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The Leroy / d’Auvenay wine night finally happened! It was Charles Lachaux’s (from Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux) 30th birthday and he was in London for his 2017 release. The timing couldn’t be better for this dinner – A once in a lifetime experience to taste an incredibly rare collection of Domaine Leroy / d’Auvenay & Bizot wines in double blind. No participants knew when their wines were being poured and all the wines were revealed at the end of the night, so we were not distracted on guessing who brought what and working out which bottles were ours. Everyone brought two bottles (as minimum) and wines were served in flights of 4 (2 whites & 2 reds). Finally, everyone was asked to vote for their Wine of each Flights and Wine of the Night before revealing the wines.

Flight 1

Bizot Bourgogne Les Violette 2014

I picked up the ripe apricot and dense orchard fruits aromas from first sniff, a textbook Bizot white wine, alluring and distinctive. Oxidative maturing fruits and sweet oak spices, all aromas hinting Domaine Bizot as they bottle with very little sulphur and uses 100% new oak. Premier Cru substance and concentration, wild and sumptuous. Bizot Hautes Cote de Nuits 2012? (90/100)

D’Auvenay Bougogne Aligote 2012

A whiff of powerful reduction and intense buttery popcorn that is unmistakably d’Auvenay. Fresh citrus fruits underneath a layer of Guernsey butter and sweet popcorn. Lighter end of Premier Cru weight (which probably means village wine for d’Auvenay) with bright acidity. Very elegant tree fruits, oak feels very powerful, perhaps overpowering the fruits. Nonetheless this is refined and gorgeous. D’Auvenay Puligny Montrachet Les Enseigneres 2011? (93/100)

Leroy Vosne Romanee Genevrieres 2009

This was my wine of the flight, which surpassed the 2007 Leroy Vosne Romanee 1er Cru Les Beaux Monts next to it. Gorgeous bouquet of fresh rose petals, bubbly fresh red cherry infused with Vosne spices and sweet oak toast. Beautiful ethereal notes with a good grip. Maturing forest floor and earthy spices, Grand Cru complexity with a lovely length. Leroy Vosne Romanee village 2007? (95/100)

Leroy Vosne Romanee 1er Cru Les Beaux Monts 2007

Wine no. 4 started off reduced which didn’t really turn around even after a few hours in the glass. Stinky meat with plenty of new oak spices and toast. Sweet dark cherry and green stems, cooler vintage it seems? Rich backbone yet the tannins are untamed. Village weight with lovely depth but overshadowed by the 2009 Leroy Vosne Romanee Genevrieres. Bizot Vosne Romanee 2011? (90/100)

Wine of the flight:

White: Equal 4 votes on Bizot Bourgogne Les Violette 2014 and D’Auvenay Bougogne Aligote 2012

Red: Leroy Vosne Romanee Genevrieres 2009 (8 votes)

Flight 2

Bizot Hautes Cotes de Nuits 2014

Same with first flight the Bizot style of ripe apricot, creamy coconut oak is distinctive and unmistakable. The combination of maturing orchard fruits smell gives it a deceptive maturity, but the piercing freshness and immature primary fruits reminds me this is most likely a recent vintage. High acidity and focused fruits with glycerol. Bizot Bougogne Hautes Cotes de Nuits 2014? (90-91/100)

D’Auvenay Meursault 1er Cru Goudottes 2009

Extraordinary nose of aromatic buttery popcorn and energetic fruits. Smart reduction of struckmatch and wax. Seriously concentrated and potent. Dense ripe tree fruits with buttery toast. Creamy minerals and generous texture that reminds me of Meursault Les Gouttes d’Or. Grand Cru plus power, one of the most intense white wines of the night. Great finish that leaves you wanting more. d’Auvenay Meursault 1er Cru les Gouttes d’Or 2011? (95/100)

Bizot Vosne Romanee Les Jachees 2006

Tricky to tell whether this is Domaine Leroy or Bizot as I couldn’t quite pick any distinctive style, it was neither ethereal (Leroy) nor unfiltered-cloudy-complex (Bizot). Quite clean and neat with fresh red cherry, crunchy oak spices and toast with a mild ethereal backbone. Village weight without much complexity relative to other reds tasted before or next to it. Could it be from a lesser vineyard of Leroy? Leroy Pommard 2012? (90/100)

Leroy Vosne Romanee 2004

A stunning bouquet of ethereal perfume and in-depth mixed fruits, bubbly dark berries and cherries intertwined with sweet oak spices and spiced earth, very transparent of the Vosne Romanee terroir. Flashy yet showing good amount of Grand Cru nuances, hints of austereness and cloudy ruby, most likely the declassified wine of Leroy where all the Grand Cru and Premier Cru went into the village wine. Leroy Vosne Romanee 2004? (96/100)

Wine of the flight:

White: D’Auvenay Meursault 1er Cru Goudottes 2009 (8 votes)

Red: Leroy Vosne Romanee 2004 (8 votes)

