If I had to choose a desert island wine, it would probably be a wine from either Domaine Leroy or Domaine d’Auvenay…
Domaine d’Auvenay is owned and managed by Madame Lalou Bize-Leroy, the woman behind Domaine Leroy and Maison Leroy. Domaine d’Auvenay was created by Lalou Bize-Leroy in 1988 with the help of her late husband, Marcel Leroy. Biodynamic methods were applied onto d’Auvenay’s vineyard since the beginning. The estate is based in Saint Romain, a 10 minutes drive from Meursault. Domaine d’Auvenay owns 4 ha (including recent addition of Batard Montrachet) of vineyards in Burgundy, from village to some of the most sough-after Grand Cru plots. In 2012, Madame Lalou Bize-Leroy added a small parcel of Batard Montrachet to Domaine d’Auvenay’s holdings.
The secret is in the vineyards
- Vines are replaced individually from buds of the same vineyard.
- Guyot pruning from mid-January to early April, aligning with the biodynamic calendar.
- Ebourgeonnage, removing buds to reduce yield.
- Maintaining top branch (with weaving) to draw energy away from grapes, resulting in small and more aromatic berries.
- Grapes are hand picked with careful selection and brought in to the winery in small baskets in refrigerated trucks.
- Rigorous selection of grapes at sorting table.
The average yield at d’Auvenay is very low compared to most producers in Burgundy. In 2010, the average yield across appellations was 10 hl/ha, that is two bunches per vine…. Compared to the yields at DRC in 2010 at 24 hl/ha.
d’Auvenay owns in total 4 hectares of vines, annual production of approximately 10,000 bottles.
Bourgogne Aligote ‘Sous Chatelet’ – Sous Chatelet is the parcel behind the Domaine at Saint Romain. d’Auvenay owns approximately 0.3 ha of Aligote in total. The average age of her Aligote vines is 50 years old, average yield at 27hl/ha. Approximately 1100 bottles made in each vintage.
Auxey-Duresses – I suspect the generic Auxey-Duresses of d’Auvenay comes from ‘La Macabree’, where d’Auvenay owns 0.62 ha of plot but doesn’t seem to make it a ‘lieux dits’ Auxey-Duressses from it. The average vine age is 62 years old, yielding 20hl/ha. Approximately 1650 bottles produced each year.
Auxey-Duresses ‘Les Boutonniers’ – The oldest vines of d’Auvenay can be found in ‘Les Boutonniers’, with the average vine age of 82 years old. d’Auvenay owns 0.25 ha of ‘Les Boutonniers’. Average yield at 21hl/ha. The annual production is approximately 700 bottles.
Auxey-Duresses ‘Les Clos’ – d’Auvenary owns 0.29 ha plot. Average vine age is 24 years old, yielding 29hl/ha. Approximately 1100 bottles produced each year.
Meursault – In certain vintages when the yields are low, Madame Lalou Bize-Leroy blends the Meursault from different parcels to make a generic Meursault wine.
Meursault ‘Pