Domaine Leroy   Romanee Saint Vivant Grand Cru

2012 Romanee-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru

By Domaine Leroy

2012 Romanee-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru from Domaine Leroy, Burgundy, France

In the pantheon of Burgundy's elite, the 2012 Romanee-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru from Domaine Leroy stands as a towering testament to the artistry of viticulture and winemaking. My extensive exploration of fine wines, spanning decades, allows for deep reverence when it comes to the encounters of exceptional vintages. This wine is no exception, delivering a narrative in each glass that speaks to both the history and the potential wrapped within.


An Exemplar Year Defining Excellence

The year 2012 was fraught with challenges in Burgundy; low yields and climatic hurdles were omnipresent. However, under such strife often lies greatness. In these bottles, the smaller harvest concentrated flavours leading to an intensity that both startles and seduces. The poise and complexity of this vintage are evident in its velvety texture and profound depth of flavour.

While Domaine Leroy's reputation for meticulous biodynamic practices ensures unmistakable terroir expression across their range, it is the 2012 vintage that eloquently articulates its story. Layer upon layer, it unfurls notes of wild strawberries and cherries interwoven with exotic spices and a whisper of earthy minerality that could only emanate from the hallowed grounds of Romanee-Saint-Vivant.


A Vintage of Precision and Power: A Fine Wine Investment Jewel

The allure for investors in fine wines like the 2012 Romanee-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru lies not just in its present magnificence, but in its considerable longevity. With proper cellaring, this wine will continue to evolve, providing a lush tapestry of sensory experiences for decades to come—a feature that positions it as a compelling cornerstone for any serious collection.

Crafted with an unyielding attention to detail, this Domaine Leroy offering is a beacon of sophistication and a resplendent example of what makes Burgundy's 2012 vintage one to invest in with confidence. Its distinguished provenance and unwavering quality embody what collectors and connoisseurs seek—fine wine that transcends its own mythos.

As one navigates through an ever-changing landscape of winemaking regions and style trends, the 2012 Romanee-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru from Domaine Leroy anchors us emphatically to the pinnacle of vinous achievement—one sip at a time. Herein lies not just a bottle but a piece of enological majesty ready to grace any cellar or portfolio.

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Scores and tasting notes


The 2012 Romanee-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru has an entrancing, extraordinarily pure bouquet with raspberry preserve and wild strawberry intermingling with minerals, cold stone. The palate is so refined and effortless: filigree tannins, perfect acidity allied with a sense of effortlessness contrary to the effort that went into its creation. So silky and weightless on the cashmere finish, this is a wine that you will tell your children about if you are ever blessed to drink a bottle. 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