Domaine des Comtes Lafon   Meursault les Perrieres

2006 Meursault les Perrieres

By Domaine des Comtes Lafon

2004 Chevalier-Montrachet from Domaine Leflaive, Burgundy, France

The 2004 Burgundian odyssey yielded some unexpected triumphs, among which the 2004 Chevalier-Montrachet from Domaine Leflaive ascends with grace. This particular expression not only mirrors the uniqueness of its terroir but stands as a testament to the deft craftsmanship behind every bottle. Let us voyage to the esteemed slopes of Chevalier-Montrachet to uncover the splendour of this vintage.


Unique Expression of a Challenged Vintage

It is no secret that 2004 in Burgundy presented an array of climatic challenges, with vagaries that tested even the most resolute vignerons. However, Domaine Leflaive, with their meticulous vineyard stewardship and unrivalled acumen, navigated these tests with aplomb. The result is a 2004 Chevalier-Montrachet that exudes sophistication and embodies complexity—qualities pivotal for fine wine investing.


A Symphony of Elements: Distinctively 2004

The inaugural olfactory encounter with this 2004 Chevalier-Montrachet brings forth a refined minerality, interlaced with wisps of toasted almonds and subtle vanilla nuances—a prelude to its palatial grandeur. Upon sipping, one is greeted by the vibrant acidity which cuts a swath through its rich, creamy texture, revealing layers of ripe stone fruit and a persistent finish that whispers of honey and citrus zest. One must applaud the harmonious integration of oak, which, rather than dominating, glorifiably supports the Chardonnay's intrinsic character.

Investors might note that while younger vintages beguile with their immediacy, it is in a vintage like 2004 where true depth can be found. A somewhat paradoxical year, which bestowed upon us wines of both freshness and evolving complexity; rendering this specific bottling a prudent choice for those curating a cellar with an eye for longevity and appreciation.


Summation: A Celestial Investment Opportunity

In summation, though all Chevalier-Montrachet engenders awe, the 2004 from Domaine Leflaive captures an extraordinary snapshot in time. Here lies an investment not solely in liquid luxury but in bottled history—a history that unfolds exquisitely with each passing year. For connoisseurs and investors alike seeking to enrich their portfolio, this vintage provides an alluring narrative wrapped in an enigmatic vintage core.

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Ripe apricot, white peach, jasmine, nut oil, fresh lime and hazelnut pour from the glass of Lafon 2006 Meursault Perrieres. Offering an amazing combination of subtly creamy richness and underlying firmness with utmost elegance and wafting floral notes, the 14 barrels’ worth of this beauty from 55 year old vines represent around 60% new wood, but it’s not noticeable as such. The finishing interplay of floral, fruit, nut oil, and mineral nuances in the finish will keep you occupied for minutes at a time, and this densely layered yet lacy Meursault should merit more than a decade of attention in the bottle as well. The subtly truffle-scented, extraordinarily mineral, tartly-fruited 2005 lacks the lift, and elegance of the 2006 but is memorably-concentrated, almost severe in finish, and brimming with potential. Like his neighbor Jean-Marc Roulot, Benoit Ente in Puligny, and a few others, Dominique Lafon obtained authorization to begin picking several days ahead of the official ban de vendange. He set his crew to work over the weekend, and was finished already on the 20th of September. The Perrieres, picked first, reached 13.8% alcohol, but all of the other wines weighed in at lower levels. Lafon insisted – and his wines testified – that the Chardonnay grapes were botrytis free, and he characterized the lees as excellent in quality and practiced “less settling than I did in the past.” That restraint – along with bright acids and pronounced minerality – makes for a richness that often expresses itself other than in creaminess. As these wines evolved, Lafon became increasingly enthusiastic about them, and I found them much more expressive on the eve of bottling than they had been in late 2007. Incidentally, the sickly vines in Lafon’s Desiree vineyard that have given so much bottled pleasure over the years gave their last in the beautifully refined, bittersweet, and for the vintage unusually delicate and creamy 2005. “It tastes as though the vines knew they were going to be pulled out,” was Lafon’s valediction. A Becky Wasserman Selection, Le Serbet (various importers), fax 011-33-3-80-24-29-70; A Daniel Johnnes Selection imported by Michael Skurnik Wines, Syosset, NY, tel. (516) 677 9300; Classic Wine Imports, Norwood, MA, tel. (781) 352 1100; Beaune Imports, Berkeley, CA, tel. (510) 559 1040

David Schildknecht - The Wine Advocate, 21 December 2008

Vintage performance