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We grabbed a few extra bottles these are now available in the Shop. See what’s left.

About Benjamin Leroux

“You may remember that when I asked Allen Meadows, aka Burghound, on this video who he thought might be a natural heir to the late great Henri Jayer of Burgundy, one of the two people he cited was young Benjamin Leroux of Domaine Comte Armand.” Jancis Robinson

“Leroux’s passion, ambition and sheer talent have already resulted in a number of stunning, beautiful wines, but my sense is that the best is yet to come.”  Wine Advocate # 194 May 2011

“I have never heard a more articulate and insightful presentation.” James Halliday on the Leroux 2008s Masterclass with Benjamin Leroux, The Australian, 11th September 2010.

Benjamin Leroux, previously manager/winemaker of Domaine Comte Armand launched his own label with the 2007 vintage. He works from a brand new winery in the center of Beaune (just off the Boulevard) that he shares with Dominique Lafon and two other wine growers. The operation is very small and will eventually specialise, primarily, in Puligny and Volnay, but with many other appellations also covered. While there are over twenty terroirs produced, this is certainly a ‘micro negociant’ operation with only two to five barrels made of most of the cuvees. Leroux works with vineyards he manages, vineyards he owns and also buys fruit (never juice or wine) from growers with who he can work closely; growers that produce the quality of fruit to match Leroux’s exacting standards.

Leroux’s vision has always been to build an Estate and to this end he has already started buying vineyards. The first stage of his evolution however has been to establish the micro negociant business: a phase that has allowed him to establish a winery and refine his ideas and his understanding of the terroirs with which he wants to work. The way Leroux has structured this side of his business is highly innovative. His aim has been to create the same quality standards of the finest Domaines, despite not owning most of the vineyards. He has long-term relationships with the growers that he works with, some of which he pays by the area of land rather than the quantity of fruit harvested. This allows him to dictate lower yields, ripeness, date of harvest, and so on. He only works with high quality growers who plough or do not use herbicides or pesticides. Most are organic or biodynamic. For those that are not there is an understanding that they will move to organics over a five-year period. Leroux’s knowledge of the Côte is encyclopedic and he has been able to unearth some very interesting, previously hardly known sources for his portfolio. It’s important not to underestimate how close Leroux works these growers as that is one of the keys to his ability to coax the finest fruit quality from the vineyards.

A total of 120 barrels were produced in his first vintage, 2007 and some of the cuvees offered had already been produced by Leroux for a number of years at Comte Armand. These wines have now come across to the Benjamin Leroux label. Leroux is considered one of the most gifted and knowledgeable wine growers in all of the Côte d’Or.

Leroux is considered one of the most gifted and knowledgeable wine growers in all of the Côte d’Or. It only suffices to ask any other serious producer about Leroux to realize the respect he has garnered amongst his colleagues in the region. He was always considered a prodigy, studying at the Lycée Viticole in Beaune from the age of 13 and taking the reins at the esteemed Domaine Comte Armand when he was only 26. Leroux’s success with the Domaine’s wines over the last decade has well justified the decision to appoint such a young man to run the show. He continued to manage Comte Armand until 2014, despite now having his own range of wines (another sign of how well respected he is). While his range includes many famous terroirs, Leroux is determined only to work with vineyards that have been well managed and produce outstanding fruit, regardless of whether or not they have famous names. This makes sense, Leroux’s knowledge of Burgundy’s countless terroirs runs deep and producers like him are waking up the wine world to the fact that the reputation of many Côte d’Or vineyards has as much to do with the producers who work them than any intrinsic qualities of the sites themselves.

A Review of the 2015 Vintage for Benjamin Leroux

“As the ratings and commentaries demonstrate, 2015 was a first-rate vintage for Leroux. However, I was particularly impressed with some of the villages level wines as they box well above their respective weight class in the appellation hierarchy.” Allen Meadows, Burghound

“Leroux’s 2015s… combine silkiness and power and avoid edgy tannins.” Stephen Tanzer, Vinous.com

“I will leave the [2015] tasting notes to do the talking. There are some exceptional wines here that rank alongside the illustrious names of Burgundy. He certainly has the gift of touch that seems to elevate everything from village crus to grand crus.” Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate

There’s been a lot of hype about the reds in 2015, completely justified, and tasting Benjamin Leroux’s wines from cask has provided its fair share of breathtaking moments. All the wines were a joy to taste early. It will be fascinating to compare them from bottle. There is a lot of power but also tremendous freshness and purity (in both reds and whites). One of the big talking points this year is bound to be Leroux’s return to his old stomping ground in Pommard. For many years Leroux has said it would take a pretty special offer to bring him back to the village where he honed his craft as the young prodigy at Comte Armand. He appears to have found just the motivation in his favoured 1er of Rugiens, on the same iron rich red clay as the Clos des Epeneaux. There’s also a Pommard village cuvée this year—so the right kind of lightning struck twice in 2015.

The Pommard wines aside, there are a number of new cuvées offered this year, although we also say goodbye to a number of wines as well – the Vosne Suchots being a prime example.

In terms of the vinifications, those parcels with ripe stems saw a high degree of whole bunch ferments this year. Not only was this to help preserve freshness, Leroux also noted that, “whole clusters allows you to extract a little less and the stems suck up a bit of sugar and alcohol, and the tannins are smoother.” Another feature this year was that Leroux pulled back on punch downs (pigeage), a theme we have seen with many top Burgundy growers. I have the feeling that Burgundy has learnt the lesson of 2005 – in a year where power is a given, a gentle extraction is best.

The 2015 white wines here are also extremely impressive. Leroux rapidly picked all the white parcels between 2-6 September, and there’s ample, vibrant acidity (alongside surprisingly pungent minerality in many cases) to buffer the supple flesh of the vintage. Since we tasted the whites from barrel, Leroux has noted an increased focus and tension as the wines continued their maturation. For the most part he took the whites out of barrel after 12 months and put them to tank on lees (for the last six months). Leroux likes the added freshness that a little controlled reduction approach can bring. He’s in good company; the likes of Antoine Jobard, Vincent Dancer and Olivier Lamy said exactly the same thing to us this year. Another feature of his approach with 2015 (that Leroux again shares with the aforementioned growers) is how little new oak he has used across both colours. The village whites, for example, saw only between 0% and 15%. Even the powerful terroirs like Bâtard, Clos de la Roche and Clos Saint-Denis saw less than 50%. For the entry-level whites Leroux is using more and more 1200 litre ovals and the Bourgogne rouge is now raised in giant, Beaujolais-style five thousand litre casks.

*Stocks of the Grand Crus and Premier Crus are extremely limited. First come, first served. Wines are available for immediate delivery.

This offer has expired, wines are subject to availability. We'll do our best to satisfy your tastebuds.

