Domaine Leroy   Chambertin Grand Cru

2012 Chambertin Grand Cru

By Domaine Leroy

2012 Chambertin Grand Cru from Domaine Leroy, Burgundy

The 2012 vintage from the revered terroirs of Burgundy was one marked by a confluence of challenges and triumphs, and the Chambertin Grand Cru from Domaine Leroy emerged as a testament to the tenacious spirit of this storied region. A year where frost, hailstorms, and disease pressure conspired to reduce yields, it ultimately led to intensified effort in the vineyards, coaxing a crop of limited yet exceptional quality berries.


Expression of Elegance and Power

Domaine Leroy's rendition of the 2012 Chambertin Grand Cru is a vignette of balance—a synthesis of power swathed in elegance. On approach, the wine projects an aromatic complexity with layers of red fruit interlaced with earthier undertones of underbrush and a distinct minerality reminiscent of crushed stones. The 2012 vintage, while youthful in its decade, reveals an initial restraint that gracefully unfolds with aeration.

The palate is a cavalcade of opulence and finesse in equal measure—ripe cherries and vibrant raspberries are buttressed by an underpinning of fine-grained tannins that whisper the promise of long-term aging potential. The structured yet supple mouthfeel proceeds to a lingering finish, carrying whispers of spice and floral notes that enchant and entice.


A Vintage for the Sophisticated Investor

Investment-wise, a bottle such as the 2012 Chambertin Grand Cru from Domaine Leroy occupies a unique niche. Its scarcity, coupled with Domaine Leroy's unwavering commitment to excellence, renders it a compelling proposition for any portfolio. The wine's current progression signifies an opportune moment for collectors looking to secure a vintage with an enduring future ahead.

In summary, while facing a tumultuous clime that has challenged many, the 2012 Chambertin Grand Cru from Domaine Leroy stands as a beacon of Burgundian resilience. It is amply rewarded with careful cellaring, sure to evolve into an ever more spellbinding elixir over time. This vintage is poised to capture the interest and palates of serious Burgundy aficionados and discerning investors alike.

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Scores and tasting notes


The 2012 Chambertin Grand Cru already boasts a sophisticated bouquet with mineral-rich black fruit, broody at first but opening with a few swirls of the glass. There are hints of maraschino cherry emerging, light touches of mulberry and pomegranate. The palate is medium-bodied with a sterner character than the Latricieres. This is an aristocratic Chambertin in the making, serious and obdurate, underpinned by firm tannins that support the intense, broody black fruit. It has wonderful persistency in the mouth, allied with freshness and race. As epic as Arcade Fire’s “Reflektor”! Lalou Bize-Leroy’s domaine wines are not the easiest to procure, but given that in 2012 the average rendement was a paltry 9hl/ha then I am envisaging a few lively “discussions” on the touchy subject of allocations. Lalou, suffering the sniffles when I visited but as energetic as always, was ecstatic about her 2012s, regaling them for their mineralite and terroir expression. She started picking on 17 September, a little earlier than others, and told me that the malo-lactics were a little tardier than usual because of the fresh acidity levels. Certainly some of the samples demonstrated a lot of reduction, more than Lalou was care to admit, but peering through them, there really were some quite astonishing wines in her midst. I speculate that the better Lalou’s wines, the more excited her two dogs behave during the tasting, and our two hour degustation was interspersed by manic tail wagging, the occasion tussle and one growling stand-off at the precise moment I had her magisterial Musigny in my glass. The journey through the grand crus was exhilarating, each suffused with untrammeled energy and tension, more expressive of their terroirs than the 2011s that I tasted back in July. There is a part of me that wants to by cynical given the stratospheric prices demanded, as if to say to Lalou: “Prove it.” And that’s the thing – they go ahead and prove that these are some of the finest Pinot Noirs produced on Earth. Readers should not that Lalou invited me to taste her 2012s either from barrel or later in bottle, whichever I prefer but not both due to miniscule quantities that are often just a single barrel, a position I completely respect and support. I would have chose the latter if I was being selfish, but the former to offer some guidance and some juxtaposition with other vignerons. Also, I did not taste the wines from Domaine d’Auvenay simply because the quantities are so depleted in 2012. Importer: Martine’s Wines. Novato, CA; tel. (415) 883-040 and through Justerini & Brooks (UK)

Neal Martin - The Wine Advocate, 29 December 2013

Vintage performance