A Bourgogne and a Grand Cru that drink like a 1er Cru

  • 2005 Domaine Leflaive Bourgogne Blanc - France, Burgundy, Bourgogne Blanc (5/24/2012)
    Probably the best Bourgogne Blanc on the planet although Roulot’s version comes close in cetain vintages. This drinks like an outstanding Village Puligny or even a pretty decent 1er Cru. There’s some nougat to the aoma along with preserved lemons, ripe peach and spiced pear. It is full and voluminous in the mouth with fruits that have just a hint of honey drizzled over them. It continues to build in the glass and the finish is cleaned up by a little tangerine and grapefruit acidity.
  • 2008 Domaine Armand Rousseau Père et Fils Charmes-Chambertin - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru (5/24/2012)
    A strong scent if Gevrey meat greets the nose. Some coaxing in the glass and the fruits, very much red fruits, come out to play. There are cherries, cranberries and pomegranate flavours and whilst it is only a mid-weight Grand Cru it is fine, lacy, ethereal and persistent. There’s a lot to like about this wine today but it is impeccably balanced with a nice whip of tart acidity and I think it will really shine in after a decade or two in the cellar.

Posted from CellarTracker

I agree about Leflaive’s Bourgogne Blanc. Just wish it was easier to find, and cheaper. But the fact that the parcel is domaine owned and probably rather small reduces the quantity produced, I suppose, but also gives it more individuality and definition.

And nice to hear a good report on Rousseau’s Charmes Chambertin. Decades ago this used to be rather thin and unsubstantial, but that changed somewhere along the line. I remember being surprised at how good the '98 was.

I loved that 2005 Leflaive Bourgogne Blanc, unfortunately I’ve already drunk them all! Anyone have an onion on if it is worth the money to step up to the Puligny-Montrachet (which I’ve never had)? I always skip to the 1er Crus.

Is the Leflaive Bourgogne Blanc the wine that was panned here recently from the 2009 vintage for being fat and lazy?

Leflaive Bourgogne Blanc is insane at $40 and less. With time the Villages and 1er Cru show their relative greatness, but in raw youth the Bourgogne is just NUTS. Special props to 2004, but I have had several vintages and am always grabbed.

The '99 and '02 Leflaive BB have impressed of late…

  • 2002 Domaine Leflaive Bourgogne Blanc - France, Burgundy, Bourgogne Blanc (5/8/2012)
    WOW this is bright, fresh and alive! Almost tropical…the yellow fruit(some green apple) is ripe and bright, with a nice snap to it. Seems like 3-4yrs old? Loaded with lemon, sweet grapefruit, citrus acidity…as well as crushed stones, and salty/chalky minerals. Pretty round in the mouth, with a piercing, spicy finish. Even shows Leflaive complexities of smoke and honey…dried apple rings. I’m REALLY digging this! Better than the '02 PM I had last month! I’d get a case of this if I found some… (93 pts.)

  • 1999 Domaine Leflaive Bourgogne Blanc - France, Burgundy, Bourgogne Blanc (2/21/2012)
    These are always fun…never know what you’re going to get with an aged simple Bourgogne…except this is Leflaive! Nice golden yellow color with a little green glow…aromatically challenged…no sign of any ox…super! Pretty creamy feel…GREAT feel! Fresh pitted fruit, apple skin…vibrant and tangy with crushed rock and sour tart citrus. Has a mellow flow to it…with with subtle flavors of honey and smoked hazelnut, dried apple rings, Captn Crunch cereal…the right amount of crisp floral citrus acidity through the finish. A simple sipper, with some aged complexity, Leflaive style! Like it! (92 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker

Going after some 2008 for $39!


I opened a 2008 Rousseau Clos de la Roche last week. Its red fruited too but has stuffing. Clearly not lean. It has lots of acidity that just pinches it in the end but having tasted it last year I gather it is in a shutting down phase. I need to back away from the 2008 and let them sleep for another decade. I will try some 2007s from Rousseau which most here on this board think are more open and forward.

is the Olivier at the same level of quality as a general rule?

I’ve researched this wine a few times, tempted because of Leflaive’s reputation. No one local to me carries it, so I can’t just buy the odd sampler to try, and have to rely on reviews. Meadows always scores this wine in bourgogne-villages range (87-88 or so). Obviously, I should just ignore the points, but I’m curious why they’re so low for a wine the distinguished folks here like so well - especially Jeremy, who gets around a bit in Burgundy circles. Biased by classification? Doesn’t show well young? Not Meadow’s style in white?

No. I like his wines, but for me, not near the same level.

I am no expert but I’ll give you my take on this based on limited experience. The Leflaive Bourgogne does not have the concentration, complexity or finesse of top white Burgundies, but it has genuine white Burg texture and structure that is hard to find in Bourgogne Blanc and often higher. I can see why it ends up ranked as it is if the peer group is Leflaive, but on an absolute scale it’s pretty impressive.

It’s just the way most critics rate Bourgogne Ian, usually falling somewhere between 86-89 points, then they give the village wines somewhere between 88-92 points, the 1er Crus somewhere between 89-94 points and the Grand Crus 90-99. You can add or subtract a point or two for supposed better or worse vintages. I don’t really know why people bother waiting for points because for any producer I reckon the same wines get within 1 or 2 points every year!

Regardless of points, this 05 was drinking right in the zone and looked like a good 1er Cru, as does the 96 and the 98 is no slouch either from a difficult vintage.

Best Regards

Agreed Jeremy. Thank you for the notes. Very timely since I just had some '08 Rousseau arrive from a caveau in Burgundy. Was thinking of popping a 2007 Rousseau Charmes Chambertin in a couple weeks, have you had any experience with the '07 and if so, would you expect it to be drinking well now?

To add to what Jeremy said, the Domaine Leflaive Bourgogne Blanc has its own distinct personality that tends to consistently express itself in almost every vintage that is rare to find in this modest appellation: it is uniformly rich, deep, complex, well balanced and long with a very gentle use of very high quality oak, more than satisfying levels of fruit, noteworthy minerality, and ample acidity and in many vintages it drinks well young, in middle age and at 10 or 12 years old or more. For me, it’s a desert island wine, but then again I don’t drink a lot of mature top notch grand cru white burgundy.

So, what Jeremey says (and others have seconded) makes sense intuitively - classification bias. But you make a good point, too: tasted along-side Leflaive’s higher-classification wines, no doubt the Bourgogne is shaded out to some extent.

David - Of white Burgundy, I pretty much only buy Chablis any more - can’t make myself quit - and maybe a little Pernand-Vergelesses. Though I’m just now adding de Villaine’s whites to by regular ‘buy’ list.