Benjamin Leroux

OFFER – 2015
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About the Wines

Thoughts from Burghound

The Whites (all 750ml format white under Stelvin Lux)

2015 Benjamin Leroux Bourgogne Blanc $60/bt from $55 in any 6.

From 2015 Leroux’s Bourgogne Blanc is one of six wines crafted exclusively from estate owned fruit. The majority of this cuvée is drawn from 60 year old vines rooted in a single site in Meursault called Les Millerands (so named because of the small bunches and berries that result in this terroir). Les Millerands is on the Puligny side of Meursault. The other parcels are Sous la Velle (just below Meursault village) and Les Belles Côtes, a Bourgogne-level parcel sited under Les Malpoiriers at the base of the Volnay slope. Vines in this latter site are also farmed by Coche and Roulot. The wine was raised in 12 hectolitre cask for 12 months before spending a few months resting in tank. Lovely texture here, with vibrant, juicy acidity giving definition and tension to the wine’s pulpy fruit. As always, this seriously over delivers.

White Villages

2015 Benjamin Leroux Saint-Romain Sous le Château $80/bt from $75 in any 6.

Leroux’s Saint-Romain hails from a 0.5-hectare parcel in the lieu-dit of Sous le Château. Organically farmed, there are in fact two parcels with 20 and 60 years old vines. The stony, rugged soils are typical of Saint-Romain’s terroir, although, as it is sited under a cliff, this vineyard is protected from the north wind and the plethora of stones on the surface radiate heat. It is therefore a warm terroir in the context of the village. Again, this was vinified in 12 hectolitre cask for 12 months. It is tight and finely structured, with a racy chalky streak running though the wine’s citrusy fruit. Great clarity, precision and deliciousness on offer here.

87-89 Points

“A hint of matchstick character can be found on the very fresh aromas of green apple and citrus zest. There is a lovely sense of vibrancy to the reasonably well-delineated flavors that exhibit a subtle minerality on the nicely dry, crisp and moderately persistent finish. This is pretty much textbook St. Romain.”

Allen Meadows, Burghound issue 67

2015 Benjamin Leroux Auxey-Duresses $80/bt from $75 in any 6.

(There are also half bottles under diam—$48).

Leroux’s Auxey-Duresses vineyards lie below the village, abutting the Meursault Villages Les Vireuils Dessus and Les Meix Chavaux. The land here is north-facing and is therefore affected by the cold air rolling down from the Hautes-Côtes. The wine comes from three terroirs in this cool, mineral (rocky) place – Les Hautés, La Macabrée and Les Boutonniers. The oldest vines date back to 1946, planted just after the war. With a relatively generous 2 hectares to work with, Auxey-Duresses has become a principal wine for Leroux. This was vinified in 12-hectolitre cask for 12 months. While it is clearly riper than 2014, it remains racy and crystalline with nectarine and citrus fruits and a notable core of chalky, mineral freshness. Very smart.

87-89 Points

“A slightly fresher though still notably ripe array combines notes of citrus peel and essence of pear and apple scents. There is once again good volume to the slightly more tightly wound flavors that exude a subtle minerality onto the nicely persistent and relatively dry finale. Once again, this should drink well on the younger side.”

Allen Meadows, Burghound issue 67

2015 Benjamin Leroux Meursault $130/bt from $120 in any 6.

(There are also half bottles under diam—$75).

2015 marks the second vintage of the ‘Estate’ Meursault, exclusively from Benjamin Leroux vineyards. It comes from a range of lieux-dits – Les Millerands, Bois de Blagny, Les Criots and Au Moulin Landin – which combine for a total of 1.6 hectares. The oldest vines again date back to 1946, and the high elevation of Leroux’s terroirs make for a particularly tightly wound mineral wine. Only 10% of this saw new oak and the viticulture across the parcels is now biodynamic. The result is a succulent, layered, glowing wine that is very fine and pure and multilayered with a salty tang. It reminds us of Leroux’s (delicious) 2009 version of this wine.

89-91 Points

“Pale, bright yellow. Sexy ripe stone fruits and nutmeg on the nose and palate, plus a complicating leesy note. Rich, plush and mouthfilling but not heavy thanks to nicely integrated acidity. In fact, this village wine offers lovely balance and finishes firm and classically dry. Perhaps the best of Leroux’s village wines in 2015.”

87-90 Points

“There is an interesting hint of brown butter to the hazelnut and white orchard fruit-scented nose. Once again there is a lovely sense of energy present on the forward but sleek and relatively refined medium-bodied flavors that possess good if not truly special depth and persistence on the balanced finish.”

Allen Meadows, Burghound issue 67

2015 Benjamin Leroux Meursault Les Vireuils $140/bt from $130 in any 6.

Leroux has been making this wine from the same 0.35-hectares of vines since 2002 (pre-2007 at Comte Armand). This is from Vireuils Dessus, one of the higher sites of Meursault, sitting above the renowned Les Chevalières and Les Rougeots lieux-dits in one of the highest parts of Meursault. This is an east-facing, late-ripening site, with pure, rocky, limestone soils. The vines are now around 45 years of age and, as always, have gifted a wine of impressive breed and intense minerality.  Les Vireuils was raised with 15% new oak.

88-91 Points

“Reduction currently dominates the fruit but my sense is that it won’t last once the wine has been racked. On the plus side there is more minerality if a bit less volume to the energetic and slightly more complex flavors that offer solid persistence on the balanced finish where a hint of bitter lemon character emerges.”

Allen Meadows, Burghound issue 67

2015 Benjamin Leroux Meursault Narvaux $150bt from $140 in any 6.

Narvaux is another of Meursault’s highest vineyards, sitting above the 1er cru Les Genevrières. This comes from 0.10-hectares in a clos at the top of the vineyard (Narvaux Dessus) so it could be labelled Clos de Narvaux. This parcel is right next to Dominique Lafon’s vines and was planted in 1975. The soils have plenty of limestone and also iron oxide, the latter giving the soil a reddish tinge. It’s a beautifully managed vineyard, with all the work by hand without aid of a tractor, by a 76-year-old vigneron. The wine from here is round and textural – Clos de Narvaux has very shallow soils and a southerly aspect, which promote both low yields and excellent ripening. Yet the minerality is equally intense. There is also around 5% of Chardonnay Muscaté in the blend. In 2015 Leroux vinified only a single (used) barrel of this cuvée. It’s a super vibrant wine packed with citrus and grapefruit and a precise, tapering finish. “Outstanding” just about covers it.

89-91 Points

Outstanding Top Value “A wide-ranging nose offers up notes of citrus blossom, pear, apple and a hint of hazelnut. Once again there is a lovely sense of vibrancy to the sappy and dense medium weight flavors that exhibit a subtle minerality on the slightly more complex and persistent finale. This is a bit more tightly wound and worth a look.”

Allen Meadows, Burghound issue 67

2015 Benjamin Leroux Chassagne-Montrachet $120/bt from $110 in any 6.

As we know Leroux is no stranger to Chassagne, and his intimacy shows here. This comes from three different sources but mostly from a terroir called Les Voillenots Dessus (just under 1er cru La Maltroie) with vines averaging around 30 years of age. As with Leroux’s Meursault villages, this wine was aged in mature 600 litre barrels (20% new) for a year before being transferred to tank before bottling.

