2013 Gevrey Chambertin Benjamin Leroux



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£191.00

Average critic rating : 89.0 points

88-90

88-90

The 2013 Gevrey Chambertin from Etelois, not a lieu-dit often bottled separately, has plenty of blackberry, red plum and orange rind on the well-defined nose that will need a couple of years to unwind. The palate is medium-bodied and full of energy, smooth and silky in the mouth, although I would like a little more backbone toward the finish. This will be seductive young, but it may well age gracefully over 8 to 10 years.||Benjamin Leroux has now bid adieu do his role as head winemaker at Domaine Comte Armand after a long and successful tenure that really made his name. Speaking to him down in the barrel cellar in a facility shared with Nicolas Rossignol, he seemed content to be completely focused upon his own namesake négoçiant business, though remains on hand to give Paul Zinetti advice down in Pommard whenever necessary. But it is clear where Benjamin's priorities lie and he has long-term plans for his business, recently acquiring his own parcels of vine in Meursault in Genevrières and where he seemed particularly satisfied, up in Blagny. As we talked about the future, he spoke of a yearning to return to his roots, which you can read in a literal sense, returning to the vines, getting the grit back under his fingernails so to speak. The conversation then turned to the 2013 vintage...|"I was really thinking of waiting as long as possible," he told me, "and then the fruit changed really quickly, so the hardest part was the logistics, getting the pickers in place and getting the winery ready. So the whites were picked a week earlier than I anticipated. The whites were picked from 27 September commencing with the Bâtard-Montrachet until the 1 October; the reds from 2 October until 9 October, finishing with the Clos Vougeot on the day before the weather turned. We did not have to sort too much, about 5% of the crop, the same as 2012. I chaptalized in order to extend the alcoholic fermentation but I was getting satisfactory levels."||Suffice to say that this is a strong set of wines from a very talented winemaker. In particular that Clos Vougeot that was picked just a whisker before the weather turned is an absolute stunner. But there is plenty to relish elsewhere from Leroux in 2013, whose comprehensive portfolio spans much of Burgundy, each translating the leitmotifs of their respective terroirs with style and panache. Only on a couple of occasions did I feel that he let the ball slip through his hands. As Benjamin remarked, these days there is little distinction between domaine and negociant. I agree with him to some extent, although the bottom line is that it all depends on the winemaker we are talking about. eRobertParker.com.December, 2014

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