Benjamin Leroux 2019

[ON THE 2019 VINTAGE] The red wines are simply brilliant: most of what I’ve tasted so far has been beautifully balanced, combining a seductive depth of fruit with very classical levels of acidity; and nor is there any coarseness or rusticity, even if the wines have the structure they need for the long haul. At this early stage, 2019 appears to number among the most compelling red Burgundy vintages of the millennium. WILLIAM KELLEY, The Wine Advocate

This is certainly the finest range of reds I have ever tasted from Ben. JASPER MORRIS, Inside Burgundy

Leroux’s whites were exceptionally successful. JANCIS ROBINSON

This was an excellent portfolio of 2019s from Leroux. His practice of commencing the fermentation of whites in barrel and then using the new oak to mature the reds, thereby lessening the wood impact, has paid dividends. The reds, which are unlikely to be racked until next March, are studded with some exceptionally finely crafted wines that seemed to be sculpted by a smallest chisel in the set: the Volnay Les Caillerets, Nuits Saint-Georges Les Boudots or Gevrey-Chambertin Les Cazetiers are just some examples. A couple, not least the Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru, were broody and an exception to the rule, given the approachability of the 2019 vintage. Such wines deserve several years tucked away in a cellar. NEAL MARTIN, Vinous

 

I feel like I have been looking forward to this offer all year. Benjamin Leroux is a certified once in a generation talent and the 2019 vintage sees those talents collide with what William Kelley calls “among the most compelling red Burgundy vintages of the millennium”. Cue the fireworks please. As far as Burgundy offers go, this is one of the most exciting we will see this year.

If you have been following these wines up until now you will be familiar with the story of Ben Leroux, a young phenom who studied at the Lycée Viticole in Beaune at just 13 years of age and then took the reins at Domaine Comte Armand at just 26 years old. Today he is regarded by many as the most talented and well-versed winemaker in Burgundy bar none. Few, if any, know the ins and outs of such an array of vineyards scattered across the Cote d’Or as Leroux. His mirco-negociant approach affords him great dynamism, working with carefully selected plots in vineyards that stretch from Auxey-Duresses and Savigny-Les Beaune to Volnay and Bonnes Mares.

Stylistically they epitomise the best of modern Burgundy. At their best these are breathtakingly pure fruited wines, powerful and precise with spine tingling tension. Leroux is a master puppeteer when it comes to balance, intuitively understanding what moves to make in the vineyard and winery to ensure the carefully selected sites he works with shimmer in all their glory. Whether it be careful canopy management, pinpoint picking times, artfully managed whole bunch ferments or judiciously applied oak, Leroux has all the tools and know how to pull the right strings at the right time.

Which brings us to these highly anticipated 2019 releases. The vintage has delivered wines with wonderful concentration and depth of fruit paired with more virulent acidities than vintages like 2018 and 2015. There is structure too, lovely ripe tannins that should see many wines cellar well. I mentioned above that William Kelley has called 2019 “among the most compelling red Burgundy vintages of the millennium.”, on the other side of the equation Neal Martin believes the whites “offer freshness and richness that were once thought to be mutually exclusive. It’s as if Mother Nature said to winemakers: You can have your cake and eat it.” It’s an exciting vintage and one which has already seen fervent stocking up from punters looking to fill their cellars with great Burgundy that will deliver for some years to come.