Thinking About White Burgundies
Posted: Aug 17, 2007 2:08pm ET
I had a number of interesting white Burgundies in Hong Kong that I was thinking about today, which made me think about white Burgs in general. Hong Kong’s real wine connoisseurs like all the big names in white Burgundies, but they seem to have a particular affinity for Domaine Leflaive
Here are my tasting notes on three wines I had in the last week:
2003 Domaine Leflaive Chevalier-Montrachet: Big, rich and round with lots of bright pineapple and butterscotch character with a minerally undertone. Full and soft but slightly one-dimensional. Not the most exciting grand cru I have had from the domaine at this stage. Needs time to open and develop. Try in three to four years. 93, non-blind.
1982 Domaine Leflaive Bâtard-Montrachet: I thought this wine was 20 years younger when it was served blind. Granted, it was very cold. But it is wonderfully fresh and rich still with bags of vanilla, apple, piecrust and honey character. It’s full and crisp and last for minutes on your palate. Perfect now and a long life ahead of it. 96, non-blind.2001 Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet
: Crisp and delicious now, this simple village white delivers plenty of minerally, apple character with hints of tropical fruit. It’s crisp and inviting. Absolutely delicious now. From a half bottle. 90, non-blind.
A couple of observations: Domaine Leflaive makes excellent whites in very hot years and the wines age very, very well. Look how tight the 2003 Chevailer was, while the 1982 Bâtard was still holding on beautifully. Meanwhile, I always like the village wines from the domaine. And the 2001 is one to look out for. They are usually good values.
Another wine that made me think was a 1990 Domaine des Comte Lafon Meursault Perrières
. If I am not mistaken, I originally tasted the wine for the magazine back in 1993, and it hasn’t changed much. Perhaps it is a little dull and fat. Here is my note from having tasted it in Hong Kong:
1990 Domaine des Comte Lafon Meursault Perrières: Thick and big with lots of buttery, mango and pineapple character. A little ponderous but rich and enjoyable. Needs drinking, 90, non-blind.
If I remember correctly, Dominique Lafon was one of the few winemakers back in the early 1990s that preferred his 1991 whites to his 1990s. The 1991s were much more open and more forward than the 1990s in general. But I think Lafon over did his 1990s picking a little too late and using a lot of oak. So he liked better his more subtle 1991. Any one else remembers that?
Hmmm … there’s nothing much better to pique your wine mind than great white Burgundies …