Robert Parker 90-92
The 2014 Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Folatières has a crisp, floral bouquet that takes time to unwind, with hints of chalk dust littered over the bright green apple and fresh pear scents. The palate is fresh and vibrant on the entry with a keen line of acidity, though it needs to develop a touch more material towards the finish just to fill the wine out a little and create more of a presence. My first ever visit to Domaine Leflaive was in 1997, my first ever in the strangest of places called Burgundy. My memories are vague, but it might well have been my first ever visit to the wine region — back then playing second fiddle to all-conquering Bordeaux. Burgundy was for those that could not afford Bordeaux at a time when Bordeaux was actually affordable. I think I met Anne-Claude briefly on that occasion, just to say hello, but it was somebody else dipping pipette into barrel. Some 18 years later, and this is the first time that I have visited the domaine, and the matriarch has gone. I cannot deny that it is strange, like visiting a house when the owners are out. Of course, they are not. I am met my Brice de la Morandie, one of many shareholders in the estate, the one who has grabbed hold of the tiller after Anne-Claude’s untimely passing last year. He cuts a very different figure: sartorially immaculate in tweed jacket, handkerchief neatly folded into breast pocket, cutting the figure of a businessman as well as winemaker (and there is nothing wrong with that). I am here to assess the wines and he is probably here to assess me and doubtless, other importers and scribes that will visit over the next couple of months.
Anticipated maturity: 2017-2030
A pungent nose consists of wood and reduction. On the palate there is more evident size, weight and minerality to the solidly concentrated and powerful medium weight flavors that also possess an attractive mouth feel, all wrapped in a saline, refreshing and striking persistent finish that exhibits a Chablis-like hint of iodine. This is quite classy and very Puligny in character.
Bright, pale yellow. Subtle, complex scents of spices, flowers, minerals, menthol and white pepper, along with a smoky nuance. Very suave and fine-grained, conveying a light touch to its flavors of lemon, lime and dusty stone. The long, rising finish cleanses the palate. This is excellent, but it may already be closing down in the bottle following the late-April bottling.
Anticipated maturity: 2020-2028
In cuve since the end of August. Broad, creamy nose. Very precisely chiselled with some well-formed fruit in the middle, though still a little subdued. I wonder if this is just a stage.
Anticipated maturity: 2018-2025