Flight 3

D’Auvenay Bourgogne Aligote 2007

This wine didn’t show a strong reduction unlike some of the whites in the previous two flights (which I suspect those were the young d’Auvenay). Clean leesy nose and mild reduction, potentially an older d’Auvenay? Neat array of citrus fruits with nervy latent energy that expresses nicely on the palate. Premier Cru weight with focused acidity. Incredibly young yet smooth. D’Auvenay Puligny Montrachet lieu dits 2004? (95/100)

Bizot Bourgogne Les Violettes 2012

Perfumed iris and glycerol. Beautiful bouquet of yellow fruits, coconut cream and ripe apricots. Delicious fruits and floral notes with textured mouthfeel on the palate. Bizot (low-sulphur) style with good density. High pitched fragrant that gives it a Cote de Nuits Blanc characteristic? Energetic and refined. Bizot Bourgogne Les Violettes 2011? (92/100)

Leroy Vosne Romanee 2004

Seductive nose of ethereal bouquet of sweet dark cherry, violet, ample oak spices and bubble-gum fruits. Slightly green on the palate, cooler vintage definition. 1er Cru / Grand Cru weight but from a weak vintage. Spiced palate and floral bouquet suggesting Vosne? Could it be my Leroy Vosne Romanee 2004 (again?)?  (96/100)

Bizot Vosne Romanee Les Jachees 2002 Magnum

A whiff of tertiary aromas of sous bois and bell pepper. Maturing dark cherry, confusing meaty herbs. No guess and not rated.

Wine of the flight:

White: Equal 4 votes on D’Auvenay Bourgogne Aligote 2007 and Bizot Bourgogne Les Violettes 2012

Red: Leroy Vosne Romanee 2004 (7 votes), Bizot Vosne Romanee Les Jachees 2002 Magnum (1 vote)

Flight 4

D’Auvenay Puligny Montrachet en la Richarde 2004

A gorgeous bouquet of refreshing orchard fruits, Guernsey butter, sweet popcorn, yellow pear and mild flinty struck match. Grand Cru concentration with multi-dimensional flavours. Incredibly energetic with crystalline purity. Young profile of primary flavours but reduction and fruits are mellowing down nicely. D’Auvenay Criots Batard Montrachet 2004? (96-97/100)

D’Auvenay Mazis Chambertin 2003

Young and pretty nose of mixed berries, crunchy new oak, ‘burnt’ dark fruits scents that reminds me of Aux Brulees. Sweet oak spices and neat floral bouquet with lovely depth and precision, more Domaine Leroy style than Bizot. Premier Cru complexity with fine-grained tannins. Leroy Vosne Romanee 1er Cru Aux Brulees 2012? Does anyone notice the difference in style between Leroy and d’Auvenay reds? (91/100)

Leroy Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru Combottes 2001

The nose on this one is gorgeous and probably the most balanced of all the reds tonight. Sensational bouquet of complex dark fruits, sweet ripe stems, suave oak toast and floral spices. Grand Cru richness, great vintage characteristics. Harmonised with great length. Leroy Grand Cru Vosne Romanee? Didn’t guess the vintage. (96/100)

Leroy Nuits Saint Georges Au Bas du Combe 1999

The last blind bottle of the Domaine Leroy / d’Auvenay & Bizot night. This is clearly a Domaine Leroy bottle from its seductive bouquet and lavish oak spices. Dark berries, earthy red cherries and slightly maturing fruits. Tasted slightly more mature than wine 15 (Leroy Gevrey Combottes 2001). Doesn’t have the spicy and floral terroir of Vosne, grippy tannins. Leroy Clos Vougeot 2004? (94/100)

Wine of the flight:

The only white on this flight: D’Auvenay Puligny Montrachet en la Richarde 2004 (8 votes)

Red: Leroy Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru Combottes 2001 (6 votes), Leroy Nuits Saint Georges Au Bas du Combe 1999 (2 votes)

Wine of the night

White: D’Auvenay Puligny Montrachet en la Richarde 2004 (6 votes), Bizot Bourgogne Les Violettes 2012 (2 votes)

Red: Leroy Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru Combottes 2001 (4 votes), Leroy Nuits Saint Georges Au Bas du Combe 1999 (2 votes), Leroy Vosne Romanee 2004 (1 vote), Bizot Vosne Romanee Les Jachees 2002 Magnum (1 vote)

Bonus Bottle

Charles Noellat Romanee Saint Vivant 1971

Fully mature nose of earthy sous bois, Italian Grandma leather. Soft tannins and mellow core suggesting Pinot Noir. Savoury with ripe berries and Substantial weight on the palate, can confidently say this is Grand Cru vineyard but no clue on the vintage. Quite enjoyable with its complexity and undergrowth. Throwing out a random guess: Burgundy Cote de Nuits Grand Cru 1969? (90/100)

Please click here for full review of Domaine d’Auvenay.

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