2018 Leflaive Macon-Verze Les Chenes
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Wine Critic Reviews for 2018 Leflaive Macon-Verze Les Chenes
The 2018 Mâcon-Verzé Les Chenes is airy and gracious in the glass. Ripe pear, apricot, jasmine and passionfruit give the 2018 an exotic, floral feel that is impossible to miss. On the palate, the Chenes is airy and nicely lifted, not to mention super appealing. This is such a refined Burgundy.
Antonio Galloni | 90 AG
Antonio Galloni | 90 AG
Wine Details on 2018 Leflaive Macon-Verze Les Chenes
|Producer||Domaine Leflaive: On the surface, Domaine Leflaive appears to be a Burgundy producer that leaves nothing to the imagination. The domaine is greatly recognized as producing top quality Burgundian whites from 100% Chardonnay. It needs little introduction to wine lovers and has been described as Burgundy’s greatest white wine domaine and while it is a strong claim, it is a justifiable one. But when examined closer, Leflaive has a much more complex, innovative, inventive, yet humble story. |
The Domaine was stablished by Joseph Leflaive at a time when no Puligny estates made wine, as all grapes were sold to negociants in Meursault or in Beaune. Also, the land had suffered terribly from the phylloxera crises and many growers lost faith in the vines, making purchasing property inexpensive. Leflaive purchased 25 hectares for virtually nothing and in 1920 began the replanting, extension and enhancement of the vineyard. His extensive research led him to choose new rootstocks that were better adapted to each parcel of land. Gradually, he began selling his wine under his own label and to his private clientele.
Today the spirit of Joseph Leflaive lives on through the many bottlings from multiple appellations and lieu-dits. The tremendous Grand Crus parcels from Montrachet, Chevalier, Batard, and Bienvenues Batard are quite possibly the finest in Burgundy. The wines are extremely limited and highly coveted. For reference, the legendary 1992 Montrachet production was a mere 300 bottles, its release price $300 and its value today exponentially increased making it an incredibly profitable investment, should any original purchases remain in the same hands. Leflaive also produces six Premier Cru wines as well as five others from either Village or regional designations.
At Domaine Leflaive the grape makes the wine. The precious Chardonnay grapes and the soil in which its vines are planted are tended with care and diligence. Every parcel has a unique soil structure and the terroir of each becomes its own individual expression of its origin through the wine itself. The health of the harvest determines the wine’s quality. A biodynamic approach is implemented here where the method of cultivation is based on the sensitive intelligence of natural phenomenon. Not a method of control, but rather one that favors the life of an important number of species and makes it possible to keep the vine’s enemies at a tolerable level. It is a mutual respect for both terroir and the natural environment of the vineyards.
Inside each bottle of Domaine Leflaive with its unimpressive and unassuming label exists a wine of such complexity, opulence and elegance. It is not just a Chardonnay, or a white Burgundy, but a peek inside the enormity of Leflaive’s historical contributions to the region. Each wine is a living, breathing legend that speaks of the vision, incredible foresight, and determination of Joseph Leflaive, allowing his legacy to live on.
|Region||Burgundy: Situated just west of the beautiful river Saone, the hills and valleys of Burgundy stand as they have stood since medieval times, and you can almost hear the cheerful chatter of vineyard workers from miles away. Indeed, France's identity in the world of wine would be incomplete without the inclusion of Burgundy and its many viticultural achievements. Every little sub-region of the area boasts a unique soil composition, which, when combined with the area's climate conditions, creates an incredibly diverse and appealing selection of fine wines. |
Every new bottle is an adventure of its own, and a snapshot of its birthplace. You could spend years sampling great Burgundian wines, and you would still have a lot to learn, which is what makes the region so compelling for veterans and novice wine lovers alike. No matter what your taste in wines may be, there is a winery in Burgundy that could mesmerize your mind and make your senses scream with joy. And what better way to spend a comfy summer afternoon with your friends and family than with a classy bottle from some of the region's most reputable wineries? From the noble slopes of Cote d'Or to the flatlands near various settlements, let us help you on your journey as we explore Burgundy's most delicious and renowned wines.
