Benjamin Leroux is one of the most talented winemakers of his generations. He has recently resigned from his job as régisseur at Comte Armand, and is now focusing on this own negociant business in Beaune.
Maison Benjamin Leroux was launched with the 2007 vintage, and has gradually been expanded over the years, and now has a lovely selection of both red and whites.
On my March trip to Burgundy I had the pleasure of visiting Benjamin in the lovely cellars in Beaune located in the old Jaboulet-Vercherre buildings just behind the Bichot complex in Beaune.
From Comte Armand to Maison Benjamin Leroux
To be honest I have never been over the moon exited about the Comte Armand wines, the terroir is somehow not accommodating my desire for seductive and sensual wines. They are however fine wines, and I bought quite a few over the years, but they really needs time to unfold the complexity … 20+ years in my view.
I have however been increasingly impressed by the wines Benjamin has produced under his own name. I really like the style, and is quite fascinated about Benjamins ability to find new and interesting terroirs among the quite many overlooked vineyards in Burgundy.
Maison Benjamin Leroux is not only a negociant business they also own some vineyards – mainly in Cote de Beaune – including plots in Batard Montrachet and Meursault Genevrieres. It’s not easy to build an estate buying vineyards at the current prices, but still Benjamin has managed to include some very exiting climates to the estate.
The 2013s at Benjamin Leroux
Benjamin was preparing the wines for bottling, so not all was were available for tasting, I did however taste a nice selection of both the whites and the reds.
The quality of the white 2013s is excellent, and the wines tasted – see notes below – showed very well. The 2013 vintage for the whites is very fine despite some serious challenges with the weather. The ripeness for the vintage is fine – but somewhat on the cool side – with a splendid acidity – very pure, crisp and fresh.
Benjamin seem to have made the most of the 2013 vintage … the whites are pure, ripe and energetic, with a lovely nerve and balance. They are very delicate and refined for the vintage – showing a lovely potential – my kind of white Burgundies.
The red 2013s here also showed very well for the vintage, and one can really feel how Benjamins attention to detail have minimized the potential problems in the 2013 vintage. He has found a delicacy in the red 2013s and avoided the inherent austerity in the wines … no doubt by very strict sorting of the grapes to avoid the unripe tannins found in quite many 2013 reds.
So bottom line … quite outstanding whites and some very fine reds from Benjamin Leroux in the 2013 vintage … and then to the notes for the whites!
Tasting notes white 2013 from Benjamin Leroux
I tasted 6 different whites all from tank … on March 19th 2015 – all were showing well and were possible to evaluate. The tasting notes for the reds will follow in a separate article.
Benjamin Leroux, Auxey-Duresses Blanc 2013
The “entry level” Auxey-Duresses Blanc is showing very well. Fine and crisp with pure and ripe white fruit focused by a lovely acidity. It’s harmonious, quite delicate with a nice nerve and energy for this level. A very pretty little wine … perfect for lunch or for enjoyment in the spring sun.
Benjamin Leroux, Chassagne Abbaye de Morgeot 2013
The Chassagne-Montrachet Abbaye de Morgeot is quite a step up .. and a more serious and weighty wine. In the nose fine pure with predominantly white fruits … offering a robust but quite refined minerality considering the terroir. On the palate fin crisp and energetic fruit … lovely verve. It’s quite weight with a lovely midpalate concentration and purity. The style of the house really suits this type of “robust” terroir, and Benjamin seem to be able to add some refinement to the wine, not letting the rustic side taking the upper hand. A lovely classic Chassagne.
Benjamin Leroux, Chassagne Téte du Clos 2013
The Chassagne-Montrachet Téte du Clos is quite a step up in class and refinement from the Chassagne Abbaye de Morgeot. In the nose lovely fresh mineral driven fruit … pure and crisp … with some lovely floral and stony notes. On the palate lovely airy and pure fruit, very refined and with a vibrant energy and nerve. The finish is long and mineral driven … powerful but still refined and quite delicate. A gorgeous Chassagne … highly recommended.
Benjamin Leroux, Puligny Montrachet Les Folatieres 2013
The Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatieres is a lovely forward wine … but not quite matching the Chassagne Téte du Clos in my view. In the nose fine more exotic fruit – pear and peach – brought forward by a fine classy minerality. On the palate quite rich … with a youthful exotic opulence … openly knit but with a fine focusing acidity and minerality. Quite forward now … showing off the baby fat … but will no doubt develop into a refined Puligny … the vintage is just perfect for this terroir. A both charming and outgoing Puligny .. whats not to like!
Benjamin Leroux, Meursault Genevrieres 2013
The Meursault Genevrieres is a delightful effort. It’s made from a 0.12 ha plot located in the upper (Dessus) part of Genevrieres and owned by Maison Benjamin Leroux. In the bouquet fine and pure predominantly white fruits powered by a very fine and filigree citrus infused minerality. On the palate delightful balance, lovely airy midpalate concentration and a long mineral driven finish. I love this terroir … a truly gorgeous Genevrieres.
Benjamin Leroux, Batard-Montrachet 2013
The Batard-Montrachet 2013 is a mineralic powerhouse and a beauty of a wine. It’s made from a 0,16 ha plot owned by Maison Benjamin Leroux. In the bouquet quite intense white and yellow orchard fruits infused with citrus and a intense stony minerality. On the palate weighty and intense midpalate fruit, airy and refined … all backed by the powerful classic Batard minerality … it’s long, powerful and yet refined for the terroir and the vintage. A classic and refined Batard in the making … magnificent juice.
Tasting Notes for this producer
- Benjamin Leroux, Echezeaux 2014 March 10, 2018
- Benjamin Leroux, Bonnes Mares 2009 February 7, 2017
- Benjamin Leroux, Gevrey Chambertin 2013 September 27, 2015
- Benjamin Leroux, Gevrey Aux Etelois 2013 September 27, 2015
- Benjamin Leroux, Clos de la Roche 2013 September 27, 2015
- Benjamin Leroux, Mazoyere Chambertin 2013 September 27, 2015
- Benjamin Leroux, Nuits-Saint-Georges Aux Thorey 2013 September 27, 2015
- Benjamin Leroux, Gevrey Les Goulots 2013 September 27, 2015
- Benjamin Leroux, Bonnes Mares 2013 September 21, 2015
- Benjamin Leroux, Clos de Vougeot 2013 September 20, 2015
- Benjamin Leroux, Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses 2013 September 20, 2015
- Benjamin Leroux, Clos Saint Denis 2012 March 14, 2015
- Benjamin Leroux, Corton Charlemagne 2012 February 21, 2015
- Benjamin Leroux, Meursault 2012 February 21, 2015
- Benjamin Leroux, Chassagne-Montrachet Morgeot 2007 February 18, 2015
- Benjamin Leroux, Clos Saint Denis 2011 March 14, 2014
- Benjamin Leroux, Meursault 2011 March 5, 2014
- Benjamin Leroux, Puligny Montrachet 2010 February 28, 2013
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