Olivier Leflaive – 2017


Tasted in Puligny-Montrachet with Frank Grux, 07 November 2018.

Olivier Leflaive
Place du Monument
21190 Puligny-Montrachet
Tel: +33 3 80 21 95 27

Frank on 2018:
2018 – The year was generous, and the possibility was always there in the buds despite everyone saying there will be no wine! The growth was fast and homogenous, red and white. Early flowering areas had no problems, the later flowers a bit less so. In reds it was good, not excessive. The whites there was a lot overall. The summer was warmest for 70 years – in line with 2003 – it was like Marseille here. We had big grapes, in the basket you could feel the weight. Everyone made their choice re picking dates: The rain that came at the end of the month was good for the vineyards, but clearly not helpful for the already high volumes. The balance is still quite good so let’s see if they are good as they form wines… It’s always possible to compare to 82, 90, and 2009 and of course I’d prefer to have 10 hl/ha less in the whites but let’s see what the wines will bring.

Frank on 2017:
Last year still had a big frost problem, but it’s not a big volume in 2017. Phenolically it’s a correct vintage, but the maturity was far from linear, it came in blocks, which is why it was less easy to pick a harvest date. We harvested the last days of August. The 2017 lees consumed a little extra sulfur, so perhaps a vintage that could be less stable to oxidation(?) I’m not saying that it’s fragile, but it’s a vintage where I think that more prudence in the cellar will not be a bad thing. We shall see.

The wines…

The team, here, continue to make great wine – 2017 is almost as good as their magnificent collection of 2016s – there is not the same emotion as I found in their 2016s, but these 2017s are nonetheless great!

2017 Bourgogne Blanc Les Sétilles
Not a big volume in 2017 – 40-50 hl/ha for this wine depending on the particular parcel. About 65 parcels, 95% in barrel, this in the first of two bottlings, all done – about 10-11% new oak
Hmm – wide – faintly floral with a very fine invitation to drink. Supple, some richness, beautiful layers of intense but comforting flavours. Simply delicious, excellent Bourgogne.

2017 Bourgogne Blanc Oncle Vincent
5 parcels, 4 are domaine, all barrel, all from the commune of Puligny bottled in august 15% new wood.
An extra vibrance and purity of aroma. More volume, more subtle, many-faceted aspects of energy and mouth-watering flavour. Hmm a super moreish mid-palate flavour of cushioned citrus flavour. Bravo, only in the finish a touch of floral flavour shows…

2017 Chablis Les Deux Rives
‘A relatively anecdotal volume of Chablis, for us.’ As the name suggests grapes from both banks, 4 areas – bottled end of July
Hmm – earth, mineral-laden – very classic. All tank elevage. A hint of gas, plenty of volume in the mouth, bubbling, fine energy, classically saline – delicious. Good persistence.

2017 Montagny 1er Cru
An assembly of three parcels, 10% elevage in tank
A deeper nose suggesting a touch of reduction. Also in the mouth, a roundness of ripe fruit fresh, the reduction almost reminds a hint of Pernand, great finishing – ooh that’s good – a buy!

2017 Beaune Clos des Mosnières
Take the road to Booze above the trees on the mountain looking towards Pommard – south facing, long planted to pinot, this chardonnay now 25-30 years old. All barrel about 20% new, bottled August. Leflaive also do the vineyard work here.
Deep nose, a little reductive. Again a touch of gas, but here is lots of volume, melting flavour of rather nice faintly spiced complexity and very wide and tasty finish – delicious.

2017 Pernand-Vergelesses
A small volume this year – grapes from 4 producers
A modestly intense nose, but there’s fine clarity, and width. Volume, a suggestion of minerality, salinity for sure, that slightly reductive style of flavour that I associate with Pernand, beautiful clarity – this is delicious, with a hint of finishing phenolic texture.

2017 St.Romain​​
This the assembly of 4 different parcels – there’s a single lieu-dit cuvée too here.
Hmm – bright, slightly reductive, wide and highly attractive nose. Much more gas, but volume and interesting flavour. Light airy complexity very tasty but I’ve found more appeal in the previous wines.

2017 Auxey-Duresses​ La Macabree
A great name – vines near Meursault Les Vireuils – 3 vines assembles, one young, two old (40-60)
Hmm, deeper, more concentrated – very inviting nose. Energy, some gas again – quite a bit in these cuvées today. Lovely impact, the mid and finishing flavours are a delight and persistent too – just a trace of reduction in the depth. This is great…

2017 St.Aubin 1er En Remilly
The last bottled wine that we taste, the malo was done rather quickly hence this was bottled –
Deep, a faintly biscuit nose. Gas, but less, wide, melting, beautiful clarity and super, intensity. Waves of deliciousness spread across the finishing palate – simply super fine here. Excellent!

All those that follow are still in tank or some in barrel:

2017 Meursault
The assembly wine – relatively representative of the final cuvée, no fining, planning to bottle in January
A modest but pure nose. The palate is wide, fresh, exciting, very open with a lovely touch of texture. Vibrant finishing, simply delicious wine. Bravo!

2017 Meursault Clos de La Velle
Organic culture, bought as grapes
A little more depth to this nose, narrower, faintly reductive – attractively so. Some gas, a little more volume, bigger, melting, super again with this vibrant finishing impression – less interesting than the last – marginally – until a great finish – excellent!