89-91 Points

“Medium yellow; these 2015s show pale, healthy colors. Explosive pear and peach aromas lifted by a floral topnote. Nicely concentrated and shapely, with the flavors of peach, pear and flowers showing a trace of alcoholic warmth. Saline and a touch dry on the finish, the latter probably due to the recent sulfur addition. Offers a nice combination of richness and healthy acidity.”

88-91 Points

“A pungent and difficult nose is composed of post-malo lactic and reductive aromas. On the plus side there is excellent richness to the very generously proportioned middle weight flavors that possess a caressing mouth feel before terminating in a solidly complex and persistent finish. This is a very competent villages though I underscore that my projected range offers the benefit of the doubt on the nose.”

Allen Meadows, Burghound issue 67

2015 Benjamin Leroux Puligny-Montrachet $150/bt from $140 in any 6.

As per last year, the Puligny is drawn from three parcels spread across the village; the lieu-dit Corvée des Vignes from Clos du Château and the high-grown Le Trézin, close to the border with Saint-Aubin. Across the parcels, the vines now average 40 years old. The Puligny was raised in mostly 300 litre barrels (15% new).

88-90 Points

Bright pale yellow. Very ripe but lively aromas of stone fruits, lemon and spices. Quite silky on entry, then firm and reticent on the back half, showing lovely inner-mouth energy. Not at all overdone. Finishes with a touch of positive phenolic character.”

White Premiers Crus

2015 Benjamin Leroux Meursault 1er Cru Les Porusots $230/bt from $210 in any 6.

Leroux’s wine from this small 1er Cru comes from a 0.30 hectare, organically-managed parcel in the Porusots Dessus, the section of the vineyard bordering Genevrières. Wines from this vineyard can also be bottled as Poruzots. It’s an east-facing site with very little topsoil. Most of the fruit comes from a parcel of 1930 vines that produce tiny, concentrated berries. The rest comes from 25 year old vines. This is a site that is known for producing layered and earthy Meursault (see Germain & Jobard) and Leroux’s example is typically one of his most intensely mineral whites. Vinified with (an almost invisible) 25% new oak, the juicy, young ’15 is already showing a seductive texture – generous and graceful – shot through with a citric cut and a nip of phenolic grip on the compact, rocky finish. In a word, brilliant.

89-91 Points

“There is a hint of the exotic to the fresh if markedly ripe nose of white and yellow orchard fruit, muscat and floral aromas that are trimmed in just enough wood to notice. The big-bodied, powerful and concentrated flavors brim with dry extract while delivering fine if not truly exceptional depth and persistence on the clean and relatively dry finish. This isn’t elegant but I like the balance and it should drink well after only a few years of cellaring if desired.”

Allen Meadows, Burghound issue 67

2015 Benjamin Leroux Meursault 1er Cru Les Genevrières Dessous $275/bt from $255 in any 6.

Few will need reminding that Genevrières is one of Meursault’s greatest terroirs, probably the finest after Les Perrières.  Please note that this is not the same Genevrières we offered last year from Leroux’s own vines – we will have this latter cuvée back again next year. Leroux picked his Genevrières on 4 September and the wine was matured with just 25% new oak. Dessus, or Dessous, this is wonderful Genevrières with lovely aromas of citrus, stone fruit and white florals leading to fleshy, satin richness in the mouth and a sprightly, pure and precise finish. Grand cru quality.

90-92 Points

“Aromas of lemon, lime, flowers and nuts. Very rich and fat but classically dry, communicating a slightly aggressive alcoholic warmth. Most impressive today on the slowly mounting back end, where dusty minerality currently overshadows the wine’s ripe stone fruit flavors.”

89-92 Points

“Reductive notes and wood dominate the fruit today. There is both excellent volume and plenty of sappy dry extract to the notably more refined middle weight flavors that exude evident minerality on the moderately powerful finish where the only reproach is a touch of warmth. Like the Porusots, this should also drink reasonably well after only a few years of bottle age.”

Allen Meadows, Burghound issue 67

2015 Benjamin Leroux Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Abbaye de Morgeot $165/bt from $150 in any 6.

The Abbaye de Morgeot vineyard is situated in the southern part of the Morgeot 1er Cru. Morgeot, like many of the larger sites of the Côte d’Or, is in fact a collection of smaller terroirs. Some of these are richer in clay and were historically planted to red grapes. The lime-rich soils of the Abbaye de Morgeot lieu-dit, like Tête du Clos and Fairendes, was always known as a white wine site and it continues to produce deep, layered yet very mineral expressions of Morgeot, hence the separate labelling. It has a soil of limestone and marl (chalky clay) with a reddish tinge, due to the presence of some iron in its soil. Leroux’s 0.5-hectare parcel was planted in 1969, and the wine was matured in barriques, 20% new. We loved the sense of restrained power here. It will probably give the most immediate pleasure (of Leroux’s Chassagne 1ers) but there is also plenty of age worthy depth and intensity on offer as well. Dense and rocky and with an almost powdery close, this is seriously good Morgeot.

88-91 Points

“A deft but not invisible application of wood sets off notes various white orchard fruit, petrol and lychee nut aromas. The super-rich and lavishly proportioned flavors possess excellent concentration as well as plenty of dry extract that coats the palate on the sappy and reasonably persistent finale.”

Allen Meadows, Burghound issue 67

2015 Benjamin Leroux Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Baudines $185/bt from $170 in any 6.

The 3.60-hectare Les Baudines vineyard sits up high on the slope, near the tree line on the south-western border of Chassagne. It’s naturally a very cool site with mostly white clay soils and offers a terroir that perfectly suits Leroux’s desire to produce cool, fine-boned Chassagne. From vines planted around 1980, this is a deliciously complex and racy white Burgundy with a superb balance of pulp-rich, compact fruit and ‘mineral steel’ (to borrow Jasper Morris’ phrase).

89-92 Points

“Deeply pitched aromas of very ripe stone fruits, clove and butter. Comes across as fatter and slightly more alcoholic than the Abbaye de Morgeot but it’s also less forthcoming today, with its fruit in the background. Finishes dry but persistent, with lingering spices.”

90-92 Points

“Here too there is just enough wood toast present to remark upon framing the cool and relatively restrained nose of citrus, apple and mineral-reduction aromas. There is a bit better intensity and vibrancy to the markedly more mineral-driven flavors that are rich but focused and particularly so on the lingering if slightly warm finish where a hint of lemon zest emerges.”

Allen Meadows, Burghound issue 67

2015 Benjamin Leroux Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Embazées $185/bt from $170 in any 6.

Another of Chassagne’s lesser-known gems being explored by Leroux, Embazées can also be bottled under the Bois de Chassagne name but is typically labelled as Embrazées, even though the correct name on the map is Embazées, without the ‘r’. This site sits right on the south-western border of Chassagne above Tête du Clos and just below Les Baudines. So it is a terrific terroir with shallow top soil that is full of limestone pebbles. Leroux works with just 0.28-hectares planted around 1980. Both this wine and Les Baudines were vinified with 20% new oak. Tasted from barrel, this was looking full and silky with brilliant purity and striking mineral freshness contributing to the wine’s agile, energetic feel.

