Domaine Leroy   Corton Renardes

2011 Corton Renardes

By Domaine Leroy

2011 Corton Renardes from Domaine Leroy, Burgundy, France

The year 2011 in Burgundy was a vigneron's odyssey; a season of contrasts that tested the mettle of our most celebrated domains. Amid this backdrop, the 2011 Corton Renardes from Domaine Leroy offers a narrative not only of resilience but of triumph.


A Testament to Terroir and Tenacity

In 2011, Burgundy experienced a turbulent amalgam of climatic conditions, forging wines with distinctive attributes. It is the confluence of these elements – the alertness to frost, the anticipation of rains, the abiding by sunshine – that Domaine Leroy has transcended to capture the essence of Corton Renardes in this vintage.

The wine speaks of its birth-right with an earnest voice; a bouquet rich in earthy undertones like humus and autumn leaves, harmoniously entwined with vivacious red cherry and seasoned oak. On the palate, it is at once muscular yet precise – a juxtaposition mirroring that of its own vintage. The tannins are firm and well integrated, indicating a capacity for meritorious ageing.


The Investment Merits of the Vintage

Fine wine investors seek out vintages that stand apart – those with stories enshrined within their bottles. The 2011 Corton Renardes is such a wine. Domaine Leroy's commitment to exquisite terroir expression during a challenging year makes this offering an arresting proposition for collectors and investors alike.

Navigating an uneven season required perspicacity; attributes that Leroy wields with masterful aplomb. The resulting wine is not merely a testament to the vintage but to the domain’s unwavering philosophy.

To engage with this 2011 offering is to partake in a fragment of vinous history; it is an opportunity not only to invest but to hold a piece of Burgundy's heart – profound and indelible.


Conclusion: A Vinous Chronicle Etched in Time

In sum, the 2011 Corton Renardes from Domaine Leroy stands as one of Burgundy's articulate chronicles; its bouquet a complex script, its palate a robust narrative. For those keen on diversifying portfolios with not just a label but a landmark vintage, here lies a venerable choice.

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Scores and tasting notes


Magnificent. The 2011 Corton-Renardes Grand Cru has a bewitching floral bouquet, perhaps not quite as complex as the Clos de la Roche but beautifully defined, perhaps haunting being the most appropriate word. The palate leans more toward a red fruit profile with succulent ripe tannins; gentle grip and a multi-layered, white pepper-tinged finish that revivifies the senses, leaving it tingling long after the wine has departed. Since I started visiting chateaux and growers in 1997, I have been fortunate to have ticked off most of my personal Holy Grails, yet a handful remain. One was to visit Domaine Leroy and taste with Lalou Bize-Leroy, who I have only met briefly on two occasions in London. Given the responsibility of covering Burgundy, I avowed to tick that one off as soon as possible. So, on a sultry Thursday morning, I finally pulled into the pebbled courtyard of her winery in the village of Vosne with maybe just a single butterfly fluttering around inside. Lalou was stepping out of her 4x4, beloved dogs yapping around their mother and perhaps warning her of an intruder in their midst. They are not exactly cut out to be guard dogs – no offence intended. Lalou was exactly how I remembered – with her wiry frame, like a titanium alloyed twig. Her piercing hawk-like blue eyes and angular cheekbones would give Kate Moss a run for her money. She was attired like a fashionable thirty-something and exuded the vivacity of a twenty-something with a penchant for the occasional rock climb. After pleasantries we discussed her belief in biodynamism and the ways in which the cosmos affects Mother Nature down to the Earth’s core. We toured the rudimentary winery occupied by the black-painted wooden vats and then down below to a vaulted tasting room, bottles lying hither and thither of what must constitute every wine she has made since acquiring Charles Noellat’s holdings in 1988 to establish Domaine Leroy. She was courteous to the point of occasionally scolding herself for vocally enthusing about the wines, mindful of not disturbing my perspicuity. Did the wines stand up to their reputations and let us face it, stratospheric price? The answer is “Yes.” Here was a master-class in terroir: the wines made in almost identical fashion in the winery, so that what is perceived in bottle is the interplay between Mother Nature and vine (under the guiding hand of Rudolph Steiner philosophy). Of course, one must always remain objective, and I have been around the block enough times to simply relate precisely what I find within the radius of a wineglass. And in 2011, it was clear that the wines of Lalou Bize-Leroy seemed to deliver a sensational level of quality that would make most winemakers curl up and weep, asking: “How does she do it?” I had to inquire at the end of the tasting whether they were all matured entirely in new oak, so seamlessly was the wood embroidered into each cuvee. Tasting through the entire range of 23 wines, before zooming down to Domaine d’Auvenay, the high points were scintillating Nuits-St-Georges Village Crus that transcended all my expectations and the sheer consistency of the Grand Crus, perhaps with the exception of the 2011 Latricieres-Chambertin, which I have always found wanting in the past. The Romanee-St-Vivant could be the apotheosis of the vintage, certainly one of the finest that I have tasted from the domaine and even dared “out-finesse” the Richebourg. What amazed me was the otherworldly precision, as if you could pick out each aroma or flavor from the air. Only the Chambolle-Musigny Charmes appeared unruly when compared to its peers, a little too feisty on the nose for my liking. Otherwise, this is just magic in a glass. Importer: Martine’s Wines, Novato, CA; tel. (415) 883-0400

Neal Martin - The Wine Advocate, 28 August 2013

Vintage performance