Smoky scents of Latakia tobacco and an alliance of fresh and distilled raspberry rise from the glass of Bize-Leroy’s Domaine d’Auvenay 2008 Mazis-Chambertin. The alternation of smoky and brightly-fruited (raspberry and red currant) elements on the palate has its counterpart in one of textural creaminess with almost electric vivacity. A clean sense of raw red meat and a scintillating floral dimension (violet and rose); hints of vanilla and brown spices from barrel; along with licorice and black pepper, all contribute to multi-layered and dynamic complexity in this remarkable Pinot whose finish seems to soar even as it lifts one’s spirits. The paradox of levity and density found in its sibling from Chambertin is perpetuated here, even if at a slightly lower energy level. There may be more opportunities for charm and seduction here – time alone can tell, and I would want to follow this (in my dreams I would follow it in reality) for at least the next 25 years. Jun 2010, www.robertparker.com
Domaine d’Auvenay is the third entity to the Leroy empire, named after Lalou Bize-Leroy’s home, an old hunting lodge outside Saint-Romain in the hills above Auxey-Duresses, which she shared with her husband Marcel until he passed away in 2004. This estate is incredibly important to Lalou, as it was her families original domaine and therefore has the longest history of production associated with Leroy, predating both DRC and Domaine Leroy.
Domaine d’Auvenay was the family estate of the Leroy family which Lalou-Bize Leroy, along with her sister inherited from her father in 1980, eight years prior to her purchasing what would go on to be Domaine Leroy. In total the estate amounts to just under four hectares under vine covering 16 different appellations. The tiny size of these plots allied with the tiny yields produced on these biodynamic vineyards makes these wines exceptionally rare and expensive. In 2019 (one of the lowest yields ever seen in Lalou’s memory) each cuvee amounts to just one barrel of wine. Her Criots Batard Montrachet plot produced less than 100 litres!