Vinous – 94
Bright yellow. Fascinating aromas of pineapple, candied lemon zest and wet stone accented by spearmint, eucalyptus, menthol and fresh herbs. Then obviously leaner than the 2012 but with surprising intensity and building creaminess of texture. Less exotic in the mid-palate than on the nose, with lemon zest, crushed stone and white flowers dominating. This is ultimately more approachable than the 2012–aromatic and expressive, and more harmonious today. Finishes saline, vibrant and very long, with a light touch. An impressive showing for a vintage whose ripeness came more from concentration on the vines during the August heat than from photosynthesis. Incidentally, although the overall crop level was above average for Domaine Leflaive in 2011, some hail in July kept yields more reasonable in Chevalier-Montrachet (and Batard-Montrachet). (13.2% alcohol; 3.02 pH; a very precocious year, just the second August harvest for Domaine Leflaive after 2003–actually the earliest date ever here, on August 25–but followed in quick succession by August starts in 2015, 2017 and 2018)
Anticipated maturity: 2019-2034
Robert Parker – 95
The 2011 Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru was picked on August 25, the earliest harvest in the history of the Domaine Leflaive, and the resulting wine was another of the sleepers in this tasting, unfurling in the glass with an attractive bouquet of white flowers, fresh peach, tangerine, pear, pastry cream and warm bread. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, expansive and satiny textured, with a layered and open-knit core that’s fleshy but lively, concluding with a long and precise finish. This is a forward Chevalier from Leflaive that’s already drinking well, but it’s a superb effort.
Anticipated maturity: 2018-2033
JancisRobinson.com – 17.5
Pale. More expressive on the nose than the Bienvenues or Bâtard. Already singing a song. Very tight on the end but chirping up breezily with great definition on the palate. Very finely etched. Then a dry finish. Not as ethereal as some other vintages but recognisably Chevalier. Opened out on the very end.
Anticipated maturity: 2018-2028