Lalou's wines don't suck

Continuing our burgundy producer theme, 10 of us got together at The Ledbury for a typically understated evening whose aim was to prove once and for all that Mme Bize-Leroy’s wines don’t suck. As usual, The Ledbury did us proud. The roast foie gras and pig’s tail dishes went into their hall of fame.

The menu:

Warm lobster with cobnut praline, grilled leek and nutmeg

Roast foie gras with figs and gingerbread

Pig’s tail with white carrot, bacon and chestnut

Veal cheeks cooked in milk with creamed potato, crones and wild mushrooms

Saddle of hare dusted in orange and pepper with celeriac, beetroot and elderberries

Pineapple sorbet

The wines:

Some bubbles to get the party started…

1985 Louis Roederer Champagne Brut Vintage - France, Champagne (10/22/2009)
From magnum. Light yellow colour with only a hint of ageing. Plenty of vibrant acidity and mousse from the tiniest pinprick bubbles I’ve ever seen. Lovely hazelnut and golden honey on the nose and palate in a very clear, refreshing style. Lots of white bread/cake. Absolutely bone dry. Continued to open in the glass. Reminded me a lot of the 85 DP but a little fresher and not quite as deep.

A flight of white burgundy to remind us what POX has robbed us of…

2000 Domaine d’Auvenay (Lalou Bize-Leroy) Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Folatières - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru (10/22/2009)
Screams puligny form the first second. Gunflint, classic puligny spice. Incredible weight and persistence on the palate through to a wonderful spicy, tangy finish. Probably the best puligny I’ve ever had.
2000 Domaine Leroy Corton-Charlemagne - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru (10/22/2009)
Drinking beautifully due to its perfect balance but still so incredibly young. Beautiful minerality - like white rocks in a grand cru chablis. The wine is so rounded it’s almost spherical. Give it another 5-10 years and this wine will be amazing.
2001 Domaine Leroy Corton-Charlemagne - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru (10/22/2009)
More developed than the 00. Richer and spicier. Again, gunflint and an incredibly tangy, persistent finish.

The first flight of reds from Mme Bize-Leroy’s inaugural vintage…

1988 Domaine Leroy Pommard Les Vignots - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Pommard (10/22/2009)
Almost pitch black colour. Hint of menthol on the nose. So much fruit packed into a glass (very much a recurring theme throughout all the leroys this evening). Black fruit with some beetroot showing through with air. Still quite a dry finish and got a little grumpy in the glass in true pommard fashion! Needs another 20 years.
1988 Domaine Leroy Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Cru Les Narbantons - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Cru (10/22/2009)
Some felt this was slightly corked or flawed in some way. Not sure about corked but there was certainly something a little off that seemed initially to be a slightly bretty taint and later did begin to strip the wine a little. Despite this, the wine was still excellent. Much redder fruit profile than other Leroy wines tonight. Very precise/focused wine.
1988 Domaine Leroy Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru Les Boudots - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru (10/22/2009)
This was simply stunning. Gamey, sweet red and black fruited nose and palate with great tension. So rich, so precise, so tense, so balanced, so young still!

The 2nd red flight, this time focusing on her vosnes…

1990 Domaine Leroy Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Beaux Monts - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru (10/22/2009)
High toned nose with some cedar. So smooth on the palate entry again but young. Really spicy vosne finish. Still some dry tannins to deal with and will benefit from another 10 years.
1997 Domaine Leroy Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Beaux Monts - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru (10/22/2009)
Lush, almost blowsy nose that was clearly the most open and developed of the evening. Searingly intense palate with some bitter chocolate. With time the wine came together and just sat there daring anyone to doubt its effortless awesomeness!
1998 Domaine Leroy Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Aux Brulees - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru (10/22/2009)
So smooth again. Glossy, black fruited, slightly gamey/bretty. The only knock on this wine was its lack of identifiable vosne character.

