Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet 2011
For many the greatest white wine producer in Burgundy and the world, Domaine Leflaive is an icon of biodynamic wine-making and low-impact farming and living. Anne-Claude Leflaive, who sadly died in 2015, introduced biodynamics to the domain’s vineyards in the early 1990’s. For a Domain as famous and important as this to take the then unproved risk to convert helped create a standard and inspiration for others across the wine world.
For me, the wines of Leflaive are special experiences that bridge the gap between pleasure and aesthetic appreciation. Great Chardonnay is inherently delicious and less intellectual than Pinot Noir or Nebbiolo; however, Leflaive does not rely on deliciousness to deliver impact. Though the wines are undoubtedly drinkable in the extreme, they compel because of their subtler qualities.
This 2011 village Puligny was, when I consumed it a few weeks ago, in a stunning drinking window. The experience was an excellent example of high level sommelier skills. I had originally ordered a Ramonet Chassagne but was steered to this wine by Bryant at Hawksworth as it was in a better place – the key is always seeking to elevate a diner’s experience. Bryant could have easily just sold me what I ordered, but my experience likely would have been lesser on that particular day.
2011 seems to be in a great place right now for Leflaive, and this particular wine exemplified everything great about the estate – subtle and deep complexity, expressive and balanced. A masterful wine.