On a cold-December day, MUYI Fine Wines organised a dinner to taste through a vertical of Domaine Leroy’s most significant wine: the Vosne-Romanee Beaux Monts.
With vintages ranging from 1991 up to 2013, this proved to be a fascinating insight into the evolution of this most legendary and mysterious of Burgundian estates.
Whilst Lalou Bize-Leroy’s vineyards were immediately converted into biodynamics since the inaugural 1988 vintage, constant efforts to improve viticulture have produced wines that have progressed a great deal over the last years. No matter whether it’s her decision not to trim the vineyards, or to aim for incredibly low yields, or the almost obsessive focus on growing the best possible grapes, for Leroy, the work in the cellar is clearly secondary. Indeed, she mentions that with the quality of grapes produced at the domaine, no winemaker is needed to produce great wines from them.
With a focus on the domaine’s most important vineyard (Leroy owns a substantial part of Beaux Monts), this was as much a study of what Beaux Monts is capable of, as it was in the evolution of the style of wine produced at Leroy. The standout wines, were in many ways way too young to appreciate, as they were the 2012 and the somewhat more ready 1999. The other very young wine was the 2013, which showed a brilliantly crystalline and clear character that whilst less concentrated than the 2012, already provides a great deal of pleasure.
The monumental 1999, is a wine still so big and rich that it can easily be kept for years more to come, but can be drunk now delivering immense pleasure. The wines that started the dinner off (a series of 1991, 1995, 1996) were very good, especially given the context of their respective vintages, but did not have the x-factor that the subsequent vintages had.
All in all, this was a remarkable line-up of wines. It showcased not only how special these wines are, but also how Mme. Leroy has completely changed the way many winemakers look at what they do. With a younger generation taking inspiration from her, and Domaine Leroy being far from having arrived at what Madame considers the final point, there will be plenty more to come!