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Burgundy's One & Only: 2020 Domaine Leflaive
Accept no substitutes. It would be challenging to argue there is a more revered white wine domaine in France than Domaine Leflaive. The late Anne-Claude Leflaive was a great champion of organic and biodynamic viticulture. Although she was not the first in Burgundy, she was certainly one of the most high-profile names to lead by example. She took Leflaive to full biodynamic farming in 1997, and her passion for the vines led many other Burgundy greats to follow suit.
From Bourgogne Blanc to Montrachet, there is simply no estate that captures this golden zone of Puligny-Montrachet quite like Domaine Leflaive. Here, you'll find perfectly executed reduction, dream-like balance, and a penetrating, saline-infused grip with dancing minerality on the palate to close things out.
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Old-Vine Puligny: 2020 Bachelet-Monnot
Being introduced to Marc and Alexandre Bachelet-Monnot's Puligny-Montrachet took me back to my first glass of Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey. It was clear this domaine, too, was destined for star status. In a short time, these young brothers have also put Maranges on many collectors' maps.
Bachelet-Monnot's Puligny Montrachet comes exclusively from old vines in four lieu dits: Les Corvées, Les Meix, Les Houillières, and Noyer Bret. This cuvée is a classic interpretation of Puligny with tension and ripe concentration. Following in PYCM's footsteps, Bachelet-Monnot chooses to ferment and age in larger barrels, with modest oak influence and a six-month stay in steel before bottling.
The Maranges Premier Cru reds are also stellar in every way, combining regal structure and finesse centered upon a core of pristine red and blue fruits. Maranges 1er Cru Fussières is a personal favorite for its energy and precision, sourced from Maranges' highest elevation vineyard.
Baby Bâtard-Montrachet: 2019 Florence Cholet
The careful study and delineation of Burgundy's vineyards over centuries mean there are secret cuvées to be had if you look close enough. Florence Cholet's Les Enseignères is precisely one of those wines whose magic is realized when you learn about this lieu dit's special real estate.
Puligny's Les Enseignères is located at the foot of Grand Cru Bâtard-Montrachet. As one can imagine, this site imbues the power and richness that Bâtard-Montrachet is famous for while still showcasing loads of saline-drenched minerality and verve. Truly a Puligny-Montrachet that delivers the regal frame and layered depth that's made it the most prized village for Chardonnay on the planet. Also, the Bourgogne Blanc is a new addition for us, sourced from Puligny-Montrachet and Meursault-adjacent vines.
2019 marks the domaine's transition from Christian Cholet-Pelletier to his daughter Florence Cholet. The winemaking at this four-generation domaine is traditional with a real focus on the vineyards. Neutral and second-year barrels are used for aging to minimize new oak influence. After one year in wood, the wine is moved to tank prior to bottling to ensure tension and structure remain highlighted.
I was fortunate enough to work alongside the Cholet-Pelletier family at various points during the 2012 growing season before my time at Domaine Dujac. It was at this domaine that I was introduced to Bernard Boisson. Like Boisson, these wines are produced in minuscule quantities. I've gone deep on the 2019 vintage, and there's no wine I've devoted more cellar space to than today's ultimate insider bottling.
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Crystal Clear: White Burgundy 2004 & 2007Capturing a white Burgundy at the perfect moment in evolution is an unrivaled experience. Fruit and salinity have melded together, while texture has unfolded and edges softened. Vintages that favor freshness over power have showed the greatest promise in aging slowly.
Today we take a close look at two vintages that have given me the most personal pleasure from their era. Highlighted are producers whose wines are built for the cellar. From Vincent Dauvissat in Chablis to Vincent Dancer in Chassagne-Montrachet this collection varies in appellations, but stylistically each producer is after shimmering clarity in their wines.
2004 had been a cool and cloudy vintage throughout the start of the growing season, but in mid July temperatures warmed with August and early September delivering dry and sunny weather. Chardonnay benefitted really well from the conditions that proved to be extremely challenging for Pinot Noir. The whites here have been crisp and mineral-driven from the start. Angular qualities to the wines have dissipated each year and at this point everything has fallen into place perfectly. A vintage that classicists have praised from the start and with time our fondness has only grown.
2007 was a rare case where Chardonnay flowered after Pinot Noir. Like 2004, this was a vintage where whites strived. August winds were a welcomed assist after very damp conditions in June and July. Growers who pushed harvest dates back were rewarded, as sugars needed more time to accumulate, and unlike Pinot Noir rot was not a threat for whites. Harvest took place for Chardonnay throughout cool, dry September days. A vintage that emphasizes purity of fruit, with clarity and site-specificity really pronounced. At 10 years of age this list is full of wines that are now showing their full spectrum of potential, with many years left for the cellar.
2004 Chandon de Briailles Corton Le Charlemagne
$127 per bottle.
2004 Colin-Deléger Chevalier Montrachet
$229 per bottle.
2004 Comtes Lafon Meursault 1er Cru Perrières
$421 per bottle.
2004 Dauvissat, Vincent Chablis
$78 per bottle.
2004 Etienne Sauzet Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Les Combettes
$149 per bottle.
2004 Leflaive Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Les Folatieres 1.5L
$499 per bottle.
2004 Matrot Meursault 1er Cru Perrières
$97 per bottle.
2004 Pierre Morey Meursault 1er Cru Perrières
$148 per bottle.
2004 Pierre Yves Colin-Morey Chevalier Montrachet
2004 Raveneau Chablis 1er Cru Butteaux
$249 per bottle.
2004 Roulot Meursault Les Meix Chavaux
$257 per bottle.
2004 Roulot Meursault Les Tillets
$271 per bottle.
2004 Vincent Dancer Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Tête du Clos
$149 per bottle.
2004 Vincent Dauvissat Chablis Les Preuses
$269 per bottle.
2004 Vogüé Bourgogne Blanc
$399 per bottle.
2007 Coche-Dury Bourgogne Blanc
$279 per bottle.
2007 Hubert Lamy Saint Aubin 1er Cru En Remilly
$99 per bottle
2007 Leflaive Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Les Combettes 1.5L
$499 per bottle.
2007 Pierre Yves Colin-Morey Chevalier Montrachet
$699 per bottle.
2007 Pierre Yves Colin-Morey Corton Charlemagne 1.5L
$674 per bottle.
2007 Pierre Yves Colin-Morey Meursault 1er Cru Goutte d'Or
$159 per bottle.
2007 Ramonet Bâtard-Montrachet
$388 per bottle.
2007 Simon Bize Savigny les Beaune Blanc 1er Cru Aux Vergelesses
$86 per bottle.
2007 Vincent Dancer Meursault 1er Cru Perrières
$229 per bottle.