2019 Maison Leroy, Bourgogne Gamay, Red Burgundy, France.
One of the more fun wines I’ve had in recent weeks and while not cheap, this dark and vibrant Gamay from the famed Domaine Leroy delivers a performance that will make me get a few more bottles and is a very smile inducing wine with tasty and crunchy black fruits, floral notes, spice and nice earthy tones. It was hard to find out much about this wine from the legendary Madame Bize Leroy, but I am seeing that it is the first ever US release of a Leroy Gamay with grapes coming from the Cote d’Or and it has all the hallmarks of a whole bunch and carbonic fermentation as it shows expressive fruit and aromatics. The palate is lively, with zippy acidity, but still round and ripe with a lingering softness, this Leroy Bourgogne Gamay flows seamlessly in the mouth with layers of dark plum, pomegranate, sweet strawberry and candied cherry fruits along with a touch of savory elements, snappy and minty herbs, crushed violet and lilac flowers, saline infused stones, a hint of walnut and anise. This is a very pleasing example of Gamay which I originally believed was from the clay and limestone soils of Burgundy rather than the granite based soils of its southern neighbor Beaujolais, though some outlets of this wine are calling it a Beaujolais sourced bottling, which is surprisingly allowed, regardless of this conflicting information, I found it wonderfully balanced and focused with classic varietal purity.
Lalou Bize-Leroy, one of the most powerful women in the world of wine, who once ruled over the Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, presides over the Domaine Leroy, which has one of the most elite collection of sites in the Côtes de Nuits, with some of greatest Grand Cru parcels and her Maison Leroy line buys grapes from top growers from across the Burgundy region. Those lucky enough to get a few of these rare wines with tell you these are heavenly age worthy wines of prestige and elegance and of the Leroy’s I’ve been graced with trying, which has not been many, I was mesmerized by the regular AOC Vosne-Romanee bottling as well as a once in a lifetime taste (a tiny one) of the majestic Musigny Grand Cru from a well aged vintage cellar direct bottle that a very generous stranger shared with me.This offering is different than a Bourgogne Passetoutgrain, which must consist of at least a third Pinot Noir, though usually come with more than 50%, and usually are made in a more traditional method with mostly de-stemmed grapes, while this feels like whole cluster and doesn’t need as much aging to be enjoyed. Leroy is known for their more natural style with almost all of their vineyards seeing the use of Biodynamics, and low-Intervention winemaking, and are even listed as Vegan safe. The Bourgogne Gamay is a new A.O.C. designation that was instituted in 2011, it allows for the Bourgogne on the label and it can include grapes sourced from one of the Beaujolais Crus, and may have some Pinot Noir blended in, which is going to confuse many consumers, and me, to be honest, but that said I very much liked this wine.
($60 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive