Domaine Leroy   Richebourg Grand Cru

2012 Richebourg Grand Cru

By Domaine Leroy

2012 Richebourg Grand Cru by Domaine Leroy, Burgundy, France

The formidable 2012 Richebourg Grand Cru from Domaine Leroy encapsulates the essence of a challenging yet ultimately rewarding Burgundian vintage. Renowned for their meticulous vineyard management and biodynamic principles, Domaine Leroy has triumphed over the capricious weather patterns of 2012, yielding a wine that is nectar for both connoisseurs and astute investors alike.


Decoding a Complex Vintage

2012 in Burgundy was a year marked by climatic struggles; with a harsh winter and late frosts leading to decreased yields across the region. Yet, Domaine Leroy's relentless dedication bore a Richebourg of extraordinary concentration and vitality. The vintage has matured gracefully into its complex web of dark fruit, peppery spice, and earthen truffle notes - an amalgamation befitting its illustrious pedigree.


Elegance Amidst Adversity

A decade since harvest, the 2012 Richebourg Grand Cru's poise serves as a testament to its finesse. Presenting an opulent bouquet that mingles seamlessly with a distinguished structure, this Grand Cru showcases an exquisite balance between power and elegance, with tannins that have softened beautifully yet retain ample vivacity to assure further ageing potential.


An Exemplar Investment Grade Wine

Accomplished investors know the rarity of such vintages as the 2012 from Domaine Leroy is key to their allure. Opulent yet precise, it offers a profound insight into the meticulous craftsmanship of this revered domaine. This particular bottle is poised for exceptional longevity - a covetable asset in any discerning investor's portfolio.

In closing, the 2012 Richebourg Grand Cru by Domaine Leroy emerges as one of exemplary stature. It is a consummate reflection of both the resilience and splendour of its terroir. Its journey from vine to bottle narrates a year where skill surmounted climatic adversity, presenting collectors with an investment calibre wine that compels admiration and promises enduring allure.

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Scores and tasting notes


The 2012 Richebourg Grand Cru was showing more reduction than the Romanee-Saint-Vivant at time of tasting and so I allowed longer for the wine just to try and shake off a little free sulfur. There is wonderful mineralite here – supreme delineation but it is tightly wound, more laconic than the Romanee-Saint-Vivant. The palate is symmetrical, refined and yet intense with life-affirming mineralite on the haunting finish. There is perhaps just a little more persistency than the Romanee-Saint-Vivant, a touch more masculinity also. Wonderful. 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