Vinous – 98
Very fresh, bright medium yellow. Knockout mineral-saturated scents of lemon cream, lime oil, acacia flower, vanilla, crushed stone, nut oil and iodine. Sappy and vibrant but at the same time utterly seamless, offering a compelling combination of refinement, concentration (especially impressive in light of the year’s full yields) and acid balance. The wine’s outstanding mineral tension is intensified by its brisk acidity–or is it the other way around? This is an exhilarating and truly exceptional grand cru but I would not describe it as an easy drink. Finishes with powerful crushed-stone salinity and a rising whiplash of flavor. A real cellar treasure and my favorite wine of the tasting, still with a long life ahead of it. The ’99s at Domaine Leflaive have always stood out for their ripeness and richness but today this wine is even more impressive for its adamant minerality. (Incidentally, my notes at the time said that following a reorganization of the cellar, 1999 was the first vintage at Leflaive to be bottled without filtration, as well as the first vintage to be bottled by gravity.) (14% alcohol; 3.18 pH, September 25 harvest)
Anticipated maturity: 2019-2036
Robert Parker – 94
Like the domaine’s 1996 vintage, Leflaive’s 1999s were quite marked by reduction out of the gates, and the 1999 Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru remains somewhat introverted. Offering up a smoky bouquet of waxy citrus rind, grilled bread, confit lemon and iodine, it’s full-bodied, powerful and tight-knit, with considerable dry extract and concentration, but not much in the way of plenitude or expressiveness. If the Leflaive style is all about elegance, then the 1999 Chevalier is rather blocky and foursquare. Perhaps more will come with time, but for now, my sense is that the 1999â€”like the 1996â€”will never quite realize all its potential. That’s a pity, as this is a superb white Burgundy vintage.
Anticipated maturity: 2009-2039
JancisRobinson.com – 18
(magnum) The second half of the magnum tasted earlier. Pale straw still. Very characteristic sulphidey smell that was apparent earlier (not a powerful characteristic of other vintages of this wine). Great richness on the palate. Racy and lively and strong confidence. Succulent. Quite rich – this has taken on body in the 40 minutes or so since we tasted the first half of this magnum. Great balance.
Anticipated maturity: 2006-2020