We reached Puligny as the evening light was fading. Maison Leflaive is a relaxed, comfortable sort of place and we have all thirteen beautifully appointed and comfortable rooms to ourselves. Lorenzo provided glasses and ice for G&T in the cosy lounge with soft lights before we walked across the square to Le Pelugney, the tiny new eatery which opened only two months ago and where a happy and smiling Belgian woman serves great food her husband cooks with love and pride. We opted for the 29 Euro menu and were served foie gras, jugged hare, oozing époisses and dessert. We drank a decent Pommard.
We spent the next morning at Chateau de Beaune visiting the ancient cellars and tasting at Bouchard Pere et Fils. Back in Puligny, we bought good ham sandwiches at the Boulangerie Patisserie to eat at Maison Leflaive with a glass of wine. The coffee makers in the Maison brew endless free espressos. That afternnoon we tasted with Alex Gambal in Beaune.
According to Master of Wine Clive Coats, Puligny-Montrachet is the greatest white wine commune on earth “where the Chardonnay grape reaches its most regal and supreme expression.”. The vineyards, five Grands crus and twenty-three Premiers Crus are just behind the village and only a short and pleasant walk from the Maison. You walk past the boulangerie on to the next square with the café, Le Montrachet and the statues of vineyard workers, turn right and walk up Route des Grands Crus past the house of winemaker Etienne Sauzet to reach the slopes with the hallowed vineyards. You can turn right at the top and right again to walk back to the village past the church to reach the Maison.
That evening we stayed in and had Les Petits Plats d’Olivier (25 Euros). This has been an enjoyable event on previous occasions but standards seem to have slipped a little.
We drove the short distance to St. Aubin next morning to taste the good and affordable white Burgundy of Gerard Thomas. Back in Puligny, Tracy Thurling who runs a small travel outfit in Beaune called “Burgundy By Request” was waiting to take us on a walking tour of the walled city. Later, we drove to Fixin to taste at the stunningly beautiful Clos de la Perriere.
That evening we had the Leflaive tasting dinner with ten of the Domain’s wines (65 Euros). Again the food failed to impress. There were only tasting samples in ISO type tasting glasses. Good stemware is sorely needed and the sommelier needs to be reminded to pour a decent amount of wine in to the glass. We insisted that fresh bottles are opened and no wine is poured from bottles left over from previous events and kept in the cooler in the tasting room. The wines are: Bourgogne Les Sétilles, Chassagne-Montrachet, Meursault, Puligny-Montrachet, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Abbaye de Morgeot, Meursault 1er Cru Poruzots, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Champ Gain, Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, Pommard and Volnay 1er Cru Mitans.
Puligny-Montrachet is a perfect location for a wine tour of Burgundy and Maison Leflaive is the obvious place to stay. Rooms cost 190 Euros. There is also the more expensive Le Montrachet and a small but good Chanbres d’hôtes run by Maria Adao (Tel: 03 80219746). There is a good Leflaive vineyard and cellar tour and one could also taste Domaine Chartron on the road out of the village. It would be difficult to secure a tasting with Etienne Sauzet. I would not bother with meals at Maison Leflaive. One could eat very well at Le Pelugney and Le Montrachet which has a Michelin star.
- Driving and Tasting through the Côte-d’Or (2foodtrippers.com)
- Julien Altaber, Saint-Aubin (Burgundy) (wineterroirs.com)
- Cheapskate: Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru (sedimentblog.blogspot.com)