Olivier Leflaive 2019 Vintage En Primeur
A small, exceptional vintage with record summer sunshine
The Style of the 2019 Wines
When tasting the 2019 Leflaive whites in April 2020, we were struck by the great potential and natural power of these wines. They are richly concentrated, with intensity, purity and freshness. This is a vintage where many bottles will be delicious to drink when young, but the top wines have a great future ahead of them.
2019 reds are hugely exciting. The yields were low (between 20 to 30hl/ha) giving Pinots with good colour, ample fruit, beautiful tannins and, most importantly, great pleasure. Head winemaker Franck Grux compares the wines, in style, to 2016, 2010 or 2005.
The 2019 Growing Season
The first green shoots emerged early in March, following a mild, but dry winter. Then, on the night of 5th April, under a slither of light from the new moon, temperatures dropped down to -5 °C. Despite desperate measures from the growers (lighting candles and straw bundles) to combat the effects, the frost took 30-40% of the potential crop of the Chardonnay vines. Pinots did not escape, being hit (although not as harshly) on the 13th-14th later that month.
Fortunately, beautiful weather followed, throughout May, although with cool nights; the vines benefiting with good health, but slowing the speed of growth. June warmed up considerably, but flowering was interrupted by some cooler spells, further reducing the quantity of the eventual harvest.
July and August were hot, exceptionally sunny and very dry. The berries were fast reaching maturity, and yet Franck Grux was not entirely happy. The data may have shown the grapes were ripe, but he felt there was something missing: phenolic maturity (the actual taste of the skins, flesh and pips). He uses a culinary expression to explain: “we felt we were missing the heart of the dish”. Despite often favouring an early harvest, he waited until 11th September to achieve perfect maturity. The picking lasted 10 days, under perfect conditions. The resulting crop was indeed small, but the quality for both reds and whites was outstanding.
Winemaking at Olivier Leflaive
We are fortunate to have been a client uninterruptedly for Olivier Leflaive’s outstanding wines since he started the business, with his brother Patrick, in 1984. Its strengths lie in the attention to tiny details in vineyard and winery. Many wines come from their own domaine, and an increasing number from vineyards which they manage throughout the year, including the picking. Winemaker Franck Grux, with his right-hand man Philippe Grillet and their teams, are tightly focussed on the identities of each village, and plot. They are severe in side-lining not only less-than-perfect grapes on the sorting tables, but also any barrels which do not merit inclusion in their finest selections. Thanks to our long-term links with this family business we have access to many of its rarest, best-value and finest wines – several being exclusively reserved for HH&C.
Buying 2019 Olivier Leflaive En Primeur
This is an opportunity to buy wines lying in barrel and we are rewarded by being able to select our favourite cuvées at pre-release prices. We offer you the chance to reap these same benefits. The wines are offered in bond, excluding duty and VAT, which are payable on shipment later this year for most wines, or early in 2021.
Ways to Order
Please contact one of our offices (find a shop) or purchase online at
Prices in this offer are quoted £ per case in bond UK.