90-93 Points

“Very ripe, expressive aromas of peach, pear, nuts and wildflowers. Wonderfully silky and sweet but framed by lively harmonious acidity; really spreads out to fill the mouth without leaving any impression of heaviness. The broad, slightly phenolic finish dusts the palate and vibrates. Slightly higher in alcohol than the Baudines, at 13.6%. Both of these vineyards produced about 40 hectoliters per hectare from 35-year-old vines, according to Leroux, who noted that this wine was “difficult” until mid-April and is now gaining in freshness.”

90-92 Points

“A pungent array of reduction and oak leads to bigger and richer medium-bodied flavors that possess solid mid-palate concentration and ample dry extract that imparts a suave mouth feel to the palate coating finish that tightens up sufficiently on the finish to suggest that this should reward 5 to 7 years of keeping. That said, I suspect that if your preference is for younger whites that this will oblige.”

Allen Meadows, Burghound issue 67

2015 Benjamin Leroux Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Tête du Clos $230/bt from $210 in any 6.

Tête du Clos is a sub-climate of Morgeot and is, to our mind, one of Chassagne’s top few 1er crus. Here, at the apex of the vineyard, the soil is almost ‘solid rock’ to quote Leroux, with some white marl and plenty of limestone rocks on the surface. It’s about the same altitude as Les Embazées, but this showcases a completely different expression of Chassagne. Leroux’s old-vine Tête du Clos parcel (0.4-hectares planted in 1955) produces small, concentrated clusters, and he only managed to get the insanely low yield of 18 hectolitres per hectare in 2015. The resulting power of the wine means that it saw a tad more new oak than the preceding Chassagnes; 25% in this case. Where Meadow’s refers to “reduction” below, what he is probably seeing is a vineyard character (due to the lack of topsoil), not winemaking artefact. As the man said—the wine is ‘Outstanding’.

91-93 Points

“Enticing aromas of ripe peach and apple, musky hazelnut and sexy spices. Fat, silky and utterly seamless, with its richness nicely counterpointed by well-integrated acidity. A serious mouthful of wine with a long, spicy, lightly dusty finish.”

90-93 Points

Outstanding Top Value. “Here too the pungent nose is composed by notes of reduction and wood nuances. Otherwise there is impressive volume, mid-palate density and richness to the broad-shouldered and powerful flavors that possess a suave yet entirely serious mouth feel before concluding in a beautifully complex, balanced and lingering finish that is shaped by citrus-tinged acidity. In short, this is impressive and built for mid-term aging.”

Allen Meadows, Burghound issue 67

White Grand Crus

2015 Benjamin Leroux Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru $325/bt from $300 in any 6.

Leroux’s Corton Charlie comes from a postage stamp 0.12-hectares plot in En Charlemagne on the Pernand side of the hill, where the vines were planted in the late ’70s. Two barrels out of five were new. The 2015 is simply outstanding as the notes below make clear.

91-93 Points

“Sexy musky scents of acacia blossom, hazelnut and crushed-stone minerality; very complex and subtle. Deep, rich and dry, showing surprising acidity to its tactile mineral and nutmeg flavors. Finishes powerful, even a bit aggressive, in a distinctly masculine style. The pH is here is a fairly low 3.18 and this wine is still holding 3.8 grams of residual sugar, which I never would have guessed owing to its buffering minerality.”

90-93 Points

“This too is ripe but very fresh with its combination of green apple, white flower, mineral reduction and softly spiced pear aromas. As one would reasonably expect there is more size, weight, concentration and power to the big-bodied flavors that also coat the palate on the slightly warm bitter lemon-inflected finish. This isn’t as structured as it usually is and while it won’t necessarily drink well on release, it should do so earlier than would be typical.”

Allen Meadows, Burghound issue 67

2015 Benjamin Leroux Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru $900/bt from $875 in any 6.

Only two barrels were made here in 2015 (from 0.16 hectares) and we are very grateful for the tiny allocation that made its way to Australia. It comes from a brilliantly located plot of 40 year old vines, right next to the Hospices de Beaune’s parcel and directly opposite DRC’s Le Montrachet. This site is now owned by Leroux (although he only gained full control of the vineyard management in 2016). He has recently had the original stone entrance restored. Even with the majesty of the fruit here, only one of the two barrels was new. The Bâtard was picked on 3 September and Leroux notes that, “This type of vintage is great with Bâtard; in a way it is better than 2014.” That’s a big statement that says plenty about the quality of wine on offer.

91-93 Points

“Bright medium yellow. Very ripe stone fruit flavors show a slightly exotic tropical quality. Plush, ripe and sweet, with a distinct thickness to its apple flavor. The long, slowly mounting finish displays terrific soil salinity and power. This wine will likely gain in freshness and definition as it finishes fermenting its sugar.”

91-94 Points

“An exceptionally primary nose only reluctantly offers up its ripe but attractively fresh aromas of various white orchard fruit, floral, spice and discreet citrus nuances. There is outstanding volume to the imposingly-scaled flavors that display first-rate richness while managing to avoid undue heaviness on the powerful, dense and hugely long finish where once again a touch of bitter lemon appears. This will need to add depth to merit the top end of my projected range though the underlying material appears to be present such that it could do just that.”

Allen Meadows, Burghound issue 67

The Reds (all wines under cork unless stated)

2015 Benjamin Leroux Bourgogne Rouge $60/bt from $55 in any 6.

Screwcap. Some new sources in this year’s blend – declassified Beaune and Monthelie villages – alongside the traditional Santenay villages and Santenay 1er cru Commes. Again, there is also a portion of the blend made up from estate Bourgogne Pinot vines in Pommard and Meursault. From the 2015 vintage, this cuvée is now being raised in giant 50-hectolitre Grenier cask, a vessel so large that it has to be assembled in the cellar. In a great red year you would expect this typically outstanding wine to be a great value and that is exactly what it is. Lovely juice, it’s round and yet mouth-watering with layers of dark cherry and anise fruit, ripe tannins and good drive. The whole nine yards.

86 Points

“A fresh, bright and ripe yet cool nose consists mostly of red pinot fruit and soft earth nuances. There is good volume to the round, delicious and appealingly vibrant flavors that terminate in a mildly rustic if persistent finale.”

Allen Meadows, Burghound issue 66

86 Points

“The 2015 Bourgogne has a light raspberry and cranberry bouquet that is nicely defined. The palate is nicely balanced with red plum and red cherry, easy-drinking towards the finish. Your tip-top weekday quaffing Burgundy.”

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate #228

Red Villages

2015 Benjamin Leroux Savigny-lès-Beaune $80/bt from $75 in any 6.

(There are also half bottles—$48.00).

Screwcap. As per his Puligny cuvée, Leroux’s aim here is to craft a wine that reflects both the commune and the vintage overall. To this end he sources fruit from a range of exposures and soil types, although the lion’s share of the 2015 relies on Aux Fournaux in the north of the village. Les Peuillets and Hauts Jarrons 1er Cru in the south and Ez Connardises in the heart of the village make up the quartet of parcels. The final blend saw roughly 30% new oak and 40% whole bunch vinification (mostly applied to the Aux Fournaux). While last year’s devastating frost has put paid to any 2016 Savigny, the 2015 follows on from where the outstanding 2014 left off. Its full and svelte texture, packed with vibrant kirsch, bramble and red forest fruit aromas and flavours.  The note below gives the wine its dues.

