Domaine Leroy   Gevrey les Combottes

2011 Gevrey les Combottes

By Domaine Leroy

2011 Gevrey les Combottes from Domaine Leroy, Burgundy, France

The 2011 vintage from Burgundy presents itself as a fascinating enigma - wrought by a growing season that offered its fair share of climatic hurdles, yet triumphantly embodied by the Gevrey les Combottes from Domaine Leroy. This particular vintage acts as a delicate tapestry, showcasing the deftness of Domaine Leroy's winemaking prowess.

 

Masterful Expression of a Capricious Year

Characterised by a rather precocious bud break and flowering period followed by an eccentric summer interspersed with hot days and unwelcome rains, 2011 in Burgundy put vignerons to the test. However, the fabled soils of Gevrey-Chambertin’s Les Combottes vineyard and the meticulous care from Domaine Leroy delivered a wine that transcends the limitations imposed by an unpredictable year.

 

A Vintage Reverie for Investors and Oenophiles

The cornerstones of fine wine investment - rarity and quality - are epitomised in this particular wine. The 2011 Gevrey les Combottes speaks of its vintage with serene confidence; it unfolds on the palate with a luxuriant array of dark forest fruits adjacent to spirited undertones of violet and earthy nuance. The undercurrent of minerality harking back to its noble terroir reaches a crescendo in a beautifully prolonged finish.

Tannins, though present, communicate through whispers rather than shouts, nestling into the fruit's luscious folds. Acidic balance remains impeccable—a testimony to the skilled handiwork at Domaine Leroy, ensuring this wine’s capacity to age with both grace and intention.

In conclusion, investors keen on tapping into the effervescent world of premier Burgundian crus will find the 2011 Gevrey les Combottes from Domaine Leroy to be an astute addition to their portfolio. Its enduring charm captures both the essence of its origin and triumph over climactic adversity—qualities one appreciates in wines that not only promise longevity but deliver it with panache.

Current market price

$99,820.00

12x75cl

Highest score

94

POP score

4284.29

Scores and tasting notes

94

The 2011 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Les Combottes is one of my favorite Premier Crus of the appellations (although Lalou rebuked by suggestion that it can occasionally be a Grand Cru quality!) It has an understated, refined, focused bouquet that builds with aeration: blackberry, a touch of bay leaf, minerals and a distant trace of Provencal herbs. The palate is medium-bodied with fleshy ripe tannins and a silky smooth texture; layers of black and red fruit suffused with minerals and just a touch of spice-box toward the long, intense finish. C’mon ... this would embarrass a few Grand Crus Lalou?but maybe from other growers. 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