Domaine Leflaive   Chevalier Montrachet

1999 Chevalier Montrachet

By Domaine Leflaive

1996 Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet from Domaine Leflaive, Puligny-Montrachet, Burgundy

In the tapestry of Burgundy's celebrated vineyards, the 1996 vintage stands as a richly woven piece, underscored by a remarkable balance of intensity and finesse. The Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet from Domaine Leflaive is a particularly compelling thread in this historic vintage, a testament to the estate's steadfast dedication to terroir expression.


Exquisite Precision: A Harvest of Complexity

The 1996 season graced Burgundy with an unexpected alliance of ripeness and acidity due to a late harvest that extended into September. The resulting wines from Domaine Leflaive are prized for their precision and depth. Thirty years on, the 1996 Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet holds within its golden hue a vast spectrum of nuanced aromas and flavours that has evolved stunningly well in the bottle.


Refined Elegance: An Investment in Liquid History

Rare and stately as it ages, the 1996 Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet is a wine of indisputable pedigree – one capable of elevating any fine wine investment portfolio. It provides not merely the pleasure of tasting but the honour of communing with time itself.

The poise this wine exhibits is emblematic of Domaine Leflaive's skill in intertwining noble Chardonnay with the complex limestone soils. It presents a symphony of aromas ranging from ripe orchard fruits to delicate florals, enlivened by a vein of Puligny’s signature flinty minerality. The palate continues to flourish with age, delivering an experience that resonates with layers of baked apple, toasted nuts, and entwined spices – all framed by a dignified structure that promises further longevity.

In summary, savouring this 1996 Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet from Domaine Leflaive is an encounter with an extraordinary snapshot of climatic fortune fused with human craftsmanship. As a hallmark for collectors and connoisseurs alike within the realm of fine wine investment, this particular offering solidifies its standing as one of exemplary character among Burgundian whites. Imbued with Domaine Leflaive's renowned mastery over Chardonnay, this well-aged treasure represents an opportunity to immerse oneself in Burgundy's heritage while also contemplating its bright future.

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Scores and tasting notes


Like the domaine's 1996 vintage, Leflaive's 1999s were quite marked by reduction out of the gates, and the 1999 Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru remains somewhat introverted. Offering up a smoky bouquet of waxy citrus rind, grilled bread, confit lemon and iodine, it's full-bodied, powerful and tight-knit, with considerable dry extract and concentration, but not much in the way of plenitude or expressiveness. If the Leflaive style is all about elegance, then the 1999 Chevalier is rather blocky and foursquare. Perhaps more will come with time, but for now, my sense is that the 1999—like the 1996—will never quite realize all its potential. That's a pity, as this is a superb white Burgundy vintage.

William Kelley - The Wine Advocate, 31 July 2019

Vintage performance