Domaine Leroy   Clos de la Roche Grand Cru

2012 Clos de la Roche Grand Cru

By Domaine Leroy

2012 Clos de la Roche Grand Cru from Domaine Leroy, Burgundy, France

The remarkable 2012 Clos de la Roche Grand Cru from Domaine Leroy stands as a beacon of excellence in my extensive exploration of the wines of Burgundy. The vintage of 2012, while challenging for many producers due to climatic inconsistencies, saw some exceptional results – particularly for those with an intimate connection to their terroir and a deft touch in the winery.


An Emblem of Burgundian Complexity

The ability of Domaine Leroy to transcend the difficult conditions experienced in 2012 is clearly on display in this Grand Cru. The tumultuous weather culminated in a lower yield but resulted in grapes of profound concentration and character. As an investor, when one encounters a vintage where quality trumps quantity, attention must be paid – for these are often the bottles that attain legendary status over time.


Transcendent Terroir Expression

This 2012 Clos de la Roche resonates with the intrinsic profundity expected of the esteemed Grand Cru appellation. The wine articulates the vintage's particularities through an enthralling bouquet of ripe cherries and an earthy complexity that only a seasoned connoisseur might navigate with brevity. On the palate, layers unfold with each sip, showcasing vibrant red fruit enthralled by an undercurrent of minerality and subtle oak. Its structure is as monumental as it is measured – a juxtaposition that hints at longevity worthy of any cellar or portfolio.

Perfectly encompassing both power and finesse, this is a wine that speaks elegantly to both the novice enthusiast and the distinguished collector alike.


The Investment Perspective

As a fine wine critic, I appreciate not just the sensory gratification but also the investment potential inherent within such a bottle. Domaine Leroy's mastery in sculpting such a compelling narrative from what was undeniably an unpredictable year is testament to their reputation as one of Burgundy's finest producers.

In light of its singularity and scarcity, the 2012 Clos de la Roche Grand Cru from Domaine Leroy is poised admirably within the market - its allure for discerning investors is equally as captivating as its sensory bouquet. A truly exceptional inclusion in any collection that promises to command attention now and in years to come.

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Scores and tasting notes


To be honest, the 2012 Clos de la Roche Grand Cru has an unenviable job following the transcendental Musigny, but it is still a gorgeous wine, offering incense and blackcurrants infused with minerals on the nose. The palate is structured with a slightly chalky texture, adorned with a lovely sour lemon note that counterbalanced with broody black fruit that builds in the mouth to a very focused, linear finish. Sheer class. 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