Domaine Leroy   Corton Renardes

2012 Corton Renardes

By Domaine Leroy

2012 Corton Renardes from Domaine Leroy, Burgundy, France

One cannot approach the 2012 Corton Renardes from Domaine Leroy without understanding the dance of nature and nurture that defines its essence. A vintage reflective of a year where vineyard toil was met with climatic generosity, 2012 presented challenges that were artfully conquered, resulting in a nectar that is unequivocally sophisticated.


A Testament to Resilience and Mastery

The tapestry of 2012 in Burgundy was one of resilience against the odds, owing to erratic weather patterns that tested vine vigour and winemakers’ skills alike. Yet, in such trials was born exceptionalism, particularly with the Corton Renardes from Domaine Leroy. The limited yields due to meticulous selection processes have encapsulated an intensity in this vintage, which is not consistently paralleled in other years.

On nosing, one is welcomed by a pied-à-terre of vibrant red fruits; there is a playful hint of cherry intermingled with subtle earthiness—a prelude to deeper discoveries upon tasting. A melding of succulent raspberry and blackcurrant gives way to a matured tannin structure and mineral complexity that are both commanding and refined. It is, without doubt, an opulent symphony on the palate.


Capturing Terroir with Precision

The terroir of Corton Renardes speaks with a boldness in this 2012 expression; chalky soils impart the wine with an innate minerality that acts as its backbone – firm yet never overwhelming. The finishing note reveals a touch of vanilla and spice, courtesy of well-integrated oak that harmonises without overshadowing the fruit purity.

This particular bottle is an intelligent choice for the fine wine investor seeking out landmarks that will punctuate their collection with both grace and gravity. The vintage's balance between power and elegance underscores its capacity to evolve with time, promising continued maturation for those who afford it patience.

In conclusion, amidst the patchwork quilt of vintages that has come from this vaunted region, the 2012 Corton Renardes from Domaine Leroy stands out as a testament to what can be achieved in less-than-ideal conditions when excellence in viniculture finds its metier. Its narrative is not just one of survival but triumph - making it a compelling chapter for any investor's repository.

Current market price



Highest score


POP score


Scores and tasting notes


There are two pieces of the 2012 Corton-Renardes Grand Cru. It has a fragrant, floral bouquet that like so many of Lalou’s 2012s is exquisitely defined and intense, yet never over-powering. The palate is understated, nonchalant even, with perfect acidity and abundant sappy black fruit beautifully interwoven with the oak, segueing into quite a weighty, yet elegant finish. 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