Maison Leroy is the original foundation of Lalou Bize-Leroy’s Burgundy empire, which now includes Domaine Leroy and Domaine d’Auvenay. The wines from this négociant arm of the business are released only when they are ready to drink and offer a more affordable entry-point to the Leroy name.
The négociant operation was founded in 1868 by François Leroy. While he owned vines in Auxey-Duresses, Meursault, Pommard, Chambertin, Musigny, Clos Vougeot and Richebourg, the wine had never carried the Leroy name, being sold through Comptoir des Propriétaires de la Côte d’Or. François’s son Joseph expanded the business significantly, adding a distilling arm that grew further under the next generation, Henri.
Henri joined the business in 1919. He was a close friend of Edmond Gaudin de Villaine and his wife and brother-in-law, Marie-Dominique and Jacques Chambon, who inherited Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (DRC) in 1912. It was a difficult period for Burgundy and the Chambons were looking to sell the estate. Henri convinced the Chambons to retain control and sell him a 50% stake in the property in 1942. Henri focused his attentions on DRC and was key to turning round its fortunes, making it one of the world’s most sought-after names.
While Henri was in charge, the négociant business ticked along, however it is under his daughter, Marcelle Bize-Leroy, but known universally as Lalou, that the Leroy name has become synonymous with the best Burgundy. She joined the Maison Leroy team in 1955, taking over running the operation from her father in 1971.
Based in Auxey-Duresses, Maison Leroy is today a central part of the Leroy portfolio providing a wealth of wines hand-selected by Madame Lalou Bize-Leroy herself. Her lifetime of experience as a winemaker producing wines from almost every appellation in the Côte d'Or makes her one of the most experienced vignerons and tasters in the region.
She selects the Maison wines by blind tasting hundreds of wines each year, choosing only the best. She does this with no ties or obligations to buy from growers, allowing her to pick wines purely based on quality. It is well known that she pays a premium for the wines she chooses, to allow herself to cherry-pick the greatest expressions of each terroir. Bize-Leroy stakes her considerable reputation on her expert palate and market knowledge, selecting all the Maison’s out-turn entirely from what she has tasted.
Following the initial selection process, the wines are aged at the domaine and selected for release when she believes the wines are ready. This is one of few néogicants that can offer 20-, 30- or 40-year-old wines that have lain unmoved in the cellar since bottling.
Each February, fans of the estate wait anxiously to hear which wines are destined to be released that year, often themed around anniversary bottlings that tend to be between 10 and 50 years old. Find details of recent releases below.