proper Chassagne tannin here – a little angular – not much grain but it’s present anyway. Get past a little tannic dryness and there’s a long and tasty wine here. Super finishing.
Three parcels – Pins, Combottes and Sous les Clous
Plenty of colour. Faintly reductive, faintly smoky dark nose. Hmm – mouth-filling, concentrated but with a nicely mouth-watering energy too. The faintly smoky oak is visible in the flavours too – but not strongly. Wide and chewy finishing. That’s a lovely wine
2019 Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Les Fichots Rouge
A darkness of fruit but faintly accented with a floral note too. Supple – beautifully textured wine – growing in mid-palate size and showing a small grain of tannin here. Lovely fishing energy – another chewy finish with tons of flavour. Excellent wine!
2019 Santenay 1er Passetemps
A single parcel of about 40-year-old vines
Tons of colour here. It’s mainly the smoky oak that’s showing on the nose – not a very forward nose to be fair. Really mouth-filling – super energy here a wine that grows and grows in the mouth. The tannin is present, hardly any grain, and hardly any dryness either. The finish is very tasty – not too energetic or angular – that’s a delicious finale and there’s no oak showing here…
Usually about 8 or 9 small parcels make up this wine a little Mitans and Gigotte 1ers included.
That’s another dark wine but immediately apparent is the extra floral quality of this wine. Mouth-filling – that’s quite a big wine – but fresh, mobile-flavoured again a little smoky barrel. Strongly finishing in small waves of flavour – the barrel still present but it will slowly fade. That’s very good.
2019 Volnay 1er Clos des Angles
A mix of vine ages – the grapes of the older vines not destemmed – equivalent to about 50% stems
As all these wines – full-coloured. Smoky oak and a little spice too. Full, very silky concentration here, layered flavour. That’s a wine to fall into – super wine – great finishing too.
2019 Volnay 1er Champans
The smoke is less visible on this nose – here’s a fine clarity of aroma – a little white pepper again. Here the wine has cooler fruit and a little more visible structure – this is more for keeping and shows a great finish. Lots of fine potential here.
A wide range of locations around Pommard a little whole-cluster included.
Peppery, floral aromatics. Easy over the palate, melting-style to the shape of this wine – modestly smoky from the barrel. Plenty of finishing tannin but not particularly drying – proper but very tasty Pommard…
That’s a nose that starts small and just grows and grows and grows – floral and gorgeous – super. Bright attack, fresh, beautifully silky. Oh yes, great wine – the oak still present but hardly visible – such a great wine!
From Grands Epenots.
This starts just a little meatier – becoming fresher more spiced to start than the floral style of the Pezerolles, but given time there are flowers here too – very pure violets. Extra width and extra energy here – with the Pezerolles you have the time to contemplate – with this wine you are directly in the game – no resting. Complex – full of energy – also great but a completely different experience!
2019 Pommard 1er Chaponnières
Lots of colour. Here is a more composed, deeper, nose – faintly peppery again – it must be the barrels – but wide with a clarity of dark fruit in the depth. Again silky but showing more structure – not angular though – chewy finishing. A wine that’s not just a bit more overtly structured but also a hint tighter. The material here is a match for those previous Pommards but less open – you will likely have to wait longer – I will only say ‘excellent’ but it could match the previous wines with time.
Depth of aroma – almost silky, the fruit a little redder. There’s a fine grain of tannin that frames this wine – but no dryness. Okay, a little right in the finish – the length is grand cru – very impressive but I like the Pommard 1ers even more. Very good Corton, all the same.