2017 Meursault Les ​Vireuils
A little higher and lower parts combined
Vibrant and agrume reductive. A bit too much gas and reduction to say lots until the mid and finishing flavour, here is a long line of simply beautiful flavour with a touch of phenolic texture. Much potential here…

2017 Meursault Tillets
Older vines than the last – 50-60 years. Less yield – three parcels
A nmore complete nose, still touched by the agrume style. Gas, but also a more open and delicious pure style – great. Bravo a touch of floral and spiced in the finish.
2017 Chassagne-Montrachet
Close to the final assembly – 7 parcels, 3 are domaine.
Hmm – that’s beautiful – a cushioned minerality and inviting purity of aroma. Gas like all but a bigger shape here – a mouthful of delicious, fresh, well-concentrated flavour – such a classic selection at this producer in 2017. Vibrant and concentrated finishing – Bravo.

2017 Puligny-Montrachet
Like the Chassagne and Meursault, practically all present and correct for the final assembly.
A faint reduction, less volume but with a twist of reduction in the depth. Gassy. Ooh – clarity, bright but not excessive – more tension of-course. Ooh that’s a great finish. I don’t know if I like this more than the Chassagne – that wine is more ready today, but this will be so rewarding – excellent.

2017 Puligny-Montrachet Les Levrons
35-50 year old vines. Some of this will still go into the assembly of the last wine – making it even better?
Ooh – such an inviting nose of agrumes but not overtly reductive. Gas. More direction here, more overt citrus complexity. Layers, indeed waves of finishing complexity – this is a real honey – bravo!
2017 Puligny-Montrachet Les Enseignières
Normally from 4 different parcels. Like the last some of this will go into the villages assembly, vines abutting Bâtard and Bienvenues. Practically the only area here that suffered from the frost in 2017 – still not a bad volume, but lessened all the same.
A narrower but super-fine nose – super inviting. Open, airy, no gas, lithe, fine muscle, complex and absolutely fine. A beautiful tensioned line of finishing, mineral inflected flavour – oh this is great!
2017 Meursault 1er Sous le Dos d’Âne
Domaine of-course.
Aromatic volume, clarity, reducto-agrume – a fabulous invitation. Extra volume, melting, intense but never sharp, long, complex – an absolute beauty – also at their cousin’s address this year too. Bravo.

2017 Meursault 1er Les Charmes
All purchased but all three levels of the vineyard though still a small cuvee for here.
Fuller wider but not more aromatic volume – tighter. A little gas, some spice here – not just Meursault spice, also barrel but très modest. Layers of sufficiently fresh flavour, this is more contemplative than many, but such a delicious panorama of fine flavour – pure Meursault flavour. This requires a different mood to the Dos d’Âne and I usually have that latter mood, but this is not a wine to avoid – a beauty – but I preferred their 2016.

2017 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Les Vergers Clos St Marc
Decimated by frost last year
Ooh – that’s a beauty – depth, shimmering attractive fresh aromas. Good volume, melting complex flavour – less direct precision, but beautiful finishing, again with a touch of finishing phenolic – Franck is confident but I feel this behind the last two today.

2017 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Abbaye de Morgeot
Domaine vines. Old vines – one looking toward Chassagne, the other towards Santenay.
Hmm again not that wide but a lovely clarity of beautiful aroma. Volume and intensity, clarity, and such an invigorating flavour profile. Wow wine – bravo! I loved the 2016 of this too!

2017 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Les Referts
Harvested by the team here – two parcels.
A little less depth than the Abbaye de Morgeot but more width with the same fine clarity and energy. Volume in the mouth, melting, so deliciously melting, more an ingraining style of wine – there is energy but it’s less overt. A different but equally engaging character, top – you probably wouldn’t notice that it abuts Charmes!

2017 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Champs Canet
A single parcel
Vibrant, deep due to an attractive agrume. Gassy. Fine volume – quite mouth-filling. Fresh, melting, lots of energy, and fabulously lingering – the finish is completely great – same as in 2016.

2017 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Folatières
Three different purchases, 7 barrels
Ooh – transparent, mineral, a beautiful depth. Round, no gas, a little extra depth of flavour, beautifully vibrant, less intense note in the finish but beautiful wine.

2017 Domaine Puligny-Montrachet 1er Folatières
The domaine wine from peut bois
Also a very ready nose, a touch more of agrume here. Volume, extra energy, extra intensity of flavour, melting, more finishing width. Great wine!
2017 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Les Pucelles
Domaine. This and the last wine with elevage in larger barrels with about 25% new wood.
The nose is open and certainly less forceful than the last – beautiful notes below. More composed, vibrant all the same, lots of purity and weight. Less overt than the last but more depth. Wait longer for this but it’s clearly also great, a touch of barrel in the finish.
2017 Bienvenues Bâtard-Montrachet
In demi-muids, one year-old, still in barrel on lees
Wide, vibrant again, more reductive a little golden fruit. Super fresh volume, biscuity reduction – or perhaps that’s just the barrel, supple, layered, wow depth of concentrated finishing flavour oof! Such a reward for you here – and you can wait with confidence as all is DIAM here.
2017 Domaine Bâtard-Montrachet
2 plots, Chassagne and Puligny all domaine – lucky to have 11 barrels – this the blend
A silky precise nose – deep and vibrant – gorgeous. Volume – below is intensity, wait for the ensemble, waves and waves of finishing favour. The finish with the greatest volume – but no fat. Lingering.
2017 Montrachet
In tank one month, one-third new oak. All from Puligny side
Width, a slightly agrume reduction, a nose that’s behind the Bâtard today. Hmm. What to say – here is an extra clarity, and extra depth, still a little vibrance to the flavour in the middle. Broad finishing and simply persistent, incredibly persistent.

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