Domaine Leroy   Clos de Vougeot

2007 Clos de Vougeot

By Domaine Leroy

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Bize-Leroy’s 2007 Clos Vougeot issues from three parcels at different elevations of the clos, and the belief (in which she is hardly alone) that such a range of parcels better expresses the essence of this cru is lent credibility in the glass. Ripe plum, cherry and their pits; roasted meats; salt and crushed stone are all prominent in a Pinot of formidable aromatic and gustatory intensity; abundant but refined tannin; and a reverberative finish that rings changes on your palate. The depth of rich meatiness; succulence of dark fruits; and formidable minerality are difficult to break down into further descriptive details, but taking a sip of this is like turning your palate and imagination over to auto-pilot, and if you cellar some, I suspect it will still be capable of holding you hostage and challenging the prowess of its 2005 counterpart two decades from now. The results Lalou Bize-Leroy achieved in 2006 – as I wrote in my previous red Burgundy report – were especially notable considering the misgivings she expressed early on about that vintage. She appeared more enthusiastic early on about 2007, but in this instance it’s far from merely notable – frankly, it’s utterly improbable – the richness and complexity that the Leroy team has achieved, especially considering that harvesting began here already on August 27! This collection is quite distinctive even from the very few others of its vintage that come even remotely close in quality. These 2007s display a sense of effortless effusiveness, primary juiciness, and – I don’t know how to put this less nebulously – elegance and in the best instances transparency, contrasting with the impressions of tumescent ripeness, coagulation, and new wood veneer that in some vintages accompany the profound richness of Leroy reds. As usual, the wines were all bottled in December, which at least in this vintage seems less difficult to reconcile with their exceptional quality than it does in vintages like 2005 or 2008, when so many of the other top practitioners of red Burgundy emphasize the need for longer elevage. Extremely low yields are of course also a common denominator among Bize-Leroy’s collections, although in the challenging 2007 vintage, she had somewhat more company than usual among fellow-vignerons in the roughly 20 hectoliter-per-hectare range. (And that was bounteous compared with the 13 hectoliters per hectare Bize-Leroy reports having managed in 2008, a vintage from which she did not want to show her bottled wines until June of this year, so that I shall publish notes on them in my follow-up to the present report.) Importer: Martine’s Wines. Novato, CA; tel. (415) 883-0400

David Schildknecht - The Wine Advocate, 28 June 2010

Vintage performance