Olivier Leflaive 2020 Vintage En Primeur
An excellent white Burgundy vintage,
though in limited volume; with undoubtedly great reds
The Style of the 2020 Wines
We were struck by the fruit concentration and richness of these wines, happily balanced by refreshing acidity on their aftertastes. Knowing that the summer had been very hot and dry, we had been concerned that the whites might be heavy or lacking in acidity, but these worries were unfounded at Olivier Leflaive. This is a concentrated year which has given magnificent, harmonious wines, some for immediate pleasures, others with great futures.
Depth of purple-ruby colour, abundantly fruity, fully ripened aromas, with multiple flavours and richly balanced palate structures – these are superb wines, though sadly yields were limited by the exceptionally dry summer.
The 2020 Growing Season
Burgundy escaped spring frosts in 2020, and the weather was clement in the lead-up to the all-important flowering period, which started in mid-May. It went through speedily and in favourable weather, which is always a crucial herald of fine quality: a successful flowering allows all the grapes in a given bunch to come to full ripeness together. A few showers at this time resulted in some loss of crop, but broadly the rainfall was beneficial. June was very sunny then July was very hot, with several heatwave moments, when some bunches were grilled by the sun. Early August remained hot and dry, and it became apparent that, without rain to swell the grapes, this would be a highly concentrated, low yield vintage – as proved to be the case. It was the driest season since 1945, according to the Dijon weather station, with rainfall 50% down on recent levels, and 20% more sunshine than normal.
Harvesting at Olivier Leflaive began on19th August, and was almost entirely finished by the end of the month – astonishingly early for the region, and underlining the recent trends towards early bud-burst, earlier flowering, and early harvesting. Weather during picking was dry and hot, so evaporation of the juice continued, increasing flavour, sugar and acidity concentrations.
Winemaking at Olivier Leflaive
We have been a client uninterruptedly for Olivier Leflaive’s outstanding wines, ever since he started the business, with his brother Patrick, in 1984. 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 privileged, early access to many its rarest, best-value and finest wines – several being exclusively reserved for HH&C.
Buying 2020 Olivier Leflaive En Primeur
This is an early opportunity to buy wines lying in barrel and we are rewarded by being able to select our favourite cuvées at pre-release prices. In turn, we offer you the chance to reap these same benefits. Quantities this year are severely down on what is usual, so we urge you to let us know your wishes as soon as possible. The wines are offered in bond, excluding duty and VAT, these last being payable on shipment later this year, or early in 2022.
Ways to Order
Please contact one of our offices or purchase online.
Prices in this offer are quoted £ per case in bond UK.