|Country||France: Words fail us when trying to adequately portray France's place in the world of wine. It's downright impossible to imagine what wine would feel and taste like had it not been for France's many, many viticultural pioneers. Fine wine is the blood of France's vigorously beating heart, and it finds itself in many aspects of French culture. With a viticultural history that dates all the way back to the 6th century BC, France now enjoys its position as the most famous and reputable wine region on the planet. If you have a burning passion for masterfully crafted, mouth-watering, mind-expanding wines, then regular visits to France are probably already in your schedule, and for a good reason.|
|Type of Wine||Burgundy White: No one can express the full potential of Chardonnay quite like the visionaries from Burgundy. With an almost entirely single-minded devotion to the noble varietal in question, they continue to push the boundaries of quality, to the joy of their many fans worldwide. Discover the nuances of every producer and come out changed forever.|
|Varietal||Chardonnay: Chardonnay has carved its path towards the title “king of white grapes” in subtle yet striking fashion, playing instrumental roles throughout the course of history. It was the chosen grape variety which celebrated the inception of the very first Champagne house - Ruinart, which insists “Chardonnay is the golden thread that runs through the Ruinart taste. “ “Remember men, it’s not just France we’re fighting for, it’s Champagne,” Winston Churchill. The infamous and celebrated French author, Alexandre Dumas once declared a high quality chardonnay wine from Le Montrachet was one that is only appropriate to sip “on bended knees, with head bowed.” And of course, history was made once again when a bottle of 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay was awarded first prize in the famous tasting of the “1976 Judgement of Paris,” changing the world’s view on California Chardonnay, inspiring vintners and altering the landscape of California winemaking forever. |
The origin of the Chardonnay grape can be traced back to the small village of Macon in the Burgundy appellation of France. The varietal, whose name means “a place of thistles” in Latin, is the offspring of Pinot Noir and Gouais Blanc. Like most prominent grape varietals, the exact circumstances of its inception are unknown; however, it is interesting to note that Gouais Blanc originated in Germany. It is speculated that the ancient Romans, who successfully subdued the Germanic tribes in 6 AD, planted Gouais Blanc in French soil, unwittingly prompting the crossbreeding of the two varietals. If this is the case, the history of the Chardonnay grape goes back much further.
The Noble Chardonnay grape variety is most happy in the winegrowing appellation of Burgundy, its home and birth place. Burgundy’s grand Terroir of marl limestone soils and cool climate allows the Chardonnay grape to express itself to its full zenith. Interestingly, the varietal is extremely flexible and can adapt to a wide diversity of soils, allowing the terroir in which it grows to dictate the qualities of the grape and thus revealing a multitude of personalities. For instance, there are subtle yet distinguishing differences in terroir in the Burgundian villages of Puligny-Montrachet, Chablis, Meursault, Corton Charlemagne, Macon, etc. which are all fashioned in their own unique way. The difference in each Climat or Lieu-dit, such as Le Montrachet (Puligny-Montrachet) and Valmur (Chablis) can take one further down the proverbial “rabbit-hole” and into the wonderful, yet complex world of Burgundy wines. However, Burgundy is but one prime growing location for this tremendously adaptable grape variety.
The spread of Chardonnay would eventually take root in Champagne, where it excelled in the region’s cool climate and chalky, sub-soils. For top Champagne producers, it became the main ingredient in their high quality, high profile Blanc de Blancs. It would also begin to be blended with the two other acceptable varietals of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier (red skinned grapes). The chardonnay grape is now planted in 10,000 of the 34,000 hectares of Champagne.
Chardonnay would find its way to California in the late 1800’s but would remain obscure for more than a century due to ignorance of the varietal and lack of knowledge on how to marry it with appropriate terroir. Things changed in the 1970’s when Chardonnay saw a resurgence world-wide, mostly due to the 1976 Judgement of Paris. The unthinkable happened when a bottle of 1973 Chateau Montelena bested some of Burgundy’s finest chardonnay offerings from Batard-Montrachet and Meursault. This event helped place California on the map, changing the face of California winemaking forever. It rejuvenated the cultivation of the Chardonnay grape variety, which saw an exponential growth world-wide.
Much like the climats of Burgundy which have their own unique terroir, Chardonnay’s adaptability has found a home in the diverse appellations, terroirs and climates of California. The cool climate locations produce crisp wines with Burgundian nuances, while warmer climates produce wines with opulent, ripe fruit reminiscent of pineapple, mango and papaya. Terroir also dictates the personality, steel and concrete tanks versus oak, and the list goes. From buttery, oak-infused heady wines to crisp, refreshing cool climate fashioned Chardonnays, the grape variety can be extremely modified. There are not enough letters in Microsoft Word to demonstrate all the different nuances, qualities, differences of terroir, climate and winemaking techniques that would encompass in full, the details of the Chardonnay grape.
The well-travelled grape varietal of Chardonnay has become the fascination of consumers around the world, becoming the most written about of all grapes. Today, it is planted in over 40 countries, amassing an impressive 211,000 hectares (500,000 acres) across the globe. From Burgundy to Champagne, Napa to Sonoma, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia, Chardonnay graces vineyards around the world, captivating its audience with its multiple personalities. “So powerful is the ‘C-word’ on a wine label,” as the famed Jancis Robinson exclaimed. Since its discovery in Macon, this C-word has become a dominant force in the world of wine, changing history, winemaking and the understanding of winegrowing and its powerful attributes to a single varietal.
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