Benjamin Leroux – 2018


Benjamin Leroux, 2019Tasted in Beaune with Benjamin Leroux, 13 December 2019.

Domaine Benjamin Leroux
5 Rue Colbert
21200 Beaune
Tel: +33 3 80 22 71 06

More reports for Doimaine Benjamin Leroux

Benjamin on 2018:
Stable wines in both colours. Different in style due to the climate, but for now we don’t need to worry about less than perfect grapes! We also did green harvests in both colours. The volume of the whites reminds of a harvest shortly after a storm, but of course, there was none. But they were wines that needed elevage, and there more diversity of harvesting dates so probably the same will be the case for bottlings too. It’s a technical vintage, following of the maturity, ready early to anticipate the vintage and today the order of harvesting seems never to be the same. 2018 needed a little more effort with logistics as we also had 3.6 ha more of vines. It wasn’t a big volume in reds, harvesting starting, like the whites, in August in the Côte de Beaune – 05 September in the Côte de Nuits. But as we were early harvesters we have nothing at 14° – 13.4° is about the average.

The wines…

One of the greatest series of white wines of my 2018 tour. Multiple great reds too – a top address if you want greatness in both colours…

The Benjamin Leroux label is roughly equivalent in red and white – there was a little bit more red in 2017, a bit less in 2018. The domaine portion of the bottlings are mainly white, but many fewer appellations in white.
First, a selection of wines from tanks:

2018 Auxey-Duresses Blanc
To bottle in January
That’s an attractive and forward nose, smooth, yellow citrus of ripeness. Mouthfilling, deliciously complex, and comfortingly long. Well-judged balance here as the mouth-watering waves of flavour lap over the palate in the finish. Excellent wine!

2018 St Romain
A little more aromatic drive. More drive and freshness on the palate too – a lovely intensity with saline-finishing complexity. Considered, despite the freshness. Super!

2018 Meursault
This from the bottom of hills, mainly with a high level of clay.
The nicest, purest, nose – faintly spiced. Wide, beautifully textured, the best overall balance, mineral finishing. Excellent!

2018 Meursault Vireuils
Here the limestone
Sleeker, wide, insistently pure, of deep citrus. Ouch! Thats so bright and mouth-filling, gorgeous wine. Energetic finishing, intense. What a world of difference. Bravo!

Now we move to cellar for the wines in barrel and foudre, these wines might wait until March or April for bottling :

2018 Meursault 1er La Piece Sous le Bois
‘It’s a shame it’s called Meursault, for me it’s real Blagny’
A nose that freshens and keeps getting better and better. Super in the mouth – holding a great line, gorgeous flavour and texture. That’s a beauty. Great finishing too – bravo what a wine!
2018 Meursault 1er Charmes Dessus
First vintage for this wine.
More open, still fine freshness. Ooh, more depth, freshness and even clarity – there’s a more direct style to this wine, fine, just a couple of millimtres of depth to the silky texture. Long, wide finishing waves – fab! Bravo!
2018 Meursault 1er Genevrières
A more subtle and certainly more complex aromatic spice here. Ouch – incisive, pure, very wide, I assumed I’d prefer the Charmes – I was wrong. This is very executive Meursault – perfectly packaged. This bursts with finishing flavour too – simply a great wine.
2018 Meursault 1er Genevrières Dessus
This the small cuvée that’s bottled in magnum and with DIAM – ‘I still think that, blind, I prefer wines with screwcaps for the whites.’
A more subtle nose again. This has more clarity a more vertical impression, vibrant and then even more vibrantly mouth-watering wine. Great.
2018 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Tête du Clos
Bought by a group of Americans, so 2017 is the last vintage. This since 2009. Wasn’t so sure as the vines weren’t in such great condition at the time – was it more for red or white? – Vincent Dancer was here – but the moment we saw the wine, we knew it was the right choice.
Hmm – thats a super width of fresh aroma – lovely in the mouth, a little more depth, of flavour, less attack, but gorgeous. Bravo – vibrantly finishing.
2018 Bâtard-Montrachet
From Chassagne, the upper part of the vines, between Vougeraie and the Hospices, and below DRC’s Montrachet.​
The higher tones are tighter here, but below is a width, indeed a weight that adds florals and ever more interest with air. Extra layers, more richness but absolutely no loss of balance and energy – profound, extra complexity in the finish. The most delicious finish of all, less energetic – but it’s not needed. Bravo.
2018 Chevalier-Montrachet
Benjamin says that he wouldn’t sell this if it wasn’t better than his domaine Bâtard, but this year he’s clearly really happy with it.
Totally different; a nose that’s vibrantly mineral and very open – still not full impact but great! Line of flavour, like squeezing the juice out of a fruit directly into your mouth. A suggestion of barrel in the middle. An elegance here – a ballet – this wine dances… great!

Les rouges:
2018 was not a vintage for having a recipe, you had to be reactive – seat of the pants! I used some whole-clusters to aid freshness and to reduce a small part of the alcohol, maybe I start some bottling before the Springtime – earlier than the whites – there’s no commercial pressure, it’s about when I’m happy they are ready.

2018 Volnay
Fresh, wide, dark fruit and minerals. Open in the mouth, lovely mouth-watering dark fruit with a certain elegance to match the freshness. Really a good style.