Time to step up to the grand crus…

1989 Domaine Leroy Latricières-Chambertin - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Latricières-Chambertin Grand Cru (10/22/2009)
Cruising along at a very pleasant mach 5 at 110k feet we decided to drop the hammer at this point and see what she could do in terms of interstellar travel…The extra quality of the Grand Crus was immediately apparent. Indeed, more so for her wines than for any other producer’s I’ve tried before. Quite remarkable given her 1ers are as good as most other producers’ GCs. The 89 was so classy and precise. A glorious package of red fruit and pomegranate with a lovely, elegant, lingering finish.
1991 Domaine Leroy Romanée St. Vivant - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Romanée St. Vivant Grand Cru (10/22/2009)
Stunning nose and entry that was so glossy and seductive. Incredibly tense and young still on the palate with a melange of red and black fruits and some pomegranate again. Beautiful.
2001 Domaine Leroy Latricières-Chambertin - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Latricières-Chambertin Grand Cru (10/22/2009)
WOW. Truly incredible wine. The most complex and powerful aromas leapt from the glass - pomegranate, burnt spices, black fruits, meat… Unreal depth in a gorgeous, glossy style. On a night of superlatives, this and the 99 richebourg took things to a different level.

Our 2nd interstellar flight around the planetary system known as Leroy Grand Crus…

2000 Domaine Leroy Clos Vougeot - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos Vougeot Grand Cru (10/22/2009)
Another gorgeous wine but this was a little lost at this altitude.
2001 Domaine Leroy Clos Vougeot - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos Vougeot Grand Cru (10/22/2009)
Wow - this absolutely smoked the 2000 served alongside it. Stunning concentration, poise and tension. Incredible wine.
1999 Domaine Leroy Richebourg - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Richebourg Grand Cru (10/22/2009)
Another full on WOW wine. Amazing weight and density. Just a huge block of dark meat on the bone with gravy and spices thrown in for good measure. Truly remarkable wine.
1996 Domaine Leroy Corton-Renardes - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton Grand Cru (10/22/2009)
I would say that this is the first corton that for me ever really deserved its grand cru status. A gorgeous wine that drinks beautifully already. Beautiful and surprisingly elegant way to finish the evening’s debauchery.
Posted from CellarTracker

A really enjoyable evening soon to be followed by an evening of Le Musigny and, apparently, an evening of pre-88 Leflaive Montrachet… [shock.gif]

What an incredible night THAT must have been; it sounds exceptional (well, except for the pig tail dish, but my buddy Manlin would have loved it). Count me as a big fan of Lalou—you had a few vintages of her Corton Charlie…which I love. One of the best white wine experiences of my drinking career.


The pig’s tail wasn’t what you might think. Imagine very slowly cooked dark pork so it becomes incredibly tender, almost like braised beef. About the size of a sausage and just melts in your mouth. Truly delicious and about the most tender meat I’ve ever had. Funnnily enough, Manlin’s name did come up as we were eating it and discussing a Le Musigny dinner!

I have to say that whilst her corton charlies were great last night, I thought the folatieres was even better - truly a stunning puligny. I’d also say that the faiveley 00 and 01 corton charlies we had at our faiveley dinner were right up there with the leroys - not quite as intense but more complex.


PS Yes it was an incredible night!

Yes, her whites all around can be stunning. Some friends and I went to l’Atelier Robuchon in NY a couple of weeks ago and we were going to order a white burgundy. The general manager urged us to select the d’Auvenay (“lowly”) Aligote…at a price well below the wines at which we were looking. It was stunning–we were all blown away. “This is the best aligote you’ll ever have” one friend said. I went out and found a case and bought it immediately. When she takes such care for the ‘least’ of her wines, it just shows what she can do with grand cru materials…

Which vintage of the aligote was it?

  1. Not over the top in terms of alcohol as some 03’s can be.

I bought the 04 after that dinner and may try one this weekend.

damn. great lineup. thanks for sharing your impressions.