2010 Puligny Montrachet Les Pucelles Domaine Leflaive

‘Les Pucelles’ Puligny Montrachet from Domaine Leflaive is a 1er cru so good that Galloni calls it, “one of the highlights of the vintage”. Given how good 2010 was as a vintage, this is huge praise indeed. Les Pucelles is perhaps the best of the 1er cru sites in Puligny Montrachet and can give pleasures and rewards comparable with the grand cru vineyards that border it. In a vintage as profound as 2010 and in the hands of a legendary domaine like Leflaive, the wines are truly extraordinary and frankly unmissable.


Leflaive are the largest owner in Pucelles and produce wines that are typically silky, fragrant, with a feminine lightness and delicacy all backed up with refreshing acidity. The 2010 is a huge success, being awarded the highest Wine Advocate score since the 1992 and the joint highest ever score in Burghound for this wine. With 2012 being such a small, difficult to find and correspondingly expensive vintage, these superstar 2010’s are looking an increasingly compelling buy. In short, if you wish to own a Leflaive Pucelles from a stellar vintage, this is the one to go for.

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Average critic rating : 95.0 points



The 2010 Puligny-Montrachet Pucelles is a totally complete wine. It brings together the expressive bouquet and minerality of Combettes with some of the expressive fruit of the Folatieres. Vivid and multi-dimensional in the glass, the Pucelles wraps around the palate with serious intensity. Citrus, white flowers and green pears linger on the highly nuanced, refined finish. Today, though, the 2010 is incredibly tight. Its pedigree is impossible to miss. Leflaive’s Pucelles is easily one of the highlights of the vintage. Anticipated maturity: 2015+. ||Estate Manager Eric Remy has one of the sharpest memories of anyone I have ever met. His recall of specific dates and events is quite remarkable, so I will take advantage of that in reporting a very complete picture of the 2010 growing season. Accoring to Remy, in order to gain some insight on 2010, one has to start with the brutal frost of December 19, 2009, when temperatures dropped to a bone chilling -20C/-4F after having hovered around freezing for a few days prior. The very next day, temperatures shot up to 10C/50F. January was quite dry. A bit of snow fell in early February, but the rest of the month was dry. The last frosts at the domaine were recorded from March 10-14. The weather improved in April, especially towards the end of the month. May and June were cold. Flowering in the domine’s vineyards started on June 5th and ended between June 20 and 22. The first part of July was hot but stable, while the second part of the month was cold and humid. Unstable conditions persisted throughout August. A hailstorm with heavy thunder in Santenay on September 12 was a sign harvest time was approaching. A bit of botrytis was recorded on September 17. The harvest started on September 20. Yields came in around 45 hectoliters per hectare, pretty much in line with 2009, the only domaine I visited where that is the case. eRobertParker.com.August, 2012

Domaine Leflaive: The Importance

Domaine Leflaive has long been an icon of white Burgundy and is globally recognised as the most famous estate in Puligny-Montrachet. Adored by Chardonnay connoisseurs, this family-owned winery is distinguished by the care they take throughout the vinification process. Wine Advocate’s Neil Martin put it exceptionally well when he said: “If you do not like Leflaive's wines, then you do not like white Burgundy.


The winery was hailed by the Wall Street Journal as “the greatest of all Puligny producers, the kind of wine that should be delivered by Grace Kelly. And Robert Parker rates them as “Outstanding”, saying that they “set standards for white Burgundy that few other estates can approach” and that “their Puligny Premier Crus and Grands Crus combine richness and polish with depth and at times almost a lacy intricacy of flavour that can take a taster’s breath away. No one should pass up a chance to purchase villages Puligny or generic Bourgogne from this estate either, and even those are worth cellaring.”


In 1976, Leflaive’s Premier Cru wine Les Pucelles was chosen to compete in the renowned Judgement of Paris, one of only four French whites selected. Les Pucelles is a true testament to the producer’s transcendent craftsmanship and has also been welcomed at the prestigious Grand European Wine Jury of 1997 as well as the 1980 Great Chardonnay Showdown in Chicago.


Domaine Leflaive: The Insight

As a leader of biodynamic viticulture, Domaine Leflaive is renowned for the attention to detail and care that goes in to nourishing each vine from ground to bottle. This organic method of cultivation enriches the soil with plant-based compounds, thus sparing the vines of harmful herbicides and allowing the wine to exude the particularities of the Puligny-Montrachet terroir.


Their Grand Cru wines have consistently scored highly with Wine Advocate, Neal Martin describes them as “wines with audacity and ambition.” Le Montrachet, Batard Montrachet, Bienvenue Batard Montrachet and Chevalier Montrachet dominate Wine Advocate’s top scorers from this domaine, all of which are produced in tiny quantities. It is also worth noting that Neal Martin flags up Domaine Leflaive’s ability to “transcend the limitations of the growing season” – so even in less than favourable vintages their wines are worthy of consideration.


For those looking for an accessible opportunity to taste the top quality white Burgundy produced by this domaine, their Bourgogne Blanc and Mâcon Verzé provide just that.


Domaine Leflaive’s wines age excellently. Allen Meadows has previously noted that one particular vintage of Le Montrachet “even at almost 20 years of age… is still cruising along like it was only 10 as the freshness of the aromas is uncanny.” To help judge when the wines are ready to drink, Domaine Leflaive’s website provides an excellent database of recommendations by wine and by vintage.


Domaine Leflaive: The Background

The winery traces its roots back to 1717, when Claude Leflaive relocated to Puligny-Montrachet to cultivate several acres of vineyard. It was in the early 1900s when Joseph Leflaive, a brilliant marine engineer and descendant of Claude’s, expanded the family’s foothold with a series of vineyard purchases and established Domaine Leflaive as a top quality producer.


Today the domaine extends over 22 hectares with nearly 11 hectares of Premiers Crus (in Les Combettes, Les Pucelles, Le Clavoillon, Les Folatières and Sous le Dos d’Ane) and 5 hectares of Grand Crus (in Chevalier Montrachet, Bâtard Montrachet, Bienvenues Bâtard Montrachet and Le Montrachet). Domaine Leflaive became Burgundy’s leading biodynamic producer thanks to the stewardship of Joseph’s granddaughter, Anne-Claude, who became head of the domaine in 1990. She ran this in tandem with her cousin for two years, but he broke off to run a separate négociant business: Olivier Leflaive. After Aubert de Villaine of Domaine de la Romanée Conti put her in touch with a biodynamic consultant, Anne-Claude became a real pioneer of the farming practice.


After her untimely death in 2015, Anne-Claude was succeeded by her nephew Brice de La Morandière - the fourth generation to lead the domaine. The winery continues to uphold the Burgundian tradition with year-long fermentation in oak barrels before clarification in stainless steel tanks throughout the second winter. It is this respect for exceptional viticulture and winemaking that has earned Domaine Leflaive a place in the cellars of Burgundy aficionados across the world.

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