The anticipation for this was unfortunately not met with anything positive. As soon as I poured this and noted the color (brown), I knew it was a done deal. This was completely dead and dumped after the first sniff.
Medium to dark red in color with slight orange rim. Beautiful and deep floral nose with red flowers, violet, lots of spices and very deep. Matching palate that is dense, with great balance, long and persistent finish, a wow wine that is drinking very very well now.
Leroy Dinner (Grace - Chicago IL): Open approx 1 1/2 hours but just decanted right before serving. This surely would have benefited with more air time. Slightly sweet black cherry aromas and flavors with robust, alluring spice. Firm and solid, this needs lots of cellar time.
Ah the bouquet on this wine, baking spice and baked bread, like opening the door to a bakery mixed in with generous amounts of red fruit. While on the palate, it was initially shy, it opened up about two hours in as the ripe earthy red fruit mixed in with all that cooling acid. The palate is so dense it was almost a bit "choppy" as the concentration of flavor was so powerful. It didn't have the complexity of the 92/95 that I had in the past month as both those were far silkier and balanced. This is still young and brutish.
prachtige neus, er gaat een hele waaier open, kruidig, fruit, aardbei, mooie zachte tonen, smaak is breed en met veel diepgang, verleidelijk, soepel, zacht, mooie volle smaak, alles heerlijk in balans, de wijn klopt helemaal
Friday after Thanksgiving (FAT) (Palm Beach Gardens FL): Tasting, brief note. Good, but not at the level of other bottles I tried in the past. Came across as somewhat advanced, and ever-so-slightly stewy at the end. Tonight still around a "90 point" wine, but I don't think this bottle was quite right.
Started slightly closed on the nose but opened beautifully after just a short time in the glass. Aromatics include red fruits (curants, cherries) well oiled saddle leather, molasses from the hint of new oak and great structure with medium-full body. The poet said it reminded of a carraige ride through the forest after the rain. Great now, even better in five years.
Lightly smoky at first but after a few minutes in the glass it really starts to get up and boogie. It perceptively gains perfume and sweetness with fruits vacillating between red and black. There’s a big hit of aniseed along with freshly grated ginger and some sweet earth. It has a real plush mouthfeel with incredible density and is chewy and has masses of dry extract booting in towards the finish. For its sheer size this wine has remarkable vibrancy, thanks in no small part I suspect to the abundant acidity. A delicious wine that is a joy to drink now but probably another 15 years away from its eventual apogee.
Flighted the 96, 98 and 99 together. The 99 was the class of the trio, but all three are terrific and would be great purchases. The 96 was deep and brooding like many 96's. The 98 was the expected underdog, and while it drank great, I expected more than it delivered. The 99 was classy as expected, and should develop into a very good wine over time.
Last min Dinner (Wo Peng): Alcohol :: 13% Quite shy on the nose, I got tea leaves, soy sauce, earth with touch of chalkiness, rustiness and dried fig sweetness that delivered medium scale in aromatic profile as well as on the palate that is fresh, rich, with Umami sappiness, dried tea leaves bitterness and soy sauce all supported firmly by grippy tannin that's remain unevolved, with long mineral finish, very good 1er Cru and would be top 1er cru if this has a little bit more of depth and complexity. The flavor profile is keep changing, evolving and getting more interested but not really gain in weight and depth. Buy - No.
Simple Old School Dinner (Wo Peng, Macpherson Road): Cork was soaked through and ullage was a bit low for a Leroy. I had to temper my expectations for this and sure enough the first pour did not wow. As with the low-yielding style, the color was ultra opaque and dull and of course very concentrated (but not soupy). Although 1996 is a vintage with high acidity, the sheer extract has masked it away, leaving a well-balanced wine. The palate was saturated with lush black fruits and herbs and true to the terroir, everyone guessed correctly that it was a Vosne. I kept revisiting this over the night and it held up reliably and in fact improved, evolving into hints of orange peel and animale with a grand cru finish. No doubt this has the stuffing to last for a long time but did not provide the wow factor at the moment. Nonetheless an outstanding wine chez Leroy.
