Domaine Leflaive Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru 2009
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
A charming, fleshy wine, the 2009 Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru offers up a generous bouquet of ripe citrus fruit, confit lemon, pears, warm bread, honeycomb and mandarin. On the palate, it's full-bodied, lavish and enveloping, with a textural attack, a rich and ample core of fruit and a long, expansive finish. This is a ripe but open-knit vintage of Leflaive's Chevalier, even though with 13.45% alcohol it's lower-octane than all the top vintages of the Pierre Morey era. If the wine has a fault, it's one extensible to the vintage as a whole: a lack of liveliness and tension.
The roots of the Leflaive family go back to 1717 when Claude Leflaive took up residence in Puligny-Montrachet, intent upon cultivating several acres of vineyards. The domaine, in its present form, was created by Joseph Leflaive between the years of 1910-1930, as a result of his successive purchases of vineyards and houses. Domaine Leflaive has been entirely a family domaine since its creation. Brice de La Morandière, great-grandson of the founder, Joseph Leflaive, represents the fourth generation at the head of the domaine. In 2015, after an international corporate career, he succeeded Anne-Claude, pioneer in biodynamics. It is with the same philosophy of respect for the great terroirs, humility toward the forces of nature and relentless pursuit of excellence in viticulture and in winemaking that the domaine will continue to grow in the future.
A legendary wine region setting the benchmark for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay worldwide, Burgundy is a perennial favorite of many wine lovers. While the concept of ‘terroir’ reigns supreme here—soil type, elevation and angle of each slope—this is a region firmly rooted in tradition. Because of the Napoleonic Code requiring equal distribution of property and land among all heirs, vineyard ownership in Burgundy is extremely fragmented, with some growers responsible for just one or two rows of vines. This system has led to the predominance of the "negociant"—a merchant who purchases fruit from many different growers to vinify and bottle together.
Burgundy’s cool, continental climate and Jurassic limestone soils are perfect for the production of elegant, savory and mineral-driven Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with plenty of acidity. Vintage variation is of particular importance here, as weather conditions can be variable and unpredictable. In some years spring frost and hail must be overcome.
The Côte d’Or, a long and narrow escarpment, forms the heart of the region, split into the Côte de Nuits to the north and the Côte de Beaune to the south. The former is home to many of the world’s finest Pinot Noir wines, while Chardonnay plays a much more prominent role in the latter, though outstanding red and white are produced throughout. Other key appellations include the Côte Chalonnaise, home to great value Pinot Noir and sparkling Crémant de Bourgogne. The Mâconnais produces soft and round, value-driven Chardonnay while Chablis, the northernmost region of Burgundy, is a paradise for any lover of bright, acid-driven and often age-worthy versions of the grape.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.