@Florian Rossignol, 23 June 2021
When it comes to Burgundy reds, can you think of any other wine with that (Domaine) Leroy smell? But, what is so special about it?
‘Profound floral notes’ is a phrase often used to describe Madame Leroy’s red wines. It can be a mix of those flower smells like lilac, dried roses, lavender, peonies, which we will agree on – all of them are very perfumed. I love to sense those flowers when I’m taking a walk, but in a wine, when I find that in a wine’s bouquet, it is magical.
Lalou Bize-Leroy created Domaine Leroy in 1988 after purchasing two estates: Charles Noëllat in Vosne-Romanée and Philippe Rémy in Gevrey Chambertin. The estate is now 23 hectares in size, counting 9 Grands Crus vineyards, 8 Premiers Crus and many village level plots.
In the vineyard, she has a unique way to cultivate the vine: the échalas method. It has been used for many years in windy Regions in France like in the Northern Rhône (Côte-Rôtie, Condrieu and Hermitage). Each vine grows next to a stick that will support it all season long. Leroy will let the vines grow and never trim them, to avoid stressing them. The plant will develop a wider leaf surface and less fruit, but with more concentration. Hence, the production is very tiny, fifteen to twenty five hectolitres per hectare, typically.
In the cellar, she has been a pioneer once again, removing the pedicels from the main stem. It makes that very exclusive smell and texture, but requires a lot of careful labour to do it. Whole bunch fermentation might give some greenness, a vegetal touch and a harsher tannin structure, while a fully de-stemmed fermentation might be too light, or too simple (red fruits spectrum). The ‘pedicel method’ brings the best from both: finesse, elegance, complexity, and depth.
A few weeks ago I had the chance to taste a fantastic bottle of 2007 Domaine Leroy Romanée-St-Vivant, so far, one of the best wines I’ve experienced in 2021. This particular vintage is one of the most elegant ones produced in that decade, 05’s being more concentrated. It has everything you could dream of in a bottle of wine! This seductive wine had an immense complexity. It started with that floral smell, then on the palate, those attractive red berries and fresh minerality make a harmonious and beautifully well-balanced wine. I also enjoyed the spiciness true to Vosne-Romanée terroir. What a great bottle!!
You will find on our list older vintages such as late 80’s (first vintages) and 90’s, and these are now in a very good drinking window.
Allen Meadows, of Burghound describes the 2000 Domaine Leroy Latricières-Chambertin, which we have in stock, as follows:
This is simply the finest Latricières I have ever tasted from Leroy and it is a definite candidate for wine of the vintage honors. This can perhaps best be described as an assault on the senses with incredibly pure, layered aromas that explode from the glass and tremendously nuanced, velvet wrapped flavors that seem to detonate on the palate. Yet for all the power, this is silky and beautifully textured, especially on the stupendously long, mineral laden finish and a wine of riveting intensity. In a word, awesome!
As you know, those wines are extremely rare, difficult to find and keep on getting more expensive year after year. This is a great opportunity to stock some up.