Monday, February 25, 2013

Benjamin Leroux's Overachieving 2010 Burgundies

Benjamin Leroux, the brilliant, young régisseur and winemaker at Comte Armand Domaine du Clos des Epeneaux in Pommard, is quietly making small batches of wines under his own name. The fruit is purchased from small parcels owned by growers whom he closely works with. He's converting their vineyards to organic viticulture, but meanwhile everything is farmed sustainably, or lutte raisonnée.

We have been selling Benjamin Leroux's wines since he debuted impressively in the 2007 vintage. Each vintage confirms the refined quality of his wines from the Bourgogne to the grands crus in both reds and whites. The 2010 vintage, given the quality of the raw material, is marvelous for Benjamin Leroux. Those looking for values in 2010 Burugndies should load up both his Bourgogne Rouge and Volnay. On the humblest appellations Leroux always overdelivers.

Benjamin Leroux's 2010 Bourgogne Rouge is a joy to drink. Scented with cut roses and fresh cherries, with flavors of stunning richness and concentration. Open and expressive, it wears its heart on its sleeve. As in previous vintages, the fruit is declassified premiers crus from Santenay and St.-Aubin. What a bargain!

The Volnay is put together from various Volnay vineyards of which about 60% is from the Volnay Premier Cru Ronceret, and so this is a village Volnay of surprising power!

But for someone who made his name making Pommard, I'm blown away by how brilliant Benjamin Leroux is in crafting white Burgundies. Since starting to make his own wines under his label with the 2007, his flagship wine has been the Auxey-Duresses Blanc. Anyone who wants to check out how good Benjamin Leroux is should simply taste his Auxey-Duresses Blanc. This is a marvelous wine with a richness that hints of its Meursault proximity, but with a sharpness and finesse that recall more a Puligny, especially in the 2010 vintage. The wine comes from a vineyard that borders Meursault, lying on a slope at an elevation of 350 meters facing east/southeast. The sunny morning exposure and stony soils of white marl over a limestone base is an excellent terroir for the Chardonnay vines to produce wines with finesse. This expression is clear in the 2010 Auxey-Duresses, a wine with fragrance and depth and tingling tension on the fruit.

Bourgogne Rouge, Benjamin Leroux 2010 $31.00 (Click to buy!)

Volnay, Benjamin Leroux 2010 $55.00 (Click to buy!)

Auxey-Duresses Blanc, Benjamin Leroux 2010 $39.00 (Click to buy!)

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