Winestreet Tastes an Abundance of Leroy

Tasted Thursday, October 11, 2007 by Dave Dalluge with 389 views

Introduction

Winestreet sent out a last minute e-mail less than a week ago for a tasting of the wines of Leroy at WA Frost on October 11th. It's no surprise that this filled up fast. WA Frost is an excellent restaurant, and who doesn't love Leroy. The cost was $125 for wine, food, and gratuity. Most of the Kitchen Tasting Group made it including Brad England, Chris Palm, Steve Sigmond, and Chris Larson. We took one of the tables for eight and an unlucky, late-arriving couple was forced to join us as the other three tables were full. Dave and Michele were treated to a spectacle of wine geekdom and revelry that may put them off wine tastings for some time.

The menu featured four courses plus an amuse bouche and a cheese course. The food was first rate, although we got a good laugh out of the idea that the kitchen was acually closed since most of the courses were served uncooked (including beef tartare, salmon gravlox, and ahi tuna) Only the quail course was actually cooked.

Flight 1 - Leroy Whites (5 Notes)

  • 1997 Maison Leroy Bourgogne Blanc 88 Points

    France, Burgundy, Bourgogne Blanc

    A nice way to kick off the evening. The nose stared out mild, but with air (and warming) opened to reveal a simple but enjoyable blend of orange, lemon, and honey. The taste was nice, and definitely wasn't lacking in acidity. This probably would have paired better with some food than being served on its own. Flavors of honey/butterscotch dominate fruit and mineral. The finish is long and zingy from the acidity. Good for what it is.

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  • 1999 Maison Leroy Auxey-Duresses 89 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Auxey-Duresses

    Pale yellow color. The nose has a unique smell that is pleasing, but hard to pinpoint. Others at the table offered flint and stinky cheese as descriptors. There was definitely some fruit among the dusty funkiness. In the palate this was definitely on the fat side, wtih concentrated fruit, mineral, and charred barrel/smoky notes. OK finish. Really needs a bit more acidity to be in balance, but nitpicking aside is a very enjoyable wine. Pairing this with the amuse (beef tartare with a mild horseradish) probably didn't do it any good either.

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  • 1999 Maison Leroy Montagny 1er Cru 87 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte Chalonnaise, Montagny 1er Cru

    Pale gold -- slightly darker than the Auxey Duresses. On the nose this offers a very nice citrus fruit with honey/butterscotch overtones. Nice, but not quite as elegant as the other whites poured. In the mouth this has is mid-weight with much more structure/acidity than the Auxey Duresses. However, this is not nearly as expansive on the palate, and the finsih is thinner and shorter than it should be.

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  • 1998 Maison Leroy Meursault 91 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault

    Pale yellow color. The nose is very fresh and expressive of citrus fruit (orange/lemon) with a storng slate/mineral note. Steve called an exotic botrytis note and this rings true. On the palate this is awesome. The mouth feel is plush with great weight and perfect balanced. The flavors build from the attack through the long finish. Just enough acidity throughout to keep this from seeming too plush/fat. I enjoyed this a lot.

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  • 1997 Maison Leroy Meursault 1er Cru 92 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault 1er Cru

    Pale gold color. The nose exudes a husky blend of honey, herb, mineral, and oak. Rough and rustic, but oh so nice. The taste delivers a vibrant, expansive burst of fruit, mineral, and mild oak. If anything this is a bit on the fat side, but not enough to be a negative. Great length on the finish. My favorite of the whites served.

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Flight 2 - Leroy Reds (8 Notes)

  • 1996 Maison Leroy Côte de Beaune Villages 90 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Côte de Beaune Villages

    Very pale red with slight browning. This is an awesome nose for the price -- mushroom, barnyard, red fruit and earth -- true Burgundy. The wine is light in the mouth but well balanced, with slight acidity noticeable. The taste is not nearly as good as the nose offering a mild blend of red fruit, earth, and cola. Decent lenght but no real intensity on the finish. Overall an interesting and very good quality wine. I must say, this bottle seemed much cleaner (not necessarily better) than ones I have had at home.

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  • 1996 Maison Leroy Volnay 1er Cru Santenots 91 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Volnay 1er Cru

    Deep ruby red. The nose gives a funky blend of cherry and cranberry red fruit. I thought the funkiness was due to a slight VA (and it did dissipate with time). Other than this the smell is pretty clean. On the palate this had good intensity of flavor but was tight/compact with plenty of acidity discernable. Flavors remain a clean expression of cherry and cranberry. A good not great finish. This wine came across as extremely closed and ungiving. My guess is that this just needs a few years (or maybe better oxygenation after opening) to bring out an improved wine -- although there wasn't a unanimous agreement on this.

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  • 1976 Maison Leroy Beaune 1er Cru Teurons 92 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Beaune 1er Cru

    The color is a pale red. It is cloudy and has big chunks of sediment due to service errors. The nose is a delightful expression of sour cherry, mushroom, barnyard, and earth. There is a slight band-aid element but not enough to be distracting. The wine is just barely mid-weight in the mouth but packs a ton of flavor. I get more sour red cherry mixed with watermelon. Some mineral and funky elements augment the fruit flavors nicely. This wine has perfect balance finish with decent intensity and length. Very enjoyable.

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  • 1972 Maison Leroy Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Champeaux 93 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru

    Very pale red, but no browning. The nose gives a subdued but elegant blend of red fruit, spice, and mushroom. Very nice. On the palate this barely mid-weight, but packs a ton of red cherry/watermelon flavor. Perfect balance. Great palate presence from attack through the long, long satisfying finish. Just beautiful.

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  • 1966 Maison Leroy Chapelle-Chambertin 93 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru

    The color is a pale strawberry red. The nose is very enticing, offering musky sour cherry with orange notes, mushroom and leather. Refined and pleasing. On the palate this is surprisingly fresh, with red and black fruits, mineral and mushroom. Great flavor intensity throughout. Satisfying finish. This is the second time I have had this, and I think the first bottle was slightly better. However, I'm looking forward to trying this again in the near future (maybe Sunday!).

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  • 2004 Domaine Leroy Bourgogne 93 Points

    France, Burgundy, Bourgogne

    The nose is awesome and wide open giving a great expression of Burgundy aromas (sour red cherries, earth, and mushroom). Somewhat funky -- could even have a touch of brett. In the mouth this delivers deep and concentrated red and black fruit with some earthiness, but really pretty clean. This carries a bit more weight than the preceding wines, but is still medium weight. Perfect balance. The finish is excellent with good length and a satisfying flavor. I can't believe how well this is drinking right now. Why wait??

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  • 2000 Maison Leroy Clos Vougeot 92 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos Vougeot Grand Cru

    I need to confirm that we didn't have the domaine version. This has a great nose of elegant red fruit and spice. The taste is excellent with fresh red fruit and just enough earthiness. Medium weight. Expansive in the mouth with good balance. I really felt the acidity was just perfect given the concentrated fruit. Great finish. This showed well tonight, but seemed to have even more held back. I'm confident this wine will improve significantly with additional bottle age.

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  • 2000 Maison Leroy Corton-Renardes

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton Grand Cru

    I need to confirm that we didn't have the domaine version. A very small pour (I think there was only one bottle for the group). This didn't show well to me at all. The nose is a clean and simple expression of cranberry/cherry. In the mouth this came across as thin and acidic with a disappointing finish.

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Flight 3 - Bonus Wines (2 Notes)

After dinner we headed up to the bar and poured over the excellent WA Frost wine list. Brad and Brian from Winestreet joined us and helped keep the festivities going strong for at least another hour (after all, most of these guys don't have a strenous job like me, and can sleep in if they are out too late).

  • 1962 Château Pape Clément

    France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan

    Ordered off the WA Frost winelist ($125). We had a lot of trouble getting the cork out in one piece, but ultimately prevailed. Deep ruby red with minimal bricking. The nose gives a great blast of smokey red fruit with some funkiness. We didn't wait around to see if this blew off. Pretty impressive on the palate, with good weight, good balance, and a fun melange of black fruit, black tea, cloves, mineral, and smokey/charred notes. Not overly expansive but plenty of flavor. Tannins are fully resolved (as if there was any doubt). A very good (not great) bottle of wine, but very, very fun.

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  • 1982 Diamond Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Volcanic Hill

    USA, California, Napa Valley, Diamond Mountain

    Ordered off the WA Frost winelist ($60). We had a lot of trouble with this cork too. We ultimately got most of the cork out of the bottle. Deep red/black color. The nose is a little funky, but pleasing. The taste has sweet fruit that some described as cotton candy. There is plenty of fruit and structure, but this is still on the acidic side. The finish is relatively short and extremely drying. I actually enjoyed this more than this not indicates and it was a great way to finish of a most enjoyable evening.

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Closing

It was great to see everyone again and to meet a few new Minneapolis wine lovers. This was an incredibly fun evening. And actually just a warm-up for a big weekend of wine drinking. We've got all 31 vintages of Phelps Insignia on Saturday night (coincidentally at WA Frost) and a Burgundy extravaganza at Siggy's on Sunday night. I better get some sleep on Friday!!!

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