• 2017 White Burgundy's Head of Class:  The Magic of Benjamin Leroux

    2017 White Burgundy's Head of Class: The Magic of Benjamin Leroux

    Much of the success of Burgundy's younger generation comes from a deep understanding and passion about the work of the vignerons that preceded them. Although still a young man, Benjamin Leroux has more experience than any winemaker his age. Leroux's wines are now clearly in very select company with the likes of LafonRoulot, and Colin-Morey. With average production less than 200 cases per wine, the only challenge is securing enough for the demand of this star who's now in the cross-hairs of collectors.

    Today, I'm happy to offer Leroux's 2017 Meursault 1er Cru Les Genevrières, Puligny-Montrachet, and Bourgogne Blanc.

    Finding a balance in white Burgundy where silky, gossamer texture doesn't come at the expense of tension and salinity is the ultimate high-wire act. And this is where Leroux excels like no other - In tastings among other terrific producers Benjamin's wines jump out for this quality.

    They're featherweight on the palate with a deep saturation of fruit, minerals, and finish long and incisive with a haunting salinity that has you reach for another sip immediately. Each cuvée is distinct and carries incredible clarity of place. The sense of luxury in these wines is vivid, but terroir is highlighted above all else.

    Leroux's Meursault 1er Cru Les Genevrières is sourced from vines planted in 1959. Along with Perrières, this is Meursault's undisputed top 1er, and this particular mid-slope section very much warrants Grand Cru elevation in status. Aged in 300L barrels, of which 33% is new wood.

    The Puligny Montrachet shows the more opulent and deeply layered composition of the heralded village. From three lieu dit parcels. Aged in 300-liter barrels, 15% new, with no bâttonage. Quintessential Puligny with an unrivaled lacy texture.


    His Bourgogne Blanc is a staple for me each vintage, and brings a complexity that only 70-yr-old vines can, with many parcels sourced from Meursault and Puligny! Aged in 10% new oak.

    Leroux began studying at Beaune's wine school at age 13. After working in Bordeaux, Oregon, and New Zealand he became winemaker at the revered Comte Armand estate in Pommard. After 30 years in the industry he has now began to focus nearly exclusively on his own label, still consulting for a bit for Comte Armand.
    Posted by Alexander Rosen
  • 2016 Pierre Yves Colin-Morey:  Grand and 1er Cru Allocation

    2016 Pierre Yves Colin-Morey: Grand and 1er Cru Allocation

    The great news is we have a first look today at Pierre Yves Colin-Morey's long-anticipated 2016 release of his Puligy, Chassagne, and Meursault cuvées - all now in stock. 2016 also marks the first-ever PYCM Pinot Noir releases from Vosne Romanée and Nuits Saint Georges' 1er Cru Boudots, which borders Vosne Romanée's 1er Cru Aux Malconsorts. The not-so-great news is that the small yields I was warned about when I visited with Pierre Yves in June 2016 is just as bad as we feared. This year's allocation is the smallest to date for me, but quality could not be higher.

    To order, please reply with your ideal order and I will do my best to accommodate 

    * Balanced order requests including the new Pinot Noir releases are very much appreciated.


    Visiting with Pierre Yves in July 2016 I got the sense the vintage was finally on course after a strange and difficult start. December through February was reported to be the warmest winter in over a century. March was cooler than normal, and the proceeding months saw damp conditions met with a disastrous frost on the morning of April 27th. As the frost set in, intense morning sunshine rose as a magnifying glass on these fragile, ice-covered buds. The result was literally explosive, as these small buds were wiped out in one morning. This is a large factor to why yields are smaller, and some bottlings (Mugneret-Gibourg Feusselottes) won't be produced at all in 2016.

    But, as we've discussed, the summer months dictated the quality of 2016, which is very high and favors expression of minerality over plump ripeness. In the end, we have whites and reds built upon energy and precision - 2010 was mentioned as a comparison by several winemaker friends after barrel-downs of 2016 concluded. 

    The whites are set more in the citrus camp than in stone fruit territory. They're certainly mineral-driven in style, but as Pierre Yves noted, they're riper than both 2004 and 2007.They show finesse and upfront drinkability seen from the 2011 whites, but are closer in style to 2010 (from the best producers) due to their greater concentration.

    The reds match the profile of the 2010 vintage even more so than the whites. There's a brilliant balance between ripeness and acidity. The easy generalization is to see the 2015 and 2016 reds much like we view the 2009 and 2010's. The 2009/2015 duo saw darker fruit, big ripeness, whereas the 2010/2016 pair is all about brightness and more red-fruited intensity with that supported framing acidity, one which I personally prefer!

    Additionally, the allocation of Caroline Morey's 2016's are being offered here today only for our mailing list.

    Posted by Alexander Rosen