Domaine Leroy   Latricieres Chambertin

2011 Latricieres Chambertin

By Domaine Leroy

2011 Latricières-Chambertin from Domaine Leroy, Burgundy, France

In the picturesque tableau of Burgundy winemaking, the 2011 Latricières-Chambertin from Domaine Leroy paints an utterly compelling vignette. As an observer of the intricate rhythms of vintages and their complex interplay with nature, I recall the challenges and eventual triumphs of this particular year in Burgundy.


Unveiling the Distinctive 2011 Vintage

Amidst a backdrop of early spring warmth followed by a cool and moderately damp summer season, the well-drained gravely soils characteristic of the Latricières-Chambertin plot offered the grapes unique growing conditions. The resilience and meticulous care in viticulture by Domaine Leroy were essential in sculpting a vintage that emerged with grace from climatic caprice.


A Connoisseur’s Appraisal

When sampling the 2011 Latricières-Chambertin, one is greeted by a bouquet exuding subtle spiced cherry mingled with a whisper of earthy undertones. The palate revels in a dance of vitality and structure—a testament to the Domaine's prowess in crafting poised Pinot Noirs. On the tongue, an eloquent procession of red berry fruit evokes a sensation akin to velvet; persistent yet never overpowering tannins guide to a finale that stretches on with an aristocratic bearing, resonant and ample.


Investment Perspective

The intersection where fine wine meets discerning investment is exemplified by this 2011 Latricières-Chambertin. Its tenacity through adversity presents investors with a collectable gem, promising returns commensurate with its quality whilst enhancing one's cellar aura with pedigree. Domaine Leroy's dedication to biodynamic principles certainly imbues each bottle with an esoteric quality meritorious of longer-term speculation.

To encapsulate, the 2011 vintage from Domaine Leroy, rooted in one of Burgundy's most celebrated Grand Crus, is both an expression and chronicle of its year—a bottle to be contemplated as much for its taste as for its narrative. Investors will find merit not only in its gustatory delight but also in its potential for appreciation within the fabric of their fine wine portfolio.

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The 2011 Latricieees-Chambertin Grand Cru showed a little reduction on the nose, although rigorous swirling remedied that. It offers a broody bouquet with dark fruit: blackberry and Dorset plum, but it will offer more in the future. The palate is medium-bodied with an attractive chewy entry, a nice grip and a long succulent finish. This is a fine 2011 but for me, not quite at the ethereal level of Lalou Bize-Leroy’s other Grand Crus. 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