Feature Coverage

2007 and 2008 vintage summary

“Cellarmaster Eric Remy describes 2008 as a classic vintage for Domaine Leflaive. Humid, showery weather had threatened widespread outbreaks of mildew and oidium, and Leflaive did a total of 13 treatments against vine maladies. After the rains of early September, the estate did a labor-intensive pass through the vines, eliminating 10% to 15% of the fruit. But then the north wind that began in the middle of the month saved the crop, concentrating sugars and acids. At the harvest, which started here on September 22, grape sugars were typically 12.8% to 13% or more (very little chaptalization was done), and acidity levels were around six grams, a high percentage of which was malic.

The 2007s here, which had only recently been bottled at the time of my visit, emphatically showcase their various terroirs and would appear to be constituted for good medium-term aging. (Remy recommends waiting on the 2007s and drinking the 2006s earlier.) Incidentally, Domaine Leflaive is widely cited by long-time collectors as an estate that has largely avoided problems with premature oxidation. When I discussed this subject with Remy, the only recent vintage he had any doubts about was 2002. But he was not yet sure whether the variability he has noticed up to now is a function of corks or of the wines themselves. Clearly, the Leflaive whites gain in stability from an extended stay in cuves. For example, the 2007s remained in tanks from early September of 2008 until they were bottled in April and May of this year. I have omitted notes on a couple of 2008s that were in the middle of their malos (most of the premier crus were finished), but I have included early impressions of the very promising grand crus, which had not yet started their secondary fermentations.”

Stephen Tanzer, September/October 2009
2007 and 2008 vintage summary