"We worried about mildew in 2010, especially in our younger vines," said winemaker Eric Remy, "but the material was healthy at the harvest, with the exception of some young vines in Santenay, which suffered from the storm on September 12. We started picking on September 17, and since the showers had caused the botrytis to advance, we picked quickly, in seven days." Remy noted that the 2010s began with a bit less malic acidity than the 2008s and finished their fermentations with less than one gram per liter of residual sugar. Thus they display less sucrosite than the 2008s, he added. A few of the 2010s were in the middle of their malos at the end of May and were impossible to assess. "The 2010s will age on their concentration of material rather than on their alcoholic degrees," Remy told me. He feels that 2009 is a very good vintage that will be attractive to drink young but is unlikely to last as long as the 2008s. "We lacked cool nights in August, but this was partly compensated for by the mineral energy of the wines."

2010 Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatieres

(just about finished with its secondary fermentation):  Pale, clear yellow.  Pretty aromas of white peach and flowers; smells lively!  Chewy yet smooth on the palate, with a strong juicy quality and good inner-mouth tension.  This distinctly saline wine is not yet displaying its personality but there's excellent intensity here.  (The Puligny villages, Puligny Clavoillons and Meursault Sous Le Dos d'Ane were in the middle of their malos.)


2010 Domaine Leflaive Bienvenues-Batard-Montrachet

(malo finished):  Bright, palish yellow.  High-pitched, slightly exotic aromas of mandarin orange and white flowers.  Supple, lightly saline and seamless, with classically dry flavors of soft citrus fruit dominating.  Very smooth, young wine with a long, vibrant aftertaste.  (The Puligny-Montrachet Combettes and Pucelles were in the middle of their malolactic fermentations but both looked to be very successful and built for a slow evolution in bottle.)

2010 Domaine Leflaive Batard-Montrachet

(malo done):  Bright yellow.  Sexy nose combines lemon, lime, crushed stone, fresh herbs and suggestions of nut oil and honey.  Sappy and dense but at the same time elegant, with a light touch to the broad, mouthcoating flavors.  Perfectly integrated acidity and a lively orange oil note give this grand cru a captivating piquancy.  Beautifully balanced and very long.


2010 Domaine Leflaive Montrachet

(just one barrel made; malo finished):  Pale medium yellow.  Superripe aromas of apricot, menthol and clove.  Ripe and oily, conveying the solidity of a red wine.  There's a honeyed character to the yellow fruit, spice and clove flavors.  Most impressive today on the chewy, rising aftertaste, which saturates the mouth with dried fruits.  A powerfully structured wine that's at the same time lush, smooth and light on its feet.  (The Chevalier-Montrachet was full of appley malic acidity.)


2009 Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet

($105) Pale, green-tinged yellow.  Peach, flowers and hazelnut on classic Puligny nose.  Then sweet and fruity in the mouth, with very ripe stone fruit flavors complicated by hints of honey and menthol.  The dusty, slightly aggressive finish displays excellent density and an intriguing flinty character.  Boasts impressive volume for village wine.

2009 Domaine Leflaive Meursault Sous le Dos d'Ane

($155) Pale yellow.  Expressive nose offers ripe peach and an exotic soft citrus quality.  Silky, dry and rich, with a distinctly honeyed ripeness.  The juicy finish is buttressed by dusty minerality but this broad wine could nonetheless use a bit more mid-palate cut.  These vines were planted in 1995 and 2004.

2009 Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet Clavoillon

($145) Bright yellow.  Pineapple and honey on the nose and palate.  A fleshy, rich fruit bomb in a distinctly fat, broad style.  The pineapple flavor is firmed on the end by a citric quality but today this wine comes across as rather unrefined for a Leflaive premier cru.  Made from big berries and well-aerated clusters, noted winemaker Remy, who said the pH of 3.3 was the highest among the 2009s.

2009 Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatieres

($215) Bright yellow.  Lovely floral lift to the soft citrus and vanilla aromas.  Plenty of fruit here too, but this shows better grip and lift than the Clavoillons, more life in the mouth.  At once lush and energetic, and firm and long on the aftertaste.  Less obviously 2009 in style.


2009 Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet Les Combettes

($225) Pale yellow with a green tinge.  Musky, discreet nose hints at lime and nut oil.  Dense, ripe and lush; shows sweet notes of vanilla and hazelnut but this is very tightly coiled today in the mid-palate.  Explosive on the back end, finishing with excellent breadth and flavor intensity and a slightly tannic impression.  Terrific volume here.


2009 Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet Les Pucelles

($260) Medium yellow.  Ripe stone fruit and honey on the nose.  Fat and sweet but not quite as large-scaled as the Combettes, showing stone fruit and spice flavors.  Best today on the insidiously long finish, which really saturates the palate with flavor.  Plenty of verve here; still, I'd serve most of these 2009s a bit cooler than usual.


2009 Domaine Leflaive Bienvenues-Batard-Montrachet

($410) Bright medium yellow.  Pungent aromas of citrus fruits, white peach and crushed stone.  Sweet but with a light touch to its peach and lime flavors.   Bright acidity gives this tightly wound wine lovely balance.  Finishes chewy and dry, with considerable elegance.  Shows the cru more than the vintage.


2009 Domaine Leflaive Batard-Montrachet

($430) Bright, green-tinged yellow.  Lime, powdered stone and mint on the nose, along with a buttery nuance.  Dense, saline, sappy and intensely flavored; offers very good cut for a wine with such breadth and richness.  The white peach and lime tea flavors are complemented by a hint of exotic fruits.  Much more powerful and chewy than the Bienvenue (this is 13.5% alcohol), not to mention more structured.  Finishes with a whiplash of mirabelle, honey and jasmine.


2009 Domaine Leflaive Chevalier-Montrachet

($545) Bright yellow.  Crystallized lemon peel, licorice and stony minerality on the nose.  Dense but juicy on entry, then concentrated and brisk in the middle, with penetrating flavors of yellow fruits, minerals and crushed stone.  Powerfully built but quite tight today; not as broad as the Batard but boasts terrific verve for the year.  A distinctly vertical style of wine that gives an impression of strong sucrosite and firm acidity, almost in the style of a 2008.  Wonderfully harmonious wine in the making, but lay it down.

(Wilson-Daniels, St. Helena, CA)
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