Domaines Leflaive

Bourgogne, France

Mâcon-Verzé – 2007

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  • Introduction

    • Mâcon-Verzé, A New Venture For Anne-Claude Leflaive
      From the village of Mâcon-Verzé in the heart of the Mâconnais, just south of the Côte Chalonnaise, comes an exciting new wine from Anne-Claude Leflaive: “What we want to do is offer wines that are fine and more accessible, while continuing to work with Chardonnay in a vineyard that is geographically close,” explains Anne-Claude.

      Anne-Claude purchased the Mâcon-Verzé vineyard after strong recommendations from both Pierre Morey and Dominique Lafon (a colleague who also follows biodynamic practices in his vineyards in Meursault. Lafon had recently purchased property in Mâcon-Verzé.)

      The previous owners, an older couple with no heirs, were seeking to retire. For many years, they had sold all their grapes to the local cooperative. Since this couple had no children, they had funneled their energies into taking meticulous care of their vineyard. In fact, so well-kept and manicured was this vineyard that it had caught the eye of both Pierre Morey and Dominique Lafon.

      Anne-Claude Leflaive’s assurance to the original owners that the vineyards would be carefully-tended helped facilitate the transaction. Subsequently, Anne-Claude has applied strict biodynamic principles to the vineyards, as is the case with her vineyards in Puligny-Montrachet. Her first harvest in Mâcon-Verzé was the 2004 vintage; with the 2006 vintage, Anne-Claude was able to apply biodynamic principles to the entire process, from vineyard management to fermentation through the final bottling.

      Understanding Traditional Burgundian Law
      Because of a French regulation stating that fruit cannot be brought to a winery for vinification directly from the vineyard if the vineyard is located more than 31 miles (50 kilometers) away, Anne-Claude Leflaive created a second company, SAS Domaines Leflaive (note the ‘s’ at the end of Domaine), that would act as a négociant for this fruit. SAS Domaines Leflaive purchases the grapes from SCE Joseph Leflaive vineyards in Mâcon-Verzé and then sells the grapes to Domaine Leflaive in Puligny, where the vinification, aging and bottling are completed. The core philosophy behind setting up this new company (SAS Domaines Leflaive) is to not only protect the quality of the wine throughout the entire process, but also to ensure that only biodynamic grapes are vinified at Domaine Leflaive.

      2007 Harvest In Mâcon-Verzé
      After three years of conversion work, 2007 was the first fully biodynamic vintage for the entire vineyard. Following a fairly mild winter, vegetation appeared during the first days of April, growing rapidly under an unseasonably strong sun and temperatures ranging between 73 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit). Flowering was early; by the end of May it had finished completely.

      The months of June and July were punctuated regularly by showers in between periods of variable weather. The vineyard was touched by a bit of hail on June 10. August began with cool temperatures for this time of year, but finished with fine, hot weather that continued into September. These were ideal conditions for ripening the grapes.

      As a result, harvest began on September 9 and ended on the 14th, all in brilliant sunshine. Yields were slightly over 50 hl/ha. Vinification in the tanks was slow, finishing only at the start of 2008. Over the spring, malolactic fermentation was homogeneous.

      The 2007 vintage is well-balanced, with greater depth and minerality emerging with time. Aromas are very fine and well-defined, with considerable elegance, highlighted by floral and citrus notes.

  • Vineyard Profile

    • Vineyard Details
      Domaine Leflaive purchased the 23-acre property in the Mâcon-Village appellation in December 2003; the vines are approximately 20 years old and are now being cultivated 100% biodynamically.

      This property actually consists of five different parcels in the Mâcon-Verzé sub-appellation:

      Escolles 0.9 hectares (2.2 acres) Le Monté 0.9 hectares (2.2 acres) En Perret 1.8 hectares (4.4 acres) Les Muses 2.8 hectares (6.9 acres) Les Chênes 3.0 hectares (7.4 acres)

      Anne-Claude’s 32-year-old cousin, Paul de Noüe, who is also a shareholder at Domaine Leflaive, manages these vineyards. The official name of the vineyard management company is SCE Joseph Leflaive.

    • Appellation: Burgundy