Vincent Ledy has moved quite some way since my first visit a year and a half ago. He is, nonetheless, still the slightly frisky vigneron who will try everything to make better wines. That leads him to try things that no one else would try – aside from perhaps Marc Soyard and other like-minded whole cluster geeks.
Somehow I was not surprised when I found out there is a link between Soyard and Ledy’s whole-cluster experimentation. Warning: Explosions could occur.
I love it when adventurous, innovative people attack their work with talent and good ideas; some fantastic wines can be created.
Vincent Ledy’s estate is just around the corner from me in Nuits-Saint-Georges, and I therefore expect to have the opportunity to taste the 2020s more than once. I had difficulties evaluating Ledy’s whites at this early stage, and therefore will want to taste them again before I comment.
The wines below were tasted on October 20, 2021
So, to the reds!
Vincent Ledy – a thoughtful geek
I wrote this last year, and it still works well as an intro:
Let’s face it: Vincent Ledy is not your average vigneron. He is in his own special way both talented and a bit edgy and tense, in the sense that not all his wines are easy-drinking, middle-of-the-road Burgundies. They are special, vivid wines with a quite unique freshness and glow that is somewhat difficult to understand.
I’m not sure I fully comprehend what makes the wines special, but old vines do help. Ledy’s experiments with zero-sulphur vinification are another potential explanation. The vinification is in some cases a bit on the radical side, with quite a hint of volatile acidity – although clearly not problematically high. But it does create a certain notable tension in the wines, adding a slightly nervous edge. The wines are charming and tense, with delightful liveliness.
I now have warned you: This is a special world, but the wines are often both unique and truly great, and I gladly cheer the efforts!
Tasting notes for the Ledy 2020s
First up is Bourgogne Les Combes 2020, from vines in Flagey-Echezeaux just opposite the Clos de Vougeot below the D974. The vines here are 50-60 years old, and this gives remarkable intensity to the wine. Ledy’s Bourgogne rouge is (surprisingly) 100% destemmed, but it still has very expressive, intense fruit. Magnificent energy for this level, with delightful tension and a hedonistic lift. – Very Good (87-88p) –
The second wine is from Chaux – the area on the Côte above the main part of Nuits-Saint-Georges. The vineyard has a southeasterly exposure, and quite limestony soil. The Hautes Côtes de Nuits 2020 comes from the plots planted between 1994 and 2002, and it is vinified from destemmed grapes. If one does not taste the whole-cluster version below, one would be none the wiser. This fresh and vivid, with lovely balance and fruit, and magnificent tension and length for this level. Good+ (86-87p) –
The Hautes Côtes de Nuits 2020 Vieilles Vignes is also from the vineyard in Chaux. One part of the parcel was planted in 1954 and produces this beautiful “entry-level” wine. The 2020 is (so far) made without sulphur, and with 100% whole clusters included. Vivid and silky, there is a core of cloudberries and raspberries with hints of strawberries. This has tremendous tension and liveliness, and is a vin d’emotion in my book. That said, its bottling with very little sulphur means it’s for early drinking, not 10 years’ storage. Good++ (87-88p) –
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