I have just read that today, 18th August, is International Pinot Noir Day!. I had no idea, and not even sure what it means, sorry. But the good news however, is that I have just drunk some of Burgundy’s finest P-N and a couple of the same fellow’s white wines. I first heard of Benjamin Leroux back in 2007 when Jasper M. MW put the word out that he maybe the new kid on the Burgundy-block so to speak. So I went and purchased some large bottles of his first vintage, Volnay Clos des Ducs 2007. One left!
Having created a name for himself as régisseur of Domaine du Comte Armand in Pommard, Benjamin Leroux established a small négociant business based in Beaune since 2007. The range is confined to the Côte d’Or, from Chassagne-Montrachet to Gevrey-Chambertin, with the intention of developing farming contracts or indeed purchasing vineyards in the future.
The possibilities are very exciting for this exceptionally talented vigneron. Benjamin is a master at delivering purity of fruit alongside a seamless texture in his wines which have only the subtlest influence of oak. One of Benjamin’s favourite locations for white wine vineyards is the border between Auxey-Duresses and Meursault, which is where Les Vireuils can be found. Here the natural weight of Meursault is enhanced by the fresher minerality typical of the side valley of Auxey-Duresses. The two whites we drank last night where:
2020 Bourgogne Blanc, B.Leroux
Delicious! almost the whole blend is from the Côte d’Or, mostly Meursault; the inclusion of some Hautes-Côtes de Beaune fruit, for added zip, means it cannot use the Côte d’Or appellation. Benny uses 600 litre foudres, preserving the wine’s freshness, with creamy textures from the ageing on it’s lees.
2020 Chassagne-Montrachet, B.Leroux
Beautifully balanced, expressive and delightfully complex, the 2020 has a palate of green apples and citrus fruits with a hint of apricot and bitter orange. Juicy fruit flavours are balanced by a fresh mineral character, finely-chissled and with a zesty citrus note. This will be even more delicious in a few years time.
2020 Bourgogne Rouge, B.Leroux
Very full for a B-R. Not overpowering oak, but present and well intergrated with the Cranberry & Red Cherry all round. It was hard to imagine this was just the basic read as it shows a lot of style. A lot more than the Leroy B-R from 2020, for sure!
2019 Savigny-Les-Beaune, B.Leroux
Aromatic bouquet of wild hedgerow fruits and crushed strawberries. On the palate, dark redcurrant flavours are balanced by fine tannins. A classic S-L-B.
2020 Volnay, B.Leroux
Medium bodied and very very fine indeed. Taut & fresh with super elegant red berry finish.
2019 Vosne-Romanee, B.Leroux
Very whole bunchy texture with rose petal nose. Strawberries abound and soft tannins to boot. Quaffer!
2017 Pommard 1er Cru ‘Rugiens-Hauts’, B.Leroux
Gentle grip for a Pommard, but it is all still there. Blackberry & Raspberry with a finish of old school-new school red Burgundy.
Benjamin Leroux is quite obviously a great ‘young‘ winemaker, and it is quite obvious to me that with the small selection of his wine that we drank last pm, his vinous signature is clearly visible on all of his wines. Mon brave!
1 (3ltr) bottle 2007 Volnay 1er Cru ‘Clos de la Cave des Ducs’, Benjamin Leroux @ GBP795bt Under Bond (Double Magnum)
‘Drinking good Burgundy is painless, it can bring on many changes, but you can take it or leave it as you please‘ W.P. Hancock Esq.