Domaine Lécheneaut 2017

Domaine Lécheneaut 2017

We have never had anything other than an uplifting tasting at Domaine Lécheneaut.  The wines are possessed by such clarity and precision and seem to get better year on year.  Vincent and Philippe Lécheneaut were both there to greet the five members of Atlas who visited in November to taste the 2017s.  Their commentary on the vintage is always so insightful, informed by their renowned knowledge and skill in managing their vineyards.  For their 2017s, they stressed the importance of early de-budding in order to manage volume.  While many producers may have waited until the frost threat had passed – scarred as they may have been from several years of very low yields –  Vincent and Philippe are of the opinion that the quality will be compromised if you do not restrict your bud numbers at the outset – even if this does leave you open to possible first damage.  This is a clear demonstration of their primary focus: quality of fruit before all else. 

The domaine itself is situated in Nuits-Saint-Georges, but extends over 10 hectares of vines across 18 different appellations with some considerable holdings in Premier Cru vineyards, including Les Pruliers and Les Damodes, as well as a tiny parcel of Grand Cru Clos de la Roche.  Fernand Lécheneaut worked for a négociant house and sold fruit from his own three hectares, purchased in the 1960s.  Over the subsequent years, the family added to their holdings.  It was Fernand’s sons, Vincent and Philippe, who then set themselves up as a fully-fledged domaine in the 1980s. 

Given glowing reviews, significant holdings and evident winemaking talent, it is surprising that this domaine has remained off the radar for so long, though we were pleased to see them mentioned as an estate in the ascendant by Tim Atkin MW in Decanter this year. The brothers have accomplished much in the last 30 years and are subsequently very highly-regarded by fellow growers. It was, in fact, a personal recommendation from one such grower that led to our initial interest. The philosophy here includes organic and biodynamic principles which often underline the focus and attentiveness of a grower. The quality of the fruit is key to their success and each vintage we have assessed has demonstrated stunning purity. These are deceptively long-lived wines; while it is the fruit expression that comes to the fore, there is an underlying structure of great presence. High class Burgundy, indeed.

2017 Hautes Cotes de Nuits, Domaine Lécheneaut

£180 per 12 bottle case in bond

Clean, fresh, dark berry fruit nose and palate.  A lovely moreish, vibrant style.  Drink 2019-2025

Domaine Lecheneaut, Gevrey-Chambertin 2017

£180 per 6 bottles case in bond

There is always such a wonderful depth to the darker, forest fruits in the Lecheneaut’s village Gevrey, a consequence, no doubt of the old vines that make up the two parcels for this cuvee.  Pure, fresh fruit on the nose leads into a palate of dark fruit depth and good structure.  There is lovely balance between the sweet fruit, the finely-expressed tannins and the long fresh finish.  Another excellent village wine from Vincent and Philippe. Drink 2022-2029

2017 Morey-St Denis, Domaine Lécheneaut

£180 per 6 bottle case in bond

Scented blue fruit nose.  Spice and mineral notes too.  Great clarity of fruit expression.  The palate is beautifully elegant, showing fresh ripe fruit and a silky texture with fine mineral tannins which lend great precision to the finish.  Drink 2022-2025


2017 Chambolle-Musigny, Domaine Lécheneaut

£210 per 6 bottle case in bond

In contrast to the blue fruit of the Morey, the Chambolle is all supple red fruit, clean and fresh.  There is a gently expressed purity to the fruit and the finish is all fine, chalky tannins.  Drink 2022-2025


2017 Nuits-St Georges, Domaine Lécheneaut

£340 per 12 bottle case in bond

Clean, pure, vibrant core of dark cherry and berry fruit.  Fresh and even-textured through entire palate with a lovely floral, blue fruit lift.  Gentle iron-y tannins are well woven to the fruit and provide good length.  A spicy touch graces the finish.  Such a natural expression and promising great enjoyment after 3 to 5 years in bottle.  Drink 2020-2026


2017 Nuits-St Georges, Les Chouillets, Domaine Lécheneaut

£190 per 6 bottle case in bond

From a particularly old vine parcel, the Chouillets always offers a step up in sophistication from the straight village cuvée.  The dark berry and cherry fruit here show in a floral and exotic way with good intensity and mineral power.  The old vines bring a degree of elegance and refinement to the finish.  Drink 2020-2026


2017 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru, Domaine Lécheneaut

£320 per 6 bottle case in bond

Perfumed and pure with a fruit style that is intensely floral, with strawberry cream and raspberry ripple notes highly appealing.  The palate flows with beautifully elegant fruit underscored by a fine chalky minerality and great persistence. Drink 2022-2028


2017 Nuits-St Georges 1er Cru, Les Damodes, Domaine Lécheneaut

£310 per 6 bottle case in bond

Scented floral cherry fruit nose.  The palate is cushioned, almost velvet-textured exhibiting what French winemakers call sucrosité, a sensation on the palate more to do with a balance between unctuosity and suppleness, where the interplay of sweet fruit, glycerol and alcohol all gives weight allied to freshness with appealing harmony.  This is another accomplished, appealing Damodes from the Lécheneaut brothers, showing all the fruit, spice and texture of this northern Nuits Premier Cru.  Drink 2025-2032


2017 Nuits-St Georges 1er Cru, Les Pruliers, Domaine Lécheneaut

£310 per 6 bottle case in bond

The Lécheneaut Pruliers is immediately more mineral than the Damodes.  The fruit here is darker, with a touch of spice to the blue and black berry fruit of good richness and depth.  There is excellent purity and concentration and the fruit is beautifully framed by the taut mineral power on a finely delineated and persistent finish.  Such clarity and energy and a wonderful contrast to the Damodes.  Drink 2025-2032


2017 Clos de la Roche Grand Cru, Domaine Lécheneaut

£810 per 6 bottle case in bond  - SOLD OUT

Spicy, refined blue fruit character on the nose. The palate shows the same fruit and spice allied to a firm mineral expression.  This is profound, layered, complex and very long on minerality showing great tension and a building sense of depth and energy.  This should develop superbly over a decade or so in bottle.  Drink 2027-2035

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