2012 Gevrey Chambertin Les Champeaux Benjamin Leroux

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Average critic rating : 90.0 points



The 2012 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Champeaux was more taciturn when tasted out of barrel compared to the expressive Village Cru. It has a lively cohesive opening with a firm grip at the front of the mouth. This is another relatively masculine Gevrey from Leroux, but very well-balanced with attractive stony notes bolstering the finish. This is broody but absorbing. ||There is one vigneron pleased about the late running of the 2013 harvest more than any other – Benjamin Leroux. “I had my third baby two weeks ago,” he reveals, though he looks in unnaturally fine fettle given the sleepless nights he must surely be enduring. I met Benjamin at his winery located just off the Beaune ring road opposite Albert Bichot and Domaine des Croix. Here he vinifies all his negociant wines that are labeled under his name, and when he is not there, you will probably find him down in Domaine Comte Armand, where he has been responsible for recent vintages. He shares the facility with Nicolas Rossignol, whose wines I tasted directly afterwards. Those wishing to glean more information on Leroux’s background should peruse the article I wrote in the August issue of The Wine Advocate concerning Clos des Epeneaux. He told me that he will bottle his 2012s relatively early this year and, in fact, several were already under cork. Like practically everyone, his crops are depleted in 2012 depending upon the area, up to 80% in the worst affected by frost and hail. The samples that I tasted were either in bottle (wines with single figure scores) or in barrel just after malo-lactic but before racking (given by banded scores). Generally, these constituted an outstanding set of wines, albeit often in miniscule quantities, which is why some of the cuvees are exclusive to certain markets (for example, you will have to go to Hong Kong to find his elusive Clos Saint Denis.) While the grand crus could stand shoulder-to-shoulder with many growers, readers should check out some of his over-performing Village and Premier Crus, particularly the former that were bolstered by the blending of the latter due to depletion of crop. eRobertParker.com.December, 2013


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