Domaine Leroy   Gevrey les Combottes

2012 Gevrey les Combottes

By Domaine Leroy

2012 Gevrey les Combottes from Domaine Leroy, Burgundy, France

The 2012 vintage in Burgundy was a remarkable year characterized by its ability to yield wines of notable depth and concentration despite the climatic challenges thrown its way. In this light, the 2012 Gevrey les Combottes from Domaine Leroy shines as a testament to the resilience and finesse of Pinot Noir from one of the most prestigious winemakers in Burgundy.


A Vintage Reflecting Mastery over Adversity

The growing season of 2012 was marked by trials, from unsettled weather during flowering to hailstorms that necessitated rigorous selection in the vineyard. Yet, it is under such conditions that mastery reveals itself, and Domaine Leroy's rigorous biodynamic approach underpinning their viticulture resonates in every sip. The low yields of this vintage are a blessing in disguise; they charge the 2012 Gevrey les Combottes with an extraordinary concentration of flavors without sacrificing the elegance that this region is celebrated for.

The impeccable structure of this wine, with its firm yet polished tannins and lively acidity, provides a luxurious tapestry on which layers of red and black berries dance alongside earthy undertones, a whisper of oak and an indelible mineral streak reflective of its illustrious terroir. It is already expressive yet suggests promising potential for evolution, making it an intriguing prospect for fine wine investors who value longevity and grace.


An Oenophile's Investment Delight

Investment in fine wines like the 2012 Gevrey les Combottes from Domaine Leroy transcends beyond mere economic gain; it is an investment into an art form cultivated through dedication and respect for nature's whims. This wine is a vibrant portrayal of how complex yet harmonious a challenging vintage can be when helmed by a visionary producer.

As Domaine Leroy continues to be one of the most sought-after names for collectors and connoisseurs around the world, securing allocations of their small production wines remains as competitive as ever. With its poised balance between power and elegance, the 2012 Gevrey les Combottes epitomizes the inimitable style and integrity one can expect from such a venerated estate.

In closing, we find that each nuanced taste of this exceptional Burgundy offers an intimate understanding of its origin—a narrative shaped by both the year's unique climatic footprint and the unyielding spirit of one of Burgundy's finest domains. The 2012 Gevrey les Combottes from Domaine Leroy is not simply another bottle; it embodies a chapter of vinous history, meriting both reverence from enthusiasts and due consideration from savvy investors looking towards Burgundy.

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There is just a single barrel of the 2012 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Les Combottes that was perched at the end of the row in Lalou’s cellar. It is adorned with a very intense bouquet with dark plum, wild strawberry and forest floor scents, the mineralite emerging with time. The palate has exquisite delineation – it seems to just glide across the mouth, with energetic sorbet-fresh red fruit laced with blood orange and spice, the finish offering hints of cumin and black pepper. This is very complex, intellectual Combottes for long-term aging. 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