Winestreet Does Leroy

WA Frost, St. Paul
Tasted Thursday, October 11, 2007 by Siggy with 521 views

Introduction

Several members of our Minneapolis tasting group attended a Leroy dinner at WA Frost in St. Paul, hosted by our favorite local retailer, Winestreet Spirits. The event, which came together over the span of a week, featured many different whites and reds, primarily from the Maison (negotiant) side of the house. Christophe Rolland, a California-based sales manager, spoke about the history and philosophy of Leroy, and introduced the wines as they were poured. He was very approachable and fascinating to talk to. We also met representatives from New France Wine Company, a local distributor with an extensive French portfolio that now includes Leroy. The wines were chilled on ice (the reds were a touch too cold), and pours were mostly arranged in groups of two. This was a terrific tasting, both from an intellectual and hedonistic perspective, of one of my favorite Burgundy producers. It was also a nice sneak preview of our upcoming Phelps Insignia vertical dinner, which will also be held at WA Frost. Speaking of dinner, I was a bit underwhelmed. The courses didn't pair well with the food, for the most part, and the only one which really stood out was seared ahi tuna over spicy peach risotto. After dinner we headed up to the still-lively bar to order more food and wine. Alas, the kitchen had closed, but we made do with a couple of interesting older reds from the wonderful and extensive list.

WOTN for me was the 66 Chapelle-Chambertin, which I've had a couple times before. I was also blown away by the 76 Beaune Teurons and 72 Gevrey-Chambertin Champeaux.

Thanks to Brad Weiss at Winestreet for putting this together!

Flight 1 - Whites (5 Notes)

  • 1997 Maison Leroy Bourgogne Blanc 87 Points

    France, Burgundy, Bourgogne Blanc

    Nice zesty citrus fruit. Good acidity. Light- to medium-bodied, with a mature flavor profile. Added some weight and complexity in the glass. Reminded me of a St. Aubin. A good Bourgogne blanc.

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  • 1999 Maison Leroy Auxey-Duresses 88 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Auxey-Duresses

    Interesting and somewhat unusual nose -- kind of a cheesy/mushroomy smell. Not unpleasant though. On the palate, this was buttery and ripe, showing flint, citrus fruit, and some oak. Medium body and finish.

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  • 1999 Maison Leroy Montagny 1er Cru 89 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte Chalonnaise, Montagny 1er Cru

    Medium gold color. Honey and citrus fruit, with a slight truffle/mushroom background note. Leaner and less overtly ripe than the Auxey Duresses. Medium body. Very tasty.

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  • 1998 Maison Leroy Meursault 90 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault

    Medium gold color. Rich, weighty peach and pear flavors, framed by toasty oak. Weightier, fuller mouthfeel than the other wines in the lineup. There is definitely some (dry) botrytis here, which lends an interesting touch of coconut/pineapple to the flavor profile. Nice acidity. I'm not a huge Meursault fan, but I really enjoyed this.

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  • 1997 Maison Leroy Meursault 1er Cru 90 Points

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

    Deep golden color. No hint of oxidation. Rich, moderately concentrated lemon and tangerine fruit, supported by good minerality and acidity. Showing some oak. Weighty mouthfeel. With some air, this picked up a slightly funky flavor that I found interesting.

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Flight 2 - Reds (8 Notes)

  • 1996 Maison Leroy Côte de Beaune Villages 89 Points

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

    Consistent with my prior TNs. This is a fully mature, spicy, earthy wine with a terrific nose, and not much length or follow-through on the palate. I still think this is a good deal at $25, assuming you can cherry-pick bottles that aren't leaking.

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  • 1996 Maison Leroy Volnay 1er Cru Santenots 92 Points

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

    Gorgeous, yet serious nose of concentrated cherry fruit. Fragrant and floral. On the palate this is smooth and very tight; with some swirling, it reveals deeply concentrated, complex red fruit and earth. The acid and tannin levels seem very well balanced, although with the fruit in its current closed state, the wine tastes a little tart. Built for the long haul. Revisit in 5+ years.

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  • 1976 Maison Leroy Beaune 1er Cru Teurons 92 Points

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

    Slight Band-Aid and VA on the initial nose. Light rose/tea color. Concentrated, highly pitched red fruit. Layers of cherries, minerals, and earth. Long finish with fully resolved tannins. Mature and drinking beautifully.

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

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

    Slight Band-Aid/VA on the initial nose. High-toned, complex, elegant cherry fruit and freshly chopped mushrooms. Fragrant and beautifully balanced. Totally resolved tannins. Fully mature, and holding on very well. Delicious.

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  • 1966 Maison Leroy Chapelle-Chambertin 94 Points

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

    Delicious layers of high-toned, fresh red fruit, tea, and baking spices. Less earthy and mushroomy than the 1976 Beaune Teurons 1er and 1972 Gevrey-Chambertin Champeaux 1er, tasted side-by-side (see TNs). Wonderful harmony, elegance, and balance. Fully resolved tannins. Gorgeously mature. WOTN for me.

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  • 2004 Domaine Leroy Bourgogne 92 Points

    France, Burgundy, Bourgogne

    It was a real challenge to switch to this infant after several fully mature wines. But I bravely carried on. Deep, rich, concentrated red and black fruit. Baking spices and a hint of cinnamon. Good ripeness here with no overmaturity. Nice minerality and earthiness underlying the fruit. Long finish with a real tannic grip on the end. Delicious now, but I think this will be even better in 5+ years.

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  • 2000 Domaine Leroy Clos Vougeot 91 Points

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

    High-toned red fruit and cinnamon on the nose. Fragrant and floral, medium-weight red fruit. Still somewhat tight, with a finish that thins out on the end. A touch closed at present. I have a hunch that my notes and score are conservative and that this may need more bottle age.

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  • 2000 Domaine Leroy Corton-Renardes 88 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton Grand Cru

    Animal fur, beef, and blood. With some air, this picked up some interesting iron/mineral notes. Rustic. I'm not a big fan of red Corton, but this seemed a bit wild and wooly.

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Flight 3 - Nightcaps at the Bar (2 Notes)

  • 1962 Château Pape Clément

    France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan

    $125 on the restaurant list. Deep red color. Slightly swampy nose. On the palate, this shows fully mature black tea, cloves, dust, earth and mushrooms, in a light, elegant frame. The fruit is a little dilute, but seems to be holding on. Soft and supple in the mouth. Light body. Fully resolved tannins. Interesting.

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  • 1982 Diamond Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Volcanic Hill

    USA, California, Napa Valley, Diamond Mountain

    $60 on the restaurant list. Dark black/purple color -- very youthful. Great nose of smoky campfire and blackberry fruit, followed by bacony, Northern Rhone smells. The palate doesn't match up to the nose, and tastes a bit dusty and short, with a compact finish. This wine is supposedly great from magnum, but this bottle seemed a bit tired. Still a fun experience though.

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