89-91 Points

“It has a very attractive floral bouquet with dark berry fruit matched with fine mineralité. The palate is well balanced with fine tannin, very pure fruit here with dark cherry and raspberry, elegant and poised on the finish. There is lovely Pinoté here – a very expressive , well-crafted village cru.”

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate #228

2015 Benjamin Leroux Volnay $120/bt from $110 in any 6.

(There are also half bottles—$75).

Screwcap. 2015 represents yet another miserly crop for Leroux’s Volnay villages—just five barrels were made in 2015. Quality, however, is off the charts—not least because around 50% of the wine is actually declassified 1er Cru. This year the 1er cru sites: La Gigotte, Les Mitans and Les Santenots, provide the heavyweight material, with the balance coming from the villages Les Famines and La Gigotte (there is both 1er and village parcels in this terroir). With zero new oak and made from entirely destemmed fruit, the ’15 is a super pure, highly perfumed Volnay that tastes every bit the 1er cru. Satin textured with dark cherry fruit, flecked with violet and a gentle lick of ripe, tender tannin; this is Volnay villages of the highest order.

89-91 Points

“An attractively layered if not particularly elegant nose offers up pungently earthy aromas of red pinot fruit, violet and game. There is better refinement to the sleek middle weight flavors that are shaped by relatively fine-grained tannins on the saline, dusty and well-balanced finale. The contribution of the 1er proportion is evident and overall this is an especially good Volnay villages.”

Allen Meadows, Burghound issue 66

2015 Benjamin Leroux Pommard $130/bt from $120 in any 6.

Cork. New Cuvée. What is it they say? You can take the man out of Pommard…? This is the first of two new Pommard cuvées in 2015. It’s a village blend of two parcels – Les Cras, below the village and the later ripening Vaumuriens on the high slope. These two parcels were picked almost a week apart, giving us an idea of the importance of terroir in 2015. This cuvée sees minimal whole bunch (just 10%) and was raised with roughly 30% new oak.

89-92 Points

“A slightly riper nose is composed of dark berry, plum, floral and freshly turned earth where the latter element continues onto the bigger and richer flavors that enjoy an excellent sense of vibrancy. There is a touch of rusticity that arises on the powerful and persistent finish but this is a seriously good Pommard villages and highly recommended if you have at least moderate patience.”

Allen Meadows, Burghound issue 66

2015 Benjamin Leroux Gevrey-Chambertin $130/bt from $120 in any 6.

(There are also half bottles—$85).

Cork. Following the ever-declining yields in Volnay, Gevrey has seemingly cemented its position as Leroux’s northern powerhouse. In the main, the 2015 village blend was drawn from two vineyards – the 50 year old vines of Les Seuvrées (bordering Morey), makes up 65% of the blend while the balance comes from the northern, limestone-rich site of La Justice. Each parcel was vinified separately before blending after the malolactic.  Just 15% new oak here, and 20% whole bunches. It’s a seductive, layered, Gevrey loaded, with sweet, fresh, spicy fruit that builds to a sappy, delicious finish. Yes please.

89-91 Points

“A relatively pretty nose combines notes of red currant, pomegranate, pinot spice and soft earth nuances. There is both fine energy and delineation to the caressing middle weight flavors that immediately tighten up on the bitter pit fruit-inflected finish. This excellent Gevrey villages should be approachable on the younger side but clearly has the stuff to reward up to a decade of cellaring.”

Allen Meadows, Burghound issue 66

2015 Benjamin Leroux Morey-Saint-Denis $130/bt from $120 in any 6.

Cork. Pierre Virant is a thin strip of a vineyard adjacent to the much better known Monts Luisants (village section). Both sites lie at the top of the slope above Clos de la Roche, just below the forest with an old quarry above. Leroux’s parcel, and our third allocation of this wine, comes from a small parcel of vines that are now 40 years old. The grapes were 100% destemmed, with 25% new oak.

89-92 Points

“An unusually perfumed and elegant array is comprised by wafting aromas of red berries, lilac and lovely spice wisps. There is less volume but more refinement to the wonderfully textured, intense and delineated medium weight flavors that exhibit good minerality on the dusty, youthfully austere and strikingly complex finale. This is a first-rate Morey villages and highly recommended.”

Allen Meadows, Burghound issue 66

2015 Benjamin Leroux Chambolle-Musigny $170/bt from $155 in any 6.

(There are also half bottles—$105).

Cork. This comes from a quality, single old vine parcel of Les Véroilles, the highest vineyard in Chambolle, sitting well above Bonnes Mares. Part of this vineyard, just over half a hectare, was promoted to 1er Cru in 1987 and this part is a monopole of Domaine Ghislaine Barthod. The villages section of the vineyard has a slightly deeper soil, yet remains rocky, with white marl, terres blanches, and very little topsoil before the rock. From vines dating back to 1955, Leroux has used 60% whole bunches in 2015 and has then raised the wine in 20% new oak. It’s an extroverted, perfumed Chambolle with plenty of fruit (we found pomegranate and white cherry in the mix) and a seductive texture. The parcel’s chalky subsoil imprints itself on the wine’s long, laser guided finish.

89-91 Points

“An exuberantly spicy nose combines ripe yet cool and relatively high-toned aromas of red cherry, pomegranate and lilac. The refined, focused, intense and beautifully delineated flavors deliver fine length on the presently tightly wound and stony finale. This is very Chambolle in style.”

Allen Meadows, Burghound issue 66

2015 Benjamin Leroux Vosne-Romanée $170/bt from $155 in any 6.

Cork. In 2014 Leroux won the contract to work with two parcels of Vosne. Both have 60 year old vines and both lie in the north side of the village: a parcel in Maizières (Basses) that spans the Vosne-Flagey border and one in Les Violettes that lies entirely within the boundaries of Flagey-Echézeaux, bordering the Clos Vougeot. Both parcels are planted to Pinot Fin and the viticulture is organic. This year, Leroux has added a parcel of Les Raviolles to the roster.  Making up a quarter of the blend, Les Raviolles lies under the northern 1er crus of Nuits-St-Georges.  This is absolute class: sweet, silky and layered with plush, crushed ripe red fruit, violet and Asian spice notes. It has beautifully fine tannins and the use of 70% whole bunches brings a sappy, spicy freshness.  Everything we love about the best 2015 reds can be tasted in this wine.

89-92 Points

“There is enough wood to warrant mentioning surrounding the super-spicy aromas of black cherry, raspberry, violet and Asian-style tea. The suave, rich and impressively concentrated medium-bodied flavors also deliver fine length and excellent complexity on the even more tightly wound, firm, serious and youthfully austere finale. This is an excellent Vosne villages and highly recommended.”