2018 Blagny 1er La Piece Sous le Bois
A deeper nose, perhaps a faint reduction, very pretty dark berries higher up. Beautiful drive – narrow, focused, incisive – widening in the middle. Thats a lovely, slightly structural finishing. Über-drinkable, beautiful red, hauntingly finishing!

2018 Pommard Rugiens Hautes
Plenty of colour. Less dark fruit, complex – super fresh, a little barrel as part of a general width of complexity. The structure suggests patience, the flavours less so – excellent wine!

2018 Volnay 1er Mitans
Ooh, that’s such an inviting, redder, round and fresh fruit nose. Driving in the mouth, open lots of freshness – I expected more sweetness from the nose but this has a gorgeous finish – bravo – I don’t often say that about Mitans!

2018 Volnay 1er Santenots
New appellation – half a hectare of 40-year-old vines – pinot fin
A fresh, slightly airy nose of width. Driving, fresh and direct, you have to wait for the complexity to start melting from the sides of your mouth- a tightly wound wine of super finishing, mouth-watering effect – really a wine to wait for!

2018 Volnay 1er Caillerets
3 ages of vines, the youngest (25) not used for this.
A more open nose, dark fruit of clarity here. This is mouth-filling, nicely shaped, with a modest depth of texture, a touch of wc flavour – which is even more overt in the finish – really perfumed. A beauty!

2018 Corton
Grand Lolières and Corton Bressandes, the second vintage assembled – the first very old vines. ‘It’s the Corton that I’ve been looking for!’
Some width, lots of depth, highly inviting nose of darker red fruit. Beautiful, there is freshness and intensity, super width. Direct, open, classy wine – great Corton!
2018 Gevrey-Chambertin
Still one of the most important cuvées here in terms of volume, containing Seuvres – 50% – and Justice and Fournoux and some from Brochon. Racked into foudre – ‘There weren’t many of us harvesting in the Côte de Nuits on 05 September!’
This has a wonderful nose – open, fine fruit and at the same time perfumed – bravo. In the mouth a little less fine focus, generous yet still fresh over the palate. It’s delicious and smells gorgeous – the finish reflecting the nose. If the first palate tightens up then grand, grand villages.

2017 Chambolle-Musigny
Multiple parcels, not yet racked
A more textured depth of aroma, attractive and inviting. A little more density to this. Really the finish is the most distinctive part and very tasty.

2018 Vosne-Romanée
Mainly from Flagey – Violettes, Maizieres Bas, 2/3 wc, Jacquines and Ravioles.
More freshness and clarity here – not a big nose. Quite a mineral Vosne, one of energy and of lots of interest. There’s a little tannin towards the end. Not ultra demonstrative today but a good wine.

2018 Nuits St.Georges 1er Boudots
‘Old vines, always small grapes. People say Vosne side but it hasn’t much to do with Vosne – it’s Nuits – but with elegance.’
A little swirling liberates a very attractive and pure dark fruit of freshness – that’s another great nose. A touch of reduction, but this is a beautifully textural wine – of width, and sinuous delivery of dark flavour – it’s fabulous!

2018 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Aux Goulots
Only 4 owners I think, maybe 5 with a second Heresztyn – an aunt. Bouges maybe a 6th, though currently unplanted higher.
This has a lovely nose with plenty wc aroma – very perfumed. Also a perfumed wc in the flavour – wide, tasty and well finishing.

2018 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cazetiers
This the first of Benjamin’s CdN harvest.
Here the nose still has wc but there’s an extra fineness and clarity – beautiful. This more open, lots of volume, slowly melting flavour. The slight dryness of tannin requires a little more time to stabilise, but here is an excellent, mouth-watering wine.

2018 Vosne-Romanée 1er Aux Dessus des Malconsorts
This goes in magnums
That’s a nose – so attractive – a faint reduction but beautifully elegant and inviting. Fills the mouth well – open and perfectly balanced. Thats a super finish really some ‘pop’ here. Excellent!

All the grand crus are practically 1-2 barrels in size here, so Benjamin likes to ferment in 600 litre demi-muids:

2018 Charmes-Chambertin Les Mazoyères
Hmm – that’s a super nose – depth, energy and inviting complexity. A light touch, some lovely structural elements, melting great flavour, great finishing – bravo!

2017 Mazis-Chambertin
A mix of Bas and Hautes.
A much more obvious wc here, but well perfumed. This has super energy and clarity – structure behind too but perfectly packaged, no dryness. Beautiful wine!

2018 Griotte-Chambertin
Two barrels since 2015…
Not too much colour. Vibrant, fresh, not much wc here. Round, less distinction than the Mazis today – rounder, redder. It has a great finish though, just edged with a little tannin – fine complexity too, but, today, I prefer the previous two!

2018 Chambertin
All biodynamic plus wc too!
A slightly smaller nose, but with a fine undertow of complexity. The most presence, not overly large-scaled or overly concentrated, all is balanced yet this wine has another level. For now it’s only hinting at its full finishing complexity or deliciousness but the ‘more’ is here for the future. Very long…

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?

There is one response to “Benjamin Leroux – 2018”

  1. briancheng8018th February 2020 at 3:20 pmPermalinkReply

    Hi BIll,
    Great reports as always.
    For the Tete du Clos, the prescript says 2017 was the last vintage, but luckily it wasn’t as you have a note here, and I’m supposed to have bought some…..

Burgundy Report

Translate »

You are using an outdated browser. Please update your browser to view this website correctly:;