Friday, February 8, 2013

Wine of the Week: 2010 White Burgundy of Benjamin Leroux

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.

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.

Leroux makes just a few barrels of this wine, yet it's very modestly priced for the quality. Always terrific buy, but particularly so in this great 2010 vintage!

Auxey-Duresses Blanc, Benjamin Leroux 2010 $39.00 (Click to buy!)
From a parcel consisting of three vineyard sites (lieux-dits) on the border with Meursault. Lying on a slope with a sunny exposure and stony soils of white marl over a limestone base, the terroir is excellent. This discernment is, of course, something to be expected from Benjamin Leroux, one of Burgundy's brilliant winemakers. Citrus, mineral notes with a hint of oak. Clean, precise flavors with a lovely tension and a piercing finish. Made by Benjamin Leroux, the brilliant winemaker at Domaine des Epeneaux in Pommard. This outstanding wine combines some of the richness of Meursault with the tension and raciness of Puligny. is terrific buy at such a modest price!

“An attractive baked apple opulence engulfs the nose of this wine, though this favourite cuvée of Benjamin’s is much tighter on the palate before a lovely finish.” Jasper Morris MW

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