Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru "Champ Gain" 1999, Olivier Leflaive

The Leflaive name is, for most Burgundy tasters, synonymous with the village of Puligny. To avoid confusion it is worth pointing out the difference between Olivier Leflaive and Domaine Leflaive. The former is a négoçiant house founded in 1984 by Olivier Leflaive. They produce a vast range of wines from Chablis in the north all the way to the Côte Challonaise in the south. The latter is a family domaine with its own vineyards founded in 1920 by Joseph Leflaive who was one of the first wine-makers to bottle and sell his own wines. The Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet 2001 and Puligny-Montrachet 2004 were both very fine.

This Champ Gain 1999 was tasted at the Planet of the Grapes wine bar. Thankfully the owner warned us that 3 other bottles from the same case had been under par and I'm afraid this wine was also slightly orf without being unpleasant. The colour hinted at an advanced level of oxidisation confirmed with a sherried nose. Elements of Christmas mince pie, orange pith, manzanilla sherry, demerera sugar, cointreau, fallen apple and matchbox. The interesting if somewhat inappropriate aromas give way to a marginally unpleasant short, dry and sherried impact in the mouth. Bad cellaring? Bad corks? Fast-ageing wine? Hard to know.


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