Allen Meadows, Burghound issue 66

Red Premier Cru

2015 Benjamin Leroux Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Cru Hauts Jarrons $110/bt from $100 in any 6.

Screwcap. The vines here form a part of the La Dominode terroir in the heart of the 1er Cru Hauts Jarrons. Located on the east-facing slope of Savigny the vines here are on the Beaune side of Savigny from where the most elegant wines tend to derive. This is a site owned by one of Leroux’s close friends. Like most of the terrain in the Côte d’Or, the soils here are clay/limestone, but here the clay is light and sandy. It offers more texture and weight than the villages cuvée, as you would expect, but also a filigree elegance with aromas and flavours of wild strawberry and crushed herbs. In the mouth there’s surprising density and supple grip as well as vibrant freshness. Another great effort—this is Savigny writ large.

90-92 Points

“This is at once cooler and more elegant with its pretty combination of violet, red cherry, earth and a hint of oak. The sleek, focused and more evidently mineral-driven medium-bodied flavors possess good verve as well as fine intensity on the beautifully well-balanced finale. Lovely.”

Allen Meadows, Burghound issue 66

91-93 Points

“The 2015 Savigny-les-Beaune 1er Cru Aux Jarrons has a more introspective bouquet than the village cru, adorned with dark cherry and bergamot scents, nicely integrated oak lending a sense of aromatic seamlessness. The palate is very fine, silky smooth with well-judged acidity, the 25% whole bunch fruit barely noticeable on the seductive finish. What a gorgeous Savigny-lès-Beaune!”

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate #228

2015 Benjamin Leroux Volnay 1er Cru Les Mitans $170/bt from $155 in any 6.

Cork. Les Mitans is probably best known in Australia through the wines of Domaine de Montille. Throw in Lafarge and you can see that Leroux has some pretty good company in this vineyard. It’s also considered one of the most elegant, delicate expressions of Volnay, even though Leroux delivers a wine of real depth and intensity. The vineyard is mid slope and exposed due east with a light, stony topsoil. The 50 year old vines that gift this wine lie close to the Volnay 1er Clos de la Barre. It was one of the few Leroux 1er crus from 2015 to be entirely destemmed. It’s a beautifully aromatic, generous Volnay, full of drive and life, with a supple, seductive texture and fine structure.  Class.

90-92 Points

“A markedly floral-infused nose is both cool and admirably pure with its red currant, violet, lilac, spice and tea scents. The delicate and lacy middle weight flavors exude a subtle minerality while delivering fine depth and length on the understated finish where a hint of bitter cherry surfaces. This is pretty much textbook Mitans.”

Allen Meadows, Burghound issue 66

2015 Benjamin Leroux Volnay 1er Cru Caillerets $230/bt from $210 in any 6.

Cork. New Cuvée. Leroux could hardly conceal his excitement when he told us about his newest Volnay contract, and that excitement is certainly brought out by the wine itself. Bordering 1er Cru Santenots to the south and Champans to the north, this beautifully exposed vineyard sits on the mid-slope and is exploited by growers such as Angerville, Lafarge and Pousse d’Or. The 14-odd hectares of Caillerets are subdivided onto three lieux-dits, with Leroux now farming 0.5 hectares of Pinot Fin (planted between 1945 and 1985) in the area known as Caillerets Dessus.  Crafted with 75% whole bunches, this is simply a stunning wine, shimmering with unforced, fleshy red and black fruits, great purity and surprising tension (for the vintage). The sole negative is that only three barrels were made.

91-94 Points

Sweet Spot Outstanding. “Here the nose is notably more complex with its broad-ranging aromas of spiced plum, dark currant, violet and an interesting whisper of orange peel. There is a wonderfully refined mouth feel to the intense, vibrant and mineral-driven medium-bodied flavors that possess a sophisticated texture that transfers over to the serious, built-to-age and hugely persistent finish. This is a Caillerets of class and grace but one that is going to require bottle age first.”

Allen Meadows, Burghound issue 66

2015 Benjamin Leroux Volnay 1er Cru Clos de la Cave des Ducs (Monopole) $215/bt from $195 in any 6.

Cork. Clos de la Cave des Ducs is a monopole vineyard that measures only 0.64 hectare and is owned by the family of Leroux’s right hand man, Jean-Charles Carré. It’s a wine that was rarely seen before Leroux started bottling this site. With Jean-Charles, Leroux controls every aspect of viticulture and so the site is managed biodynamically and with meticulous care. The vineyard is situated within the upper boundaries of the village – the highest 1er cru of Volnay in fact – on fine, light soils. The oldest vines here are now eighty years old although the average age evens out to about 50 years, and includes a 20 year old massale selection parcel sourced from Comte Armand’s Clos des Epeneaux. This year Leroux utilised 60% whole bunch ferments and just 20% new oak. As Neal Martin alludes to, it’s a wine that somewhat contradicts the flamboyant stereotype of the vintage; a striking synthesis of floral, silky fruit, classical, high born structure and lasting freshness and drive.

90-92 Points

“The floral elements are even more prominent here with a similar fruit profile. The tighter and even more delineated flavors possess a taut muscularity as well as firmer if slightly less fine structure on the impressively long, youthfully austere and balanced finale.”

Allen Meadows, Burghound issue 66

92-94 Points

“The 2015 Volnay 1er Cru Clos de la Caves des Ducs has a very pure bouquet: blackberry, raspberry coulis, a touch of wild forest floor and minerals – there is wonderful focus and control here. The palate is very well balanced with crisp acidity, the 50% whole bunch adding a little more edginess compared to the completely de-stemmed Volnay les Mitans, with precision all the way through to the finish. This is a “killer” offering from Benjamin Leroux.”

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate #228

2015 Benjamin Leroux Pommard 1er Cru Rugiens Hauts $230/bt from $210 in any 6.

Cork. New cuvée. Notwithstanding the Clos des Epeneaux, Leroux has always said there is only one 1er cru that would tempt him back to Pommard; Les Rugiens. A new long-term contract with the same owner as the Volnay Caillerets offered above sees Leroux back in his old stomping ground, once again working the same iron rich red clay soils he did at Comte Armand. In particular Leroux’s vines – two small parcels of 25 and 90 year old vines – lie at the foot of Rugiens Haut, the part of the vineyard that is considered by many (Leroux included) to produce Pommard’s greatest wines, Clos des Epeneaux excepted. Needless to say, Leroux’s return to Pommard is a successful one. This deeply flavoured, almost sumptuous, Pommard was fermented with 50% whole clusters and 30% new oak.  “Seriously good,” might be an understatement. It’s a beauty.

89-92 Points

“A slightly riper nose is composed of dark berry, plum, floral and freshly turned earth where the latter element continues onto the bigger and richer flavors that enjoy an excellent sense of vibrancy. There is a touch of rusticity that arises on the powerful and persistent finish but this is a seriously good Pommard villages and highly recommended if you have at least moderate patience.”

Allen Meadows, Burghound issue 66

2015 Benjamin Leroux Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Les Champeaux $192/bt from $176 in any 6.

Cork. With its eroded, limestone walls covered in vines and wildflowers, this very old, stunningly picturesque climat has a medieval feel about it. It is situated up high, on the border of Brochon, in the most beautiful part of Gevrey. The soils here are mostly stony, red clays with the parent rock very close to the surface. This is a site that typically delivers very small berries and intense, aromatic fruit. Fans of Domaine Denis Mortet will be familiar with this vineyard and Leroux’s bottling, too, is seriously impressive. From organically tended vines, there is only two barrels of this soaring, translucent Gevrey from 2015. Captivating and precise, the wine pivots around its silky and sweet fruited core, with hints of spices and game, and an intense finish. Fermented with 60% whole bunches, this is a Gevrey of great individual style and breed.

91-93 Points

Sweet spot Outstanding “As one might reasonably expect this is cooler, more restrained and more elegant with its pretty and layered combination of red currant, lilac, forest floor and discreet earth and sauvage nuances. Here too there is excellent volume to the sleek, delineated and intense middle weight flavors that exhibit even more minerality on the youthfully austere finish that isn’t quite as complex, at least not today in any case.”

Allen Meadows, Burghound issue 66

2015 Benjamin Leroux Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Les Goulots

Cork. Les Goulots – Leroux describes this vineyard as the Gevrey equivalent of his benchmark parcels in Chassagne (Tête du Clos) and Volnay (Clos de la Cave des Ducs). In spite of the fact that Les Goulots is hardly seen on wine labels, it is, to quote Leroux, a “…top, top Gevrey 1er Cru”, and one that has been on his wish-list for some time. Lying just above Champeaux, it is a tiny vineyard with few owners. It is also the northernmost 1er Cru on the slope that includes Les Cazetiers and Combe aux Moines. As a result, this is one of Leroux’s latest parcels to ripen. Jasper Morris notes that the name comes from the old Burgundian word for running water, gouléyant. The vines here are a 50/50 mix of 20 and 43 year old vines, and the wine was raised in 50% new oak, a significantly higher percentage than the other Gevrey premiers in this offer. Made with 75% whole bunches, this is a ‘wow’ wine with a palate loaded with mouth filling yet juicy raspberry and dark cherry like fruit, vibrant, ripe acidity and fine tannins.

90-92 Points

“A cool and relatively high-toned nose reflects notes of various red berries that are laced with floral, earth and sauvage nuances. The succulent, round and generously proportioned flavors display ample minerality on the well-balanced and agreeably persistent finish that is somewhat less complex than the Champeaux and La Perrière.”

Allen Meadows, Burghound issue 66

2015 Benjamin Leroux Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru La Perrière $220/bt from $200 in any 6.

Cork. Nestled underneath the grand cru vineyard of Mazis-Chambertin, La Perrière enjoys a superb position on the Côte. Perrière has some of the oldest bedrock in the village and, as the name suggests, it is a very stony vineyard – Perrière means stone and the site was once a quarry. Planted in 1978, Leroux’s 0.10 hectare of vines are certified organic and, like his other Gevrey 1ers, these vines yielded just two barrels in 2015. The whole bunch quota here was 50% and 50% new oak was used. This has pretty, ethereal wild strawberry and floral fruit that sings in the mouth until the lingering more savoury, earthy finish kicks in. Classic Gevrey.

90-93 Points

Outstanding “A pungent nose of wood and reduction introduce bigger and richer if less refined medium-bodied flavors that are very rich, indeed almost opulent with a subtle minerality that becomes more apparent as the finish sits on the palate. This is also a bit awkward but here it seems clearer that it will ultimately harmonize.”

Allen Meadows, Burghound issue 66

Red Grand Cru

2015 Benjamin Leroux Corton Grand Cru $250/bt from $230 in any 6.

Cork. A change in tact and style this year as Leroux is no longer working with the rare parcel of Pinot Noir in En Charlemagne. Instead, the lion’s share of this year’s wine comes from Le Corton, at the top of the hill, directly above the grand crus of Clos du Roi and Renardes. Chardonnay vines planted in this white marl terroir are classified as Corton-Charlemagne and Pinot vines as Corton grand cru. Once again, however, Leroux has blended in the fruit from a beautiful parcel of old vines in Les Bressandes, adding substance to his spicy, high-toned Le Corton fruit.  The vines vary in age from roughly 20 to 70 years and the élevage included 30% new oak and 50% whole bunches. As always, this is a fabulous value for its level and will be something very special with age.

90-93 Points

“A discreet but not invisible application of wood frames the pronounced floral-suffused aromas of both red and dark berries along with plenty of earth, game and forest floor scents. There is excellent size, weight and power to the solidly concentrated broad-shouldered flavors that deliver fine length on the somewhat toasty finale. My sense is that the wood will ultimately be successfully integrated but it’s not subtle today.”

Allen Meadows, Burghound issue 66

2015 Benjamin Leroux Mazoyères-Chambertin Grand Cru $450/bt from $420 in any 6.

Cork. As James Halliday has previously noted, ‘Leroux chooses to use Mazoyères rather than the more familiar Charmes Chambertin ― a sign of his independent spirit, and a belief that not all wine sold as Charmes is of appropriate quality.’ There is not only a difference between the Mazoyères part of the Charmes-Chambertin AOC and that of Aux Charmes (both historic lieux-dits within Charmes-Chambertin), but there are also differences between parcels that lie within these lieux-dits themselves. For example, this comes from 0.13-hectare of Mazoyères Dessus, the (favoured) top part of this vineyard, near Combottes and Latricières, bordering Morey. This succulent, layered powerhouse was fermented with 30% whole bunches and raised in 30% new oak. It’s a powerful grand cru that will likely need time.

91-93 Points

“The 2015 Mazoyeres-Chambertin Grand Cru has a very intense bouquet with black cherry, red plum and mineral notes, orange sorbet and a touch of orange blossom. The palate is stocky and dense with firm tannin, plenty of sinewy black and red fruit with a dense, quite grippy finish. I would just like a little more finesse on the finish, but that will develop with time and this may warrant a higher score.”

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate #228

2015 Benjamin Leroux Clos-Saint-Denis Grand Cru $600/bt from $550 in any 6.

Cork. This is one of the Côte d’Or’s least tasted Grand Cru vineyards thanks to its small size (at 6.6 hectares it is about 1/3 of the size of Clos de la Roche) and fragmented ownership – there are sixteen owners who mostly have tiny holdings. It is, nonetheless, a vineyard capable of producing remarkable, hedonistic wines of tremendous finesse. For a number of years, Leroux has been making an outstanding example of this grand cru from a 50+ year old parcel of vines (planted in 1962) smack bang in the heart of the vineyard, in the original Clos Saint Denis lieu-dit. This 0.13 hectare parcel has always been managed organically, never having seen any herbicides or pesticides. As per last year, this was entirely destemmed and aged in 1/3 new barrels. Leroux always refers to this grand cru as “mon chouchou”. In other words, his favourite (year in, year out). Enough said.

91-94 Points

“An exuberantly, indeed gorgeously spicy nose features notes of liqueur-like red berries and soft floral nuances, all of which are trimmed in subtle wood nuances. The rich and relatively full-bodied flavors remain refined and graceful while delivering fine length on the well-balanced and sophisticated finish that isn’t quite as complex.”

Allen Meadows, Burghound issue 66

94-96 Points

“The 2015 Clos St Denis Grand Cru has an upfront, quite bold bouquet with vibrant red berry fruit, crushed strawberries, orange sorbet and a touch of earl grey. The palate is medium-bodied with succulent ripe tannin, well-judged acidity, fleshy and quite opulent towards the pure finish. This is destined to a gorgeous Clos Saint-Denis from Benjamin Leroux, one of the best from his comprehensive range of 2015s. Queue up for this…and don’t push in.”

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate #228

2015 Benjamin Leroux Echézeaux Grand Cru $500/bt from $465 in any 6.

Cork. Although this grand cru has been in his portfolio for a couple of years now, thanks to the paucity of yields (from just 0.15 hectares of land) this is our first allocation of Leroux’s Echézeaux. Not a bad vintage to start with then. The parcel in question lies in Vignes Blanches (often referenced as Les Criots) on the Vosne border, so named for the high incidence of limestone in the soil. In Inside Burgundy, Jasper Morris comments, “The topsoil is certainly very poor and full of little stones. Henri Jayer was particularly enthusiastic about this plot of vines here.” From vines planted in 1965, this was raised in 50% new oak, with 30% whole bunches in the ferment. Layered with fleshy and seductive, freshly picked cherry and raspberry fruit, this is both mouth coating and yet chiselled. As Neal Martin notes, it’s a supremely classy wine well and truly worthy of its grand cru status.

92-94 Points

“Trenchant aromas of reduction and wood are borderline disagreeable today yet neither can be found on the highly seductive, concentrated and relatively powerful flavors that are shaped by a firm but not hard tannic spine on the sappy and reasonably refined finish. This is sufficiently forward that it could be enjoyed after only 5 to 7 years of bottle age yet should reward up to 15.”

Allen Meadows, Burghound issue 66

93-95 Points

“The 2015 Echézeaux Grand Cru, which comes from lieu-dit of Vignes Blanches, has a generous, raspberry coulis, redcurrant and red plum-scented bouquet. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannin, bright redcurrant and strawberry fruit with a pinch of spice towards the controlled, understated finish. Very fine and very classy, give this 3-4 years in bottle before it begins to stretch its wings.”

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate #228

Wines Available in Magnum Only

2015 Benjamin Leroux Bonnes Mares Grand Cru $1200/mg from $1100 in any 6.

Bottled in magnum only. Cork. Leroux’s parcel within Bonnes Mares has always been managed organically, having never had any chemical used on its soils. It’s a tiny plot (0.10 hectares) in the southern sector of the Grand Cru, on the Chambolle side. Leroux’s vines were planted in 1983 on a type of soil, called terres blanches, that has a great concentration of rocky limestone with countless fossilised crustaceans. As with all quality Bonnes Mares it will benefit enormously from time in bottle, yet even now it’s a disarmingly balanced grand cru that is going to make its final owner beam with joy.

92-95 Points

“Background wood nuances are present on the brooding if very fresh and floral red berry fruit liqueur and earth-inflected nose. The succulent and extremely rich big-bodied flavors possess a taut muscularity and almost painful intensity that continues onto the balanced finish that goes on and on. This imposingly scaled effort is very firmly structured and in magnum format plenty of patience will ultimately be required.”

Allen Meadows, Burghound issue 66

94-96 Points

“The 2015 Bonnes Mares Grand Cru demonstrated impressive intensity on the engaging nose: blackberry, briary, wilted rose petal and mineral, gaining intensity all the time in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe juicy red berry fruit, very structured and cohesive with an almost Musigny-like finish. There is clearly great density here, a long-term Bonnes-Mares with a persistent, spicy finish that will leave you racing back for another sip.”

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate #228

2015 Benjamin Leroux Clos de La Roche Grand Cru $1200/mg from $1100 in any 6.

Bottled in magnum only. Cork. At its finest, (which comes down to producer and location within the Clos) Clos de la Roche can produce some of the Côte d’Or’s most profound reds. This wine is very typical of the finest makers in the appellation, offering a deep, layered, dark fruited personality with the exotic spice of Morey’s northern slopes. The wine hails from 0.15 hectares of vines, located mid-slope on shallow, rocky soil with a high limestone content. The vines here were planted in 1965. As you would expect, there is more structural muscle and minerality than the Clos-Saint-Denis. In short this is a stunning wine of great depth and elegance that clearly has enormous ageing potential, especially in magnum. Matured in one-third new oak, this cuvée was completely destemmed.

92-94 Points

“This is also overtly floral in character with its slightly cooler aromas of plum, earth, game and red and black pinot fruit. There is terrific punch if not quite the same mid-palate density to the big-bodied and muscular flavors that possess similarly impressive depth and length. Moreover this is exceptionally firm, austere and imposing and as such it would be pointless to buy this without the express intention of cellaring it.”

Allen Meadows, Burghound issue 66

95-97 Points

“The 2015 Clos de la Roche Grand Cru has a fragrant, perfumed bouquet with hints of blueberry, vanilla, violet and crushed strawberry, the mineralité tucked in just underneath, all with superb harmony and focus. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, saturated tannin, crisp acidity, impressive depth with a caressing, gentle finish that belies its power. This is an outstanding 2015 that seems so effortless and yet delivers the horsepower you expect from this propitious vineyard. A quite brilliant wine.”

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate #228

2015 Benjamin Leroux Chambertin Grand Cru $1500/mg from $1400 in any 6.

Bottled in magnum only. Cork. Leroux’s two barrels of “Cham” are drawn from a parcel of old, biodynamically-farmed vines in the heart of the vineyard. I don’t have the exact age of the vines or the size of the parcel (I keep forgetting to ask), but such details fade into insignificance when you taste the wine! The 2015 was vinified with 70% whole bunches and one barrel (out of two) was new.

93-95 Points

Don’t Miss! “This too is intensely floral with its cool and ultra-pure nose that reflects a wide-ranging array of various red berries, earth, game, tea and leather. The strikingly vibrant and beautifully well-detailed flavors display an almost aggressive minerality while delivering superb length on the reserved, serious and very firmly structured finale. This is a classically styled and most impressive Cham that is going to require extended cellaring.”

Allen Meadows, Burghound issue 66

2015 Benjamin Leroux Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru Les Amoureuses $1350/mg from $1250 in any 6.

Bottled in magnum only. Cork. From 0.06 hectares of Les Amoureuses, planted in 1972, this is Leroux’s smallest parcel. There are so few magnums available that we shouldn’t even be writing notes! As has become the custom, Leroux vinifies this wine without any new oak and with only destemmed fruit.  Striking is the word that springs to mind although this does not begin to do the wine justice!

92-94 Points

“A strikingly spicy and perfumed liqueur-like nose displays aromas of black berries, sandalwood, tea and plenty of floral elements. There is first-rate concentration to the impressively rich and beguilingly textured flavors that brim with both dry extract and minerality on the complex and highly persistent finish where the only nit is a hint of warmth.”

Allen Meadows, Burghound issue 66