Simple Series X: Red Burgs, White Germans and Others (Wo Peng, Macpherson Road): A lovely Burg, and one that was still many years from peak. It was one of the first wines poured and it kept changing in the glass, taking on different characteristics each time we came back to it. Lovely nose from the get-go, with lush scents of sweet dark berries and cherries, stewed herbal notes, earthy mushroomy tones and drifting spice notes wafting out of the glass. With time, some meaty tripe notes started emerging alongside a touch of vanillin. By the very last pour, the herbal notes faded and the meatiness came to the fore. We all guessed it was a Vosne 1er Cru at the very start, but the Leroy-ness only really started coming out more and more with time. The palate, for instance, was quite a bit leaner than the nose would suggest at first. Impeccably balanced, with ripe, slightly toasty dark fruit wed to lush if not exactly fresh acidity and fine, slightly powdery but nicely rounded tannins. However, the mid-palate was a little hollow at first, with subtle dark fruit finishing with a little linger of spiciness. With time though, the wine grew to fill up the corners and opened up with nice dark fruit seasoned with typical Vosne spiciness. Another half an hour later, it had taken on a thick umami richness which is telltale Leroy. This had quite a bit of power in the tank actually! Finally, at the very end of the dinner, the wine really stretched out with a nice long tail of smoky bacon bits and fresh orange peel pulling away impressively with juicy and lip-smacking length. I certainly would not have guessed it as a 1996 given the richness of the wine and the soft suppleness of the acid structure. Unlike the Jadot Clos Vougeot though, this was far from peak, there were just too many elements that seemed to need some time to emerge and to integrate. On the day, it was highly impressive, but perhaps more in an intellectual rather than sensual way - I would love to try it again in another 5-6 years or so.
Burgundy Dinner with Friends (Bryn Mawr Country Club, IL): Very spicy red cranberry aromatics. Lots of floral too with asian spice and soy notes. Spicy, sweet red fruit on the palate too with a good bit of structure. 2nd most spicy wine in the flight, after the 93. Vibrant acidity and a long gripping finish. Gorgeous.
Montrachet & more (Drouhin, Jadot, Taittinger CdC, La Tache, Vogue, Leroy ...): Flighting this with the '90 La Tache looked like a pancake in the making, but this more than held its own. The nose delivers an intense melange of red fruit, spice, earth that struck me as much cleaner than the previous bottle of this I had. Really impressive. On the palate this was really in a good place; mature red fruit coat the palate and there is just enough structure. I found this much better for my tastes than many of the '96s I've tasted (which usually strike me as overly structured), including a previous bottle of this wine.
Vinamok does Vosne Romanee (Copenhagen, Denmark): Sweet, dense with brown sugar, asphalt and an almost burnt nuance. Powerfull, still young and the oak is evident. A very complex wine with plenty of fruit, especially cherries. Explosive on the long finish. 94+
(at Beniot – NYC) Served in terrible stems. Deep ruby color. At first a very reticent nose that was not giving a lot. The bottle seemed flat though I didn’t notice any real flaw. After 60 to 90 minutes, the nose opened – a quite sophisticated mélange of black cherry, leather and spice. The palate stayed rather cool with only mild intensity. A good wine to be sure, but not even close to what was expected. (90)
Kitchen Tasting Group Does Beaver Creek – Day Two: How do you follow a pair of La Tache? 1996 Leroy isn't a bad choice. This proved to be delicious. The nose offered an intense melange of red fruit, spice, earth, and an appealing funk that disipated somewhat with time in the glass. Really nice. I found this to be delicious stuff. Probably showing a bit more structure than fruit (typical for 1996s I've had), but delivering enough fruit to capture your attention fully. Balanced. Tannic. Great long finish. I enjoyed this fully, and even tasted it side-by-side with a small pour of the 1991 Leroy Beaux Mont later in the night. The 1996 had the edge, but both were exceptional.
Obviously infanticide, but you only live once! This is a pretty good deal for Leroy and always delivers for me. Once it opened up in the decanter after an hour-plus, it was full of bright floral cherry and darker raspberry fruit, full of minerality and a hint of wet earth that meshed well together. Great balance of acidity and medium tannins and vibrant, yet delicate, intensity led to a long finish. Still needs a good deal of time, but it was sure fun to drink now.