Domaine Leflaive   Chevalier Montrachet

1996 Chevalier Montrachet

By Domaine Leflaive

1990 Bienvenues-Batard-Montrachet from Domaine Leflaive, Burgundy, France

An exploration into the rich tapestry of Burgundy's prestigious terroirs invariably leads one to the vaunted legacy of Domaine Leflaive. Celebrated for its unwavering dedication to quality and expression, the 1990 Bienvenues-Batard-Montrachet from this iconic producer is a wine that invokes reverent whispers among connoisseurs and investors alike. Standing as a testament to both time and craftsmanship, this vintage carries the gravitas of a truly extraordinary year.


A Vintage Defined by Elegance and Precision

The growing season of 1990 in Burgundy was characterised by an ideal combination of warm days and cool nights, yielding grapes with optimal sugar levels, acidity and aromatic complexity. The result is laid bare in this unparalleled vintage from Domaine Leflaive: a vivid tapestry woven with refined threads of nuanced fruit, expressive mineral undertones and a finesse that could only stem from such a serene climatic concord.


Tasting Notes: A Triumph of Terroir

When decanted, the 1990 Bienvenues-Batard-Montrachet presents a melodic symphony of vibrant citrus zest accented by tender blossoms, enhanced by age's patina transforming into honeyed undertones. A palate guided by precision balance divulges succulent stone fruits enlaced with an intricate minerality—a hallmark of the sought-after Bienvenues-Batard-Montrachet appellation. The finish is both generous and ethereal, lingering like the final cordial warmth of an autumn sun.


Investment Perspective: A Connoisseur's Gem

The investment allure of the 1990 Bienvenues-Batard-Montrachet from Domaine Leflaive lies not merely in its sensory elegance but also in its rarity. This vintage represents an esteemed entry point into the world of fine wine investments—a curated asset promising potential growth and unwavering desirability.

In concluding this appraisal, it remains evident that the 1990 Bienvenues-Batard-Montrachet stands as a beacon for discerning collectors seeking a treasure that encapsulates the epitome of Burgundian refinement. As an investment piece or the crown jewel of a tasting experience, it speaks volumes with every savoured sip, echoing the serendipitous confluence of exceptional vintage conditions with Domaine Leflaive's distinguished wine-making pedigree.

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This was a fine performance for Leflaive's 1996 Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru, a complex but reserved wine that opens in the glass with aromas of citrus oil, confit lemon, beeswax, dried white flowers and candied peel, with comparatively little in the way of reductive top notes that distinguished it even merely a handful of years ago. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, satiny-textured and concentrated, built around an incisive line of acidity and still decidedly tight-knit and compact in profile. This bottle is an example of a 1996 white Burgundy that is aging very gracefully, but if there's one criticism, it's that the wine can't match the plenitude of the great wines in this tasting. That may come with time, but I suspect the 1996 Chevalier will always be more impressive than it is pleasurable. By the numbers, this wine possesses 13.75% alcohol and a pH of 3.12—perhaps its full potential would have been unleashed, as my neighbor Michel Bettane opined, had it been harvested a week later?

William Kelley - The Wine Advocate, 31 July 2019

Vintage performance