Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > France >
Aug 6, 2014 11:52 PM

Olivier Laflaive, Pugliny Montrachet tasting dinner

This was an odd little evening. Very warm and attentive welcome and service. Ordinary food as expected. Four course no choice and unchanging menu. We opted for 7 wines; options were 5, 7 or 9. Wines were well described and questions encouraged.

What was baffling was that although we were familiar in general with the wines served, we found none to be delicious, anything that we would want to buy.

The crowd was something between wannabe bobo and grown-up restaurant types. Most were staying in the guestrooms.

Worth the evening for the scene and people watching.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Thanks Mangeur for the review! Struggling whether to book Olivier Laflaive or Domaine Senard for lunch. We will be in Beaune Sept.4-11. Our serious considerations are Le P'TIT, Ma Cuisine, 21 Boulevard, Chez-Guy, Lameloise, and Hostellerie de Levernois. We would definitely modify if you have any recommendations based on your experiences while in Beaune or nearby villages/towns.

    Would appreciate additional reviews although I realize you are on vacation.
    Have a great trip!

    1. Hmm, that is baffling given their list of wines...

      2 Replies
      1. re: Kurtis

        I seem to remember only buying a couple of bottles at the top their list as I found much of what I tried to be OK but not special. We found more interesting wines at some of the cellar doors, one very obscure producer had some well priced good quality wines (and I have no clue as to their name as it was a few years ago).

        I thought the whole set up was squarely aimed at the wine tourist market providing a fairly rapid and simple way to tick the regions whites off he bucket list. Its done well but I am probably not their target market.

        1. re: Kurtis

          It is a "meet Mickey Mouse" setting with one of the Leflaive brothers periodically wandering through the dining room in dark windbreaker and straw field hat.

          Olivier Laflaive is a mass producer, altho some of their isn't bad for the production size and methods.

        2. Olivier Leflaive is a middle-of-the-road OK negociant Burgundy producer. The wines are seldom anything better than good with an occasional very good.

          DOMAINE LEFLAIVE, on the other hand, is among the best, if not the best, white Burgundy producer. There is a world of difference between the two. Domaine Leflavie's 2005 Chevalier Montrachet is certainly one of the greatest (perhaps the greatest) white Burgs I have tasted in the last 50 years. You can seldom go wrong even with their bottom of the line Macon Verze.

          Now,I seldom even bother to taste Olivier Leflaive, although they have gotten a bit better in the last five years.

          1 Reply
          1. re: jock

            It could be just difference between a man or a women's touch in the cellar. However, watching the scene at an Olivier meal is almost worth the price of admission. We saw a fellow walk in clutching a Robert Parker guide as thought it was a bible and his last meal, last time there.

            Much rather eat at Le Montrachet and have the wonderful Lady sommelier or Thierry help us chose the wines.

          2. I will definitely try to book at Le Montrachet per your suggestion Blueox. Reading the "Burgundy Restaurants not to be missed" thread has been very informative. Thanks to everyone who has posted!

            Be easy on me when I ask this question-has anyone read Ray Walker's book and if so what is your opinion of his wines?

            1 Reply
            1. re: plufmud

              Read his book, he seemed to "get" the Cote d'Or culture, both positive and negative. But haven't tried any of his wine.

              A person to ask about Walker's wine would be Monsieur Julian at Caveu Puligny.

              I did fear Walker's book would have a Peter Mayle effect on Cote d'Or.

            2. Set and unchanging menu (e.g. Boeuf Bourguignon, and Coq au Vin at Comte Senard ) for tasting lunch/dinner is understandable choice given the goal of the meal, but I wonder if there are excellent restaurants in this region where you can have well-(self)selected multiple (>5, ideally 7 or more half glasses) wine pairing? For example, is Ma Cuisine's WBTG have enough variety that are of quality, and will they cater to this for a three course dinner?

              9 Replies
              1. re: Kurtis

                A worthwhile question. Will work on it along with you. A problem is that this area is so inundated wirh tourists that form frequently supercedes content.

                1. re: Kurtis

                  Ma Cuisine is a sure bet, since the restaurant has such a magnum-opus wine focus.
                  The wine list of Ma Cuisine is the length of War and Peace.

                  1. re: Kurtis

                    For drinking/ tasting rather than eating, there are a couple of excellent bars in the area - Bar du Square in Beaune and Chez Bruno in Dijon. Bruno has a blackboard of options by the glass (not exclusively burg) plus a formidable burg-based cellar, Bar du Square didn't have its selection so clearly marked, but had many open bottles from which they were pouring tastes for interested drinkers and also a great cellar. Great hospitality and knowledge at both places (Bar du Square's proprietor is Romain Escoffier, whose parents are behind Ma Cuisine) and a great vibe overall - these are the sort of places where you find yourself swapping glasses or splitting bottles with strangers at the counter, although it helps to be French-speaking, few tourists when I've been there. Only ham, cheese and the like by way of food though.

                    1. re: Kurtis

                      "For example, is Ma Cuisine's WBTG have enough variety that are of quality, and will they cater to this for a three course dinner?"

                      On our recent and the first visit here, as Pierre seems to be the only one running the dining room, I did not feel asking for extended wine tasting to go with the meal was suited. What a great meal here though, w/ warmth of the host and great quality ingredients presented in simplest form.

                      1. re: Kurtis

                        The restaurant is a vintners' hangout. It would not have been much hardship to do the pairing, but your consideration must be part of the reasons why you have a good time and get good treatment everywhere you go. The opposite of those who ask "do you think they'll let me tweak this and that and that of the tasting menu? They let me do that in their Vegas branch".

                        1. re: Parigi

                          You are right, and I'm sure it wouldn't have been much for Pierre, and most certainly there will be next time.

                          A part of me though wanted to unfocus on wine a bit on this beautiful fall evening, to just enjoy ourselves overlooking the main floor with complete trust somehow conveyed from the first handshake w/ Pierre that we are in good hands. At the end of the meal, Fabienne took my wife down the steps to show her the desserts to choose from, and the way she "beamed" returning to her seat afterwards was priceless, in no way an arrangement of elaborate wine tasting could have achieved.

                          1. re: Kurtis


                            "Priceless" indeed. We are are traveling vicariously with you.

                            I imagine it's beautiful there this time of year. -- Jake