"You may remember that when I asked Allen Meadows, aka Burghound, on this video who he thought might be a natural heir to the late great Henri Jayer of Burgundy, one of the two people he cited was young Benjamin Leroux of Domaine Comte Armand." Jancis Robinson
It may have passed you by… let’s be honest, there is a fair bit going on at the moment… but yesterday was ‘International Pinot Noir Day’. Yes, this is a thing. We’re not sure what it means, because for pinot lovers, it is an obsession, and every day is a day for a good pinot. Though we thought it better reason than any to highlight one of our favourite varieties. Pinot Noir is a beautiful thing, when managed well. It is fickle, it is difficult to grow, even harder to produce, and shows a region, sites or winemakers flaws if they aren’t well suited. This is because of its thin skins, needy and narrow growing conditions and its hunger for low yields. It expresses its origin better than any red variety, and whilst it can disappoint, it can take you to vinous highs that are higher than most.
We will change things up a bit here and offer three pinot noirs from three very important regions across the world. The wines will be available in straight 6-packs, though there is also the option for a mixed pack of the three. The regions are;
- Burgundy, France – the birthplace of pinot noir, with centuries of experience harking back to Cistercian monks farming the land and plotting and ranking vineyard sites whose tiered levels of quality are still adhered to today.
- Yarra Valley, Victoria – a region with a long history of winegrowing, but more seriously with intelligent planting and farming of Pinot Noir that explores the higher and cooler vineyard land.
- Central Otago, New Zealand – New Zealand’s Pinot Noir gift to the world, and while the history is short, the quality has been consistently high. The region sits just outside of Queenstown, is incredibly beautiful, cool and dry. A perfect combination of elements required to produce quality Pinot.
Benjamin Leroux Bourgogne Rouge 2017 - $62 per bottle/ $372 per 6 pack
Benjaming Leroux is one of the most excited and touted winemakers in Burgundy. Native to the area, he exploded on to the scene as a young man in his early 20’s taking the helm at the historic and famous Comte Armand domain in Pommard. More recently, he has created his own négociant with his namesake label and cellars under the streets of Beaune. We were fortunate to taste through barrels with Benjamin in 2012 (when will we ever get back?) and his talent, understanding of and connections in Burgundy was evident. He sources fruit from the best parcels across the region in a series of handshake deals. Growers love to sell fruit to Benjamin because they know he respects and expresses the fruit in to delicate, pure and flavoursome Pinot Noir (…and Chardonnay for the whites).
Burgundy has become expense in recent years as its popularity has soared in major markets around the world. The region is small and the demand is high. This, however, is a great introduction to the region and an affordable price. It is source mainly from esteemed villages Volnay and Pommard. The former known for elegance and the latter known for tannin and grit. The wine sees oak though none of it is new, so the fruit is on show here. Fine, perfumed red fruits and red flowers. A juicy palate of red cherry and brown spice. There is a nice tartness and mineral feel to it as it moves through the palate, whilst showing impressive length and finesse for Bourgogne Rouge level.
If you’re interested in village level Burgundy’s from Leroux that pack a bit more stuffing, then drop us a line. The prices step up from here in to the hundreds for village level wines, several hundreds for Premier Cru and then thousands for some of Benjamin's Grand Cru wines.