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It’s almost impossible to put into words the significance of Madame Lalou Bize-Leroy in the world of wine. Burgundy authority Clive Coates MW posits that "the greatest domaines of Burgundy today must be those under the control of Lalou Bize: The Domaine Leroy and her own Domaine d'Auvenay". Having started out as a négociant for the family's Maison Leroy in the 1950s, Lalou and investors bought the vineyards and winery of Domaine Charles Noëllat in Vosne-Romanée in 1988 and renamed it Domaine Leroy. “At Domaine Leroy, we have been cultivating our vines under biodynamic conditions since 1989," says Lalou. "This means that our wines are free of all chemical treatments, weed killers, pesticides, fungicides, insecticides and artificial fertilisers. Instead, we have stepped back in time and use cosmic rhythms to ensure correct soil tilling and recuperation as well as effective vine care through all phases of the year's cycle.” 

A compelling mix of wood and Vosne spice explode from the glass to complement the almost exclusively black pinot fruit aromas that also display touches of earth and toast that lead to very rich, fleshy and almost plump full-bodied flavors underpinned by suave and ripe tannins on the mouth coating finish. This is certainly a fine wine by any standard and even more so in the context of a villages level wine but I usually find it to be the class of the Leroy “lower level” wines yet it does not dominate in 2005. (89-91)/2013+

Lalou Bize-Leroy calls 2005 an “excellent millésime in both colors. There is a harmony to this vintage that speaks of la grande classe and you can feel it in the quality of the tannins, which are refined and very ripe. The level of phenolic ripeness in thisvintage is really something yet there is absolutely no sense of surmaturité or heaviness. Overall, including the Bourgogne, we brought in just under 20 hl/ha, which for us is a good yield. Sugars were excellent at between 13 and 13.5% as were the acidities and the post malo pHs were also terrific at around 3.4. Overall, the vintage really has no direct parallel but I suppose it reminds me somewhat of 1996 or perhaps 1999.” In contrast to several recent vintages where the wines were bottled very early, Mme Bize told me that they would begin the bottling for the ‘05s at the end of November so I tasted them just before they were to be racked into 4 barrel groups for the mise. The Leroy ‘05s are exceptional by any measure and several of the 1ers are simply incredible and while it’s hard to call any wines that sell for the prices that these do bargains, if such a term can be applied to them then it applies to the best of these 1ers, in particular the Beaux Monts and Chambolle Charmes, which are quite simply mind bending. – Allen Meadows (Burghound)

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