Tasted in Beaune with Benjamin Leroux, 9th December 2014.
Domaine Benjamin Leroux
5 Rue Colbert
Tel: +33 3 80 22 71 06
Benjamin on 2013:
“There is a fine acidity and balance to be found in the 2013s. The malos were all over the place – not catastrophic, but 7 barrels still haven’t finished, whereas some of the 14s are already done! The 12s were all good, but some of the 13s are great.
“I did some sorting in the whites – which we do every year actually – but, much as I love the reds, I think the whites are special in 2013.”
Lots to love and covet in this cellar. Benjamin noting that the Amoureuses, Clos de la Roche and Bonnes-Mares will only be bottled in magnums…
There was very little Savigny villages in this vintage, so straight to a 1er Cru.
A rather tight aromatic – despite the Zalto tasting glass. Fine texture with just a little fatty richness and really lovely flavour in the mid-palate. I find a really energy and excitement coming through this wine.
Always containing some premier cru, this year the content is 80%
A fine aroma, with a good depth of red fruit. Bigger and rounder with more mid-palate intensity. Bright and super-tasty finishing. Excellent ‘villages.’
These vines are effectively an extension of the Clos des Ducs on a terres blanches soil.
Much deeper fruit with good weight. Round, more intensity of flavour is attached to this texture. Lovely length too. A textbook, tasty Volnay 1er…
Similar depth of aroma with less weight but more high-toned complexity and violet notes. More fresh complexity, energy and perfume. Really lovely…
2013 Gevrey-Chambertin En Etelois
Medium-plus colour. Deep and dark aromas but with brightness too. A nice, slightly padded texture with good delineation of flavour. Actually quite long flavour. Really nice wine.
2013 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Goulots
Not many bottlings of this cru.
Lots of aromatic dimension with a little herb too. A lot of depth and complexity, here with sweeter, delivered in a more direct, linear fashion. Fine intensity – very lovely wine.
2013 Nuits St.Georges Les Allots
Starts dusky but becomes brighter in the glass – complex, inviting and maybe a little mineral – yum! Lots of density, almost saline and rounder than the Goulots – with fine length. A very, very good villages Nuits. The last drops in the glass smell lovely.
Here is a fine and complex nose – blind I might say a nose of Vosne. Round, a little cushioned and lots of complexity. I really see Vosne here. There is complexity yet also finesse with no lack of weight or complexity. Really super!
A blend of Maizières and Violettes.
Higher-toned, dynamic and a little floral. Again there’s plenty of complexity and delivering long flavours that hold very well. Very tasty indeed!
2013 Vosne-Romanée 1er Les Suchots
Two parcels, one high near Echézeaux, the other near Romanée St.Vivant.
A deep colour and a deep nose – really something. Round with some tannin texture and not a little fat. More depth of darker fruit. Just a hint of licorice. Fine.
High toned with a sneaky, modest depth of ripe fruit. Lovely energy here, though not the weight of Suchots. But a really bright, complex and involving mid-palate flavour. Simply excellent definition and precision.
Wow – ouf! Strikingly gorgeous, fresh and complex aromas. Bigger in the mouth and also plenty of complexity. Rounder and longer. The nose is great, the palate only excellent. Then there’s a long diminuendo. I could smell this all day…
From Petits Maupertuis. More whole clusters used here than in 2012.
Lots of aromatic complexity, and vibrancy with some whole cluster aromas. Big in the mouth but the texture suggests density, not fat. Complex and very silky texture.
This also has super aromatics today – more Amoureuses style than Clos de Vougeot. More sweetness but also complex and persistent. Really not bad for a ‘second division’ grand cru 😉
A deep and interesting nose but just a little tighter than the last wines. Wide with lovely complexity and a texture that envelops the tongue. Excellent, just needs a bit more aromatic expression.
It’s a relatively rare cellar where I think the Clos de la Roche better than the Clos St.Denis, but here even Benjamin accords; “Yes I agree, in 13 I think the Clos de la Roche is better than my chou-chou…”
A vibrant, more mineral nose than the Clos St.Denis, that’s fresh and becomes ever-more heady – wow! Very mineral, excellent, excellent complexity – brilliant!
Again, we have a dark, complex and mineral nose – oh, and very inviting too! On the palate there is even more depth and dimension than the CdRoche, delivering a long, direct-line of finishing flavour. Bravo!
With Benjamin’s acquisitions, he now has 3.3 hectares of whites, and his Bâtard-Montrachet will also be coming into the domaine soon. Benjamin also notes that the quality of pressing is much better today versus 10 or 20 years ago – ‘probably the same quality would not have been achieved with these raw materials ‘way back when.” Nothing will be filtered, except the Bourgogne.
2013 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Champs Gains
Wide, some fruit, sweet toast and a pretty top note. More intense, a little viscosity too – seems to increase in intensity – impressive! A nice mineral aspect to this wine and fine length too.
2013 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Combettes
Not racked yet and there’s a faint reduction at the core of the aroma. Lovely width on the palate – really elegant complexity and particularly long finishing. I think this should turn out excellently.
Here is more aromatic weight and an undertow of ripe lemon fruit. More intensity again – a vibrant, super-long wine – simply brilliant!
2013 Meursault 1er Genevrières
Now a domaine wine.
Faint reduction. A wide panorama of flavour – yet at the same time, discreetly so – certainly after the Tête du Clos anyway, but fine too, with perfect balance. This needs more time to open out.
From Chassagne, the upper part of the vines, between Vougeraie and the Hospices, and below DRC’s Montrachet.
Really super depth of aroma here, but retaining a fine freshness. Big in the mouth, round, but full of energy too. Super-long!
The previous wines were all tasted from barrel – the following were tasted from tank, where they are assembled for bottling:
Big, open, bright and perfectly, obviously Meursault – lovely. There is depth and really fine flavour. Simply a textbook, modern, Meursault.
2013 Meursault Narvaux
A much tighter aromatic here. Fresher, with fine intensity followed by a big burst of flavour. If it wasn’t for the finish, I’d easily prefer the last wine, but this finish is simply glorious – this should also really be something once the aromas open!
Together with the Gevrey-Chambertin, these are the biggest cuvées chez Benjamin. This will probably be bottled in February.
Lots of aromatic dimension and energy here. The fruit is ripe and shows lots of depth and again energy. Very good!
Much more aromatic dimension and energy here – high and low notes too – fine. Wide and intense with fine texture. Really lovely intensity and a fine, lingering finish. Simply super!
A high-toned and beautiful Meursault nose. Big and wide on the palate, with lovely energy – this is simply a big ball of fun today – irresistible!
From the Pernand side.
A fine, fresh aromatic yet with lovely depth too – very convincingly grand cru. Fine and mineral. This is an insinuating wine of complexity rather than ultimate power or dynamism today. A discreet but super-lingering finish!