We had a Leroy wine dinner this past weekend. The lineup was a combination of wines from Domaine Leroy, Maison Leroy and Domaine D’Auvenay. As always, Mdm. Leroy has proven her insurmountable abilities to make extraordinary wines out of “ordinary” vineyards with her caring and magician skills.
Maison Leroy Bourgogne Blanc Fleur de Vignes vs. Domaine D'Auvenay Auxey Duresses Blanc Les Boutonniers
“Fleur de Vignes” is a non-vintage Bourgogne Blanc. Genius Mdm Leroy decided to make this special edition by blending juice made from 3 great vintages: 2009, 2010 and 2011.
D’Auvenay has been making white wines from its own vineyards in Auxey Duresses, with Les Boutonniers (a village Auxey Duresses) being a prime example.
Comparing the two, Fleur de Vignes came off with a captivating and fresh aroma. Les Boutonniers was relatively shy on the nose, but presented a better balanced structure with depth and a longer finish. Both were excellent representations of how Mdm. Leroy could push the boundary to make superb wines from “regular vineyards”.
Maison Leroy Bourgogne Rouge 2000 vs. Domaine Leroy-D’Auvenay Bougogne Rouge 1985
While the Bourgogne Rouge 2000 was a good wine at its level, the Bourgogne Rouge from 30 years ago made by Domaine Leroy-D’Auvenay in 1985 simply blew us away. We were all expecting this to have died, considering it is only a Bourgogne. This wine showed the complete contrary. Still few years of life left in this wine, and it opened up nicely in the glass over an hour or so. It came off with solid red fruit on the nose, with some spice and little bit leathery on the palate. We would have guessed this to be a village, if not premier cru, wine from the early 90s. Very interesting indeed.
Maison Leroy Cote de Beaune 1990 vs. Maison Leroy Gevrey Chambertin 2003
The Gevrey Chambertin was certainly the winner in this case. We were worried that the wine could be overripe or too sweet considering the unusually hot weather in 2003. It turned out to have a well-balanced of tannis and fruit on the palate. The wine took 30 minutes plus to develop in the glass; but once opened, it came off with a lovely floral and slightly spicy aroma. This wine would benefit few more years in cellar.
Domaine Leroy Nuits-St-Georges Les Boudots 1er Cru 1997 vs. Domaine Leroy Pommard Les Vignots 2007
As expected, both wines were neck-to-neck in competing for wine-of-the-night and the winner is Pommard Les Vignots. Given 10 years apart in age, Les Boudots 1997 surprised us for its freshness, with ample of fruit on the palate. The only minor shortcoming was that the wine was a little too sweet. This reflected exactly the profile from the 1997 vintage, as many grapes suffered from heat stress during the extraordinary hot August. Nonetheless, this was a lovely showing from probably the best premier cru in Nuits-St-Georges and an example of how Mdm. Leroy could cope with almost any weather conditions.
On opening, while both wines immediately filled the glass with the unique Domaine Leroy aroma, Pommard Les Vignots 2007 had a more striking aroma. This wine is unusual as a Pommard. Rather than being rustic, the wine was refreshing and pure, with very approachable middle weight flavors and a smooth mouth feel. The vintage started off with the warmest April in 50 years, but followed by a cool and dreary condition from May to August. Mdm. Leroy and her team were one of the earliest to harvest (Aug 28th), but they stilled achieved fully ripe grapes and managed to put magic into the wine with very low yield for her production. An exceptional effort from this challenging vintage and a village Pommard.