Bright, light yellow. Very rich, explosive aromas of exotic pineapple and honey lifted by pungent calcaire. Extremely rich and concentrated but classically dry and fine-grained, without an ounce of excess weight. A powerful expression of crushed-stone minerality, with its grapefruit and lemon cut accentuating the impression of inner-mouth tension and energy. Finishes extremely long, with a fine dusting of tannins and the strong lemony acidity drawing out the fruit. The pH here is a very low 3.0, according to managing director Brice de la Morandière. Just after the bottling, I described this wine’s pineapple and crushed-stone aromas as Riesling-like–at least compared to the estate’s Batard-Montrachet. A very strong vintage for this wine, and a spectacular start to the tasting. This Chevalier-Montrachet should be long-lived. (13.05% natural alcohol; the harvest at Domaine Leflaive began on September 14; overall production was reduced by half in 2012, owing to a long, difficult flowering with extensive coulure and millerandage_; at the time, then-winemaker Eric Remy noted that "rot was the only problem that we didn’t have in 2012")
Anticipated maturity: 2024-2042
Robert Parker 95
Dense and reserved, Leflaive’s 2012 Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru unwinds in the glass with aromas of pear, toasted bread, citrus zest, mandarin and crisp peach, framed by a touch of light reduction and new oak. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, deep and powerful, with tangy acids, prodigious concentration and a penetrating, mouthwatering finish. This is a muscular, tight-knit Chevalier that will need time. The product of a humid spring and yields reduced by mildew and hail, by the numbers the 2012 possesses only 13.05% alcohol with a low pH of 3.0.
Anticipated maturity: 2022-2040