2011 Leroy Volnay 1er Cru ‘Les Brouillards’
I love the fact that we can have a casual Tuesday lunch in one of the town’s finest eateries, and demolish a decently chilled bottle of an incredible Burgundy style white that happens to come from another planet, no names mentioned here except 2014 Clos de Ste Anna, Naboth’s V’Yard in Gisborne should be enough. It was totally delicious and accompanied a fresh Ceviche that we know well here as the Roux signature starter dish.
Now, more importantly, and as once quoted by the hairy olde sage Clive Coates MW “Is this the greatest estate in Burgundy?” Lalou Bize-Leroy is simply on another level and there’s simply no way around it. Her wines, including the Maison Leroy portfolio are among the very best singular expressions of each domaine (I should point out that her house red and white aint bad either). Leroy’s ‘Les Brouillards’, by the way I should imagine that the grapes were acquired by Maison Leroy in 2011 from one of the four growers on the site as she does not seem to own any vines/land on that hill. And thanks to another fine MW’s ‘Inside Burgundy’ tome by Jasper Morris MW. He informs me that Montille and Joseph Voillot are the only 1er Cru holders amongst the 5.63 hectares of PN on Les Brouillards. There is such a grace, quiet complexity and precise length about the wine. Again when Clive Coates-de-Roan wondered what makes greatness, only to answer his own question above: “However you do compute it, the greatest Domaines of Burgundy today must be those under the control of Lalou Bize.” So what can happen?
Well we ordered roasted Quail, or two each in this case, and Leroy’s 2011 Les Brouillards, not decanted, simply drove home the greatness of this red burgundy and the good work of Leroy. There’s a tension between rich layers of complexity and stern, energetic minerality that’s literally show stopping. Apart form the good conversation with my luncheon partner and a quick ‘hola’ visit from el Chef, I wasn’t even aware of anybody else in the micro-restaurant and only sitting elbow’s length away, where the barbarian hoards. The place was packed this lunch time, bravo! Quaffing from the all important Zalto Burgundy glasses (and as I type this, our November shipment from Austria has been impounded by the Argentine customs as apparently the goods are ‘Food Contact Packaging’ and need a new code to bring them into the Republic of A**. I am not going further on this one with you, as it will drive me quite mad). Now back to this glorious bottle of red wine and we know that we are clearly in the hands of one of the best. Sorry to break the news, I cannot afford the big stuff but to say that Lalou Bize-Leroy is a powerhouse, is not an understatement. For those of you reading this and are not familiar with the name, she’s the woman behind the world’s finest Burgundies (and still a partial owner of D.R.C). Leroy is one of the most collectable and cherished Burgundies out there, for those with a deep pocket and a codex knowledge for prices, Crus and clean palate.
I’m very happy to point out that there are two more bottles of this 2011, not dear, in our cellars today and available on a first come first serve basis as usual. I am just a little preoccupied that they will both be down soon on my own account if I do not hear from anyone soon. Your loss, my gain!
”The first duty of wine is to be red…the second is to be a Burgundy” – Harry Waugh (1904-2001)