Beyond elusive; not even in my dreams. While the red grands crus from Domaine Leroy and Domaine d’Auvenay are both very rare and very costly, the whites are even further away from the Winehog’s snout.
The Chevalier-Montrachet and Batard-Montrachet are each in a league of their own, and that’s before mentioning Criots-Batard-Montrachet.
Even the rare village wines from Leroy and – especially – d’Auvenay are amongst the most expensive in Burgundy, hence also the world.
The Puligny-Montrachet Les Enseignères from Domaine d’Auvernay – a village wine – is currently priced at 8,400 US dollars for the 2014 vintage (almost 7,100 euros). That’s more than La Tâche 2010 (5,300 euros currently). This including rax!
Domaine d’Auvenay: a bit of background
Mme. Lalou Bize-Leroy is the leading lady of Burgundy, coming from the very prestigious family that started Maison Leroy. It was founded by her great-grandfather Francois Leroy in 1868, although he was already selling wines in 1851.
Francois’ son Joseph Leroy expanded the business, and his grandson Henri Leroy acquired a large share of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti in 1942 from Jacques Chambon, becaming co-owner with the de Villaine family.
In 1988, Mme. Bize-Leroy founded Domaine Leroy, now one of the most prominent estates in Burgundy.
Just two years later, Mme. Bize-Leroy took over her father’s house and estate, Domaine d’Auvenay, acquiring the share of her older sister, Pauline Roch (1929-2009). She began to expand that estate with the acquisition of red and white vineyards both in the Côte de Nuits and the Côte de Beaune, creating a boutique domaine alongside Domaine Leroy and Maison Leroy.
Owning a large share in DRC, Domaine Leroy, and Domaine d’Auvenay, Mme Bize-Leroy is both a prominent and a dominant force in Burgundy. She owns plots in almost all the top grand cru vineyards, from Montrachet via the grands crus of Vosne-Romanée to Musigny, Bonnes-Mares, and Chambertin.
She even owns a few village vineyards – Puligny-Montrachet Les Enseignères and En la Richarde. The Enseignères was acquired from Domaine Jacques Bavard in 2011-12, along with an attractive plot of Bâtard-Montrachet.
Puligny-Montrachet Les Enseignères
Puligny-Montrachet Les Enseignères caught my attention back in the mid-1990s when Coche-Dury acquired a piece of this now-illustrious village vineyard.
Les Enseignères is, for non-collectors, a relatively unknown vineyard, located just below Bienvenues-Batard-Montrachet. While producing tremendous wines, it is perhaps somewhat over the top to claim that this vineyard is near grand cru quality-wise. It does, however, have some very fine attributes that I cherish and admire.
It is a very fine village terroir that can measure up to some of the better 1ers crus in Puligny, although it perhaps struggles to compare with the top 1ers crus.
Let’s take a closer look.
Les Enseignères is located directly below Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet, but to be honest, Bienvenues’ location is somewhat blurred to many, other than understanding that it’s next to the better-known – and perhaps more consistent – Bâtard-Montrachet.
While Les Enseignères remains a not-so-well-kept secret, it is a surprisingly large vineyard, covering 9.12 hectares, significantly larger than neighbouring Bienvenues-Batard-Montrachet (3.68 ha).
Looking closely, one sees that the northernmost tip of Bienvenues-Batard-Montrachet reaches slightly further north than Les Enseignères.
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