An extensive tasting note on 2015 Domaine Leflaive from the midweek-drinking Macon-Verze to the highly regarded Chevalier Montrachet Grand Cru. It was a pleasure to taste the 2015 Domaine Leflaive wines with Brice de La Morandière, the managing director of Domaine Leflaive. Brice is also the nephew of the late Anne-Claude Leflaive, he was appointed position by shareholders after the death of Anne-Claude Leflaive.
2015 was a warm and sunny vintage in Burgundy, most producers made excellent wines from Pinot Noir. White wine producers had to work hard this year to avoid making flabby and overripe wines. Since World War II, there has only been three vintages where the Leflaive team started harvest in August, 2003, 2011 and 2015. The harvest started on the 28th August and the Leflaive team managed to pick the grapes early enough to retain good acidity without affecting the concentration.
Montrachet 0.082 ha, Chevalier Montrachet 1.99 ha, Batard Montrachet 1.91 ha, Bienvenues Batard Montrachet 1.15 ha, Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Les Pucelles 3.06 ha, Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Les Folatieres 1.26 ha, Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Les Combettes 0.73 ha, Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Clavoillon 4.79 ha, Meursault 1er Cru Sous Le Dos D’Ane 1.62 ha, Puligny Montrachet 4.64 ha, Macon Verze 9.33 ha, and Bourgogne Blanc 3.24 ha.
The Leflaive Macon Verze is the entry level wine of Domaine Leflaive, and not their Bourgogne Blanc. Since World War II, there has only been three harvests that began in August, 2003, 2001 and 2015. The Macon Verze vineyard has been cultivated biodynamically since 2004. The 2015 Macon Verze is light and pale, Supple but well-made. Pretty citrus and elegant tree fruits, not much intensity or concentration, some grip and fine acidity on the palate. Drink now to 2026. Quaffable. (80/100)
Bourgogne Blanc 2015
The Leflaive Bourgogne Blanc is a great introduction to the Leflaive house style, subtle reduction with nice and refreshing citrus and pear fruits, a lovely zing on the palate with hints of rubbery lees. The Leflaive Bourgogne Blanc comes from two lieu-dits, Les Houlières and Les Parties. A total of 3.24 hectares. This 2015 Bourgogne Blanc offers a sense of elegance of Puligny Montrachet on the palate with barely any observable overripeness from this vintage. Drink now and over the next 6-8 years. (84/100)
Puligny Montrachet 2015
The Leflaive Puligny Montrachet is a blend of 7 parcels within Puligny Montrachet, it is a significant step up from the Bourgogne Blanc in terms of intensity, lift, and flavour density. The 2015 Leflaive Puligny Montrachet is still a bit shy but the elegance is apparent. Beautifully layered flavours of cool but ripe pears, lemon, white flowers. Medium weight and refreshing acidity, lovely airy minerals on the palate with a focused finish. Drink from 2020 to 2030. (87-88/100)
Meursault 1er Cru Sous Le Dos d’Ane 2015
The 2015 Leflaive Meursault 1er Cru Sous Le Dos d’Ane did not impress me much, initially it only showed a slight step up from the 2015 Leflaive Bourgogne Blanc, a bit more ripeness than the Puligny Montrachet village but not as generous with the fruits. It carries a Premier Cru weight on the palate, slightly oily with zingy ripe citrus. The Leflaive Puligny Montrachet appears to be a more balanced wine and more than 20% cheaper. This vineyard used to be planted with Pinot Noir, Blagny 1er cru. (86-87/100)
Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Clavoillon 2015
The Puligny Montrachet Clavoillon is a significant step up to their Meursault Sous Le Dos d’Ane, more substance here with the Clavoillon. According to Brice de la Morandière, Clavoillon is underrated and has actually gained the most from biodynamic farming. The 2015 Puligny Montrachet Clavoillon offers a refined nose of ripe pear, citrus, hints of stone fruits and subtle reduction. Nice oak integration with good energy on the mid-palate. Transparent minerals with a lovely texture. Good precision. (89-91/100)
Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Les Folatieres 2015
The Leflaive Puligny Montrachet Les Folatieres is a textbook example of a good Puligny Montrachet, located in the centre of Puligny Montrachet, it offers a classic refined fruits and minerals. This 2015 Puligny Montrachet Les Folatieres exhibits good richness on the nose. It needed some swirling to reveal its latent energy. Elegant creamy fruits, lily spring flowers, lemon tart and inner spices. A lovely concentration with supple salinity and minerality that lingers. Refreshing acidity. (90-92/100)
Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Les Combettes 2015
The vines at Leflaive’s Les Combettes are very old and vines produce millerandage grapes, naturally the yields are very old from this plot. Domaine Leflaive owns a mere 0.73 ha plot in Les Combettes. The fruits in this 2015 Puligny Montrachet Les Combettes appear to be rounder and weightier than their Les Folatieres, not as nuanced some might argue. Subtle ripe citrus, stuck match character with good depth, round and chubby on the palate. A bit nervous. Drink from 2027 onwards. (90-91/100)
Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Les Pucelles 2015
The Leflaive Puligny Montrachet Les Pucelles is my favourite wine of their Premier Cru range, it is by far the most complex and sophisticated Premier cru wine Leflaive has to offer. The 2015 Leflaive Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Les Pucelles is restrained, it needed more time in the glass to show well. It is already showing its refinement with expansive minerals on the palate. Charming floral notes with exotic orchard fruits and lingering flavours. Les Pucelles is knocking on Grand Cru doors. (92-93/100)
Bienvenues Batard Montrachet 2015
The 2015 Bienvenues Batard Montrachet was surprisingly approachable for a Grand Cru at its age. Beautifully laced stone fruits, scented white flowers, smoked peach and in-depth tones of reduction and pear fruits. Very well rounded with good complexity. Good lift with more elements to offer than the Premier Cru Pulignys, yet a feminine Grand Cru with refreshing acidity. The warmer and more generous fruits really suit the Bienvenues Batard Montrachet in this vintage. (93-95/100)
Batard Montrachet 2015
The Leflaive Batard Montrachet is a blend of parcels from both Chassagne Montrachet and Puligny Montrachet sides. Only 10 hl/ha of yield on this Batard Montrachet this vintage. The 2015 Leflaive Batard Montrachet is a bit more reserved than their Bienvenues Batard Montrachet, gorgeous in-depth stone fruits, ripe citrus and yellow fruits. Masculine with classic struck match character and airy minerals on the palate. Great electricity and zingy spices that lingers. (94-95/100)
Chevalier Montrachet 2015
The 2015 Leflaive Chevalier Montrachet is the most sophisticated wine of the three Grand Cru (not including the Montrachet, which was not tasted). Leflaive owns 3 parcels in Chevalier Montrachet, a total of 1.99 ha. This 2015 Chevalier Montrachet offers bright orchard fruits, subtle struck match, stone fruits, summer flowers and a sense of refined flinty minerals. Great energy and superb complexity. It is powerful without being pronounced, focused with stunning purity. (95-96/100)