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Leflaive at Santi: 2001-2009 Meursault 1er Cru Sous le Dos d’Âne & 2006 Clavoillon & 2006 Batard-Montrachet

December 16, 2011

Only SGD168 nett for lunch at Santi, Marina Bay Sands Singapore (the very venue where the poor maestro Santamaria himself collapsed in his kitchen earlier this year and died), paired with a world’s first vertical of Domaine Leflaive’s Meursault 1er Cru Sous le Dos d’Ane and a Les Clavoillon and a Batard-Montrachet, with the manager of Domaine Leflaive and his negociant distributor in attendance, sounds too good to be true but it really did happen on 4 Dec 2011, thanks to Grand Vin Pte Ltd. In spite of the Singapore marathon that was taking place at Marina Bay that same day, the select group of 15 diners managed to arrive on time, starting the day’s proceedings with liberal pours of the Louis Roederer Premier Brut NV, a champagne that impressed with abundant notes of fig and perfumed white flowers, beautifully balanced in a lovely glow, utterly smooth on the palate with excellent body, layering and complexity, getting us all to a wonderful start.

The first white of Domaine Leflaive was the 2009 Macon-Verze, poured from magnum, displaying plenty of green apples, limey citrus and a bit of vanilla on the nose, distinctly medium-bodied on the palate. I found it remarkable for its beautiful proportion and balance, growing in intensity over time, developing notes of buttered minerality and green melons. Very good indeed. This was followed by the first of two flights of the Domaine Leflaive Meursault 1er Cru Sous le Dos d’Ane, comprising the 2001, 2006 and 2007, paired with prawn “Calderata” with Iranian saffron. Not surprisingly, the 2001 was much deeper in tone, color and weight compared to the rest, notably more complex with a lovely mix of tropical fruits and creamy minerality, totally seamless and persistent. The 2006 contained more than a trace of cork taint on the nose (Fatty concurred…yes, he was there at a separate table with the Dean) that obscured the rich minerality beneath, although it was untarnished on the palate, drinking very well at this stage, creamy, smooth and seamless, much like a younger version of the 2001. The surprise for me was the 2007. Although widely acknowledged as a weak growing season, the 2007 packed a lovely pungency, punchy on the palate with plenty of lively acidity and verve, rather full with excellent intensity and concentration, almost sexy, finishing with an aromatic lift.

The 2008 followed on in the second flight, but coming after the vivacious 2007, the latter seemed curiously quiet and nondescript, lively but straightforward. The final Meursault, from the outstanding vintage of 2009, was precocious, already laden with heavenly notes of caramel and scorched creme, encapsulating the lovely balance and complexity between the ripe citrus and the rich minerality. Clearly plenty of potential here, poised to achieve much much more.

The penultimate wine came in the form of the 2006 Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet Clavoillon 1er Cru, a big wine with biscuity and nutty overtones, rounded, smooth and creamy with concentrated lifted aromatics, beginning to reveal some complexity beneath all that gloss even at this stage. In contrast, true to its Grand Cru status, the 2006 Domaine Leflaive Batard-Montrachet, weighty and displaying the obligatory nutty and biscuity notes topped with a dash of cream within a large round body, seemed more reticent at this stage, neither opulent nor lush although the potential is enormous, perhaps in the process of shutting down, bringing the whole tasting line-up to a bit of an anti-climax. This tasting confirms the view that the whites of 2006 are excellent, perhaps even developing a bit faster than anticipated, and that the 2009s are a no-brainer with top-notch fruit that’s beautifully balanced.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. kieron Lim permalink
    December 17, 2011 04:15

    Wished i was there! I sat next to Madame Anne-Claude when they held a similar tasting @ Iggy’s many years ago. Sadly their wines are getting too expensive for me….. can’t afford to replace the bottles we consumed. The 1990 Batard we had at one of the Bacchus events is going for a small fortune now. sob.

  2. kieron Lim permalink
    December 17, 2011 04:16

    What will you be drinking for x’mas & new year’s eve?

  3. Ric permalink*
    December 17, 2011 10:15

    Yeah these whites are spiralling thru the roof. Pretty soon we’ll have to drink Fixin/Corton/Beaune/Beaujolais. Haven’t thought about X’mas/NY drinks yet…normally not a prority for me and, honestly, not looking forward to January 2012 which is gonna be a heavy month. May do Aussie instead as I have loads of them now aged 10 years or more…perhaps Mount Mary Quintet??

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