We have tasted numerous Laflaive whites and would conclude that the hallmark style of Olivier Leflaive is ease, accessibility and charm. Laflaive's blending skills are excellent; therefore, Laflaive wines are harmonious and always easy to attempt when young and kept reasonably well. Reliable and delicious wines they make, but they are under global pressure to maintain good quality wines that will meet insatiable demands. Some vintages are off the mark a t times. However, all the individual wines, from varied soils and aspects, reveal markedly different characters.
For example, Olivier Leflaive Bourgogne Blanc Les Setilles 2019 is a super value. As if it has bottled the Côte d'Or in a glass, Les Setilles is from The 'secret recipe', known only to a select few, based on fruit from parcels across Puligny-Montrachet and Meursault, with a dash of other exceptional sources; hence the value is outstanding. The wine is expressive and prosperous for the class, silky on the palate with delicate, scintillating acids. Extensive barrel ageing makes it buttery and complex wine for the course.
Olivier Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet 2019 is straightforward to drink, in the good sense. This is one of the best sites in Puligny, this area of Laflaive is favourable to the grey truffles from Burgundy. The soil is very limestone and shallow, but also very poor. It is effortless to drink a wine of great distinction, mineral and gunflint, though—only 600 to 700 bottles.
Olivier Leflaive Chassagne-Montrachet 2019 is a rich and powerful wine with persistence and a nose dominated by aromas of acacia, sweet spices and white flesh ripe fruits. JS awards 93 points and writes, 'Very ripe pear aromas with a delicate touch of vanilla oak. The winemaker has worked successfully to conserve the fruit and freshness. So, although this has quite a rich texture on the mid-palate, the fine oak and lively acidity, plus a touch of mineral, make it satisfyingly energetic at the finish. Drink or hold.
Olivier Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Referts is considered Puligny's heart in all its power and minerality. Picking has to be later than other junior Pulignies to wait. The decision to delay harvesting has paid off for Referts, as it is harmonious, 'complete'. With even more structure and substance, the wine is immediately expressive on entry, halting momentarily on the midpalate, tension gathering before the charge of minerals floods the mouth. Sophisticated and refined, everything in its place. To add knowledge about the wine, Allen Meadows awards AM95 to this 2019 vintage and writes, 'Moderate reduction is sufficient to mask the underlying fruit today. More interesting are the wonderfully fine and delicate yet punchy flavours that possess a highly sophisticated mouthfeel before culminating in sappy saline and a strikingly persistent finish. I like the balance, and this beauty may prove to be a great Combettes in time. *Burghound Sweet Spot Outstanding!* (6/2021). Edited. A must-buy, in our view, if you like this style.
2013 Domaine Leflaive Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru is awarded 93-96 points Allen Meadows - Burghound, who writes *Don't Miss!* Here the nose is restrained to the point of being all but mute, and only aggressive swirling coaxes the grudging aromas of pear, white peach, apricot, acacia blossom and discreet menthol nuances. As is usually the case, there is more size, weight and muscle to the medium weight, plus flavours that hint of bitter lemon on the massively long finish. What I find interesting about the 2013 Bâtard is that it is more elegant than usual and manages to deliver so much volume and power without any appreciable weight. In a word, brilliant. (6/2015). Also, 93-95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, who writes, ' The 2013 Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru, like many from this vineyard, has an expressive and, compared to other vintages, you could almost say extravagant bouquet, bridled with intense citrus lemon, freshly sliced pear, limestone and even a faint touch of peppermint. The palate is intense on the entry with more depth than the Bienvenue at this stage. There is a pinch of spice here, shaved ginger adding a bit of fire at the front of the tongue, then attractive stony notes finally revealed on the finish and the aftertaste. Superb - for me, perhaps superior to 2012. (NM( (12/2014)
lAST BUT NOT lEAST, ' 93 points Vinous, who writes, "Deeper-pitched on the nose than the Bienvenue, offering musky, slightly reduced scents of very ripe peach and grilled nuts. Sweet, large-scaled and powerful but youthfully laid-back today. More tannic than the Bienvenue, but the strong finishing flavours of pear and minerals titillate the retronasal passage. Still a baby. 93+ (ST) (9/2015). edited
Deep ruby with tight rim, Bold, ripe black fruit(plum, blackcurrants). Spicy(black and white peppers. Big-but there elegances and complexities. The quite
structured palate reflects the nose but is much savoury, earthy, Licioriced and smoky. Still balanced despite 14.5% ABV. Regum mensis arisque dcorum- yes- I'ssan is for the kings' tables and the gods' altars.
For 2011, the scores are pretty impressive, for example:
By Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 92 This dense ruby/purple-coloured blend of 72% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon tips out at a whopping 14.5%. From a top site, the Cote Pavie, this is a very fine 2011 with abundant cassis, kirsch, liquorice and loamy soil undertones. Its sweet tannin, plush opulence and medium to full-bodied feel are all impressive. Anticipated maturity: now-2028. Edited.
Decanter 95 Here, the high aromatics punch right out of the glass. Its excellent quality, juiciness, and a sense of restraint to the undoubtedly exuberant black fruits. A sense of freshness and fun runs through it, which will be great with food because of its high acidity. A liquorice edge and a saline kick to the finish make it highly mouthwatering. There's plenty to grab hold of here, and the vintage allows for an Issan that's approachable earlier than usual, and wine lovers should make the most of it. Edited.
We have not tasted this wine for over ten years, so relying on tasters' notes is better. Suffice it to say that the scores remain in the range of 94 to 96 points, for example. And what continues to impress us after all these years is the fruit complexity added from liquorice, menthol and fresh minerals, as well As the class and balance on the palate. There is adequate concentration, power, freshness and finesse. Also, the elegant tannins for this very fine and long wine.
One of my all-time favourite wines from Domaine de Chevalier is a silky, rather classic Pessac-Leognan with notes of scorched earth, tobacco leaf and black and red currants but no hard edges. Fragrant, complex aromatics are followed by a savoury, expansively flavoured wine made from a final blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot. The wine hit 13.5% natural alcohol, which must certainly be among the highest they have ever achieved, even eclipsing 2009. This beauty can be drunk in 5-6 years or cellared for 20 or more, an opulent, precocious style of wine that seems much more developed, complex, and delicious than I thought from the barrel. 95 Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (205), March 2013. Edited.
This shows beautiful aromas of flowers, raspberries and blackberries that follow through to an entire body with ultra-silky tannins and a long, long finish. It lasts for minutes. Best in 2018 or later. 96 James SuckingFebruary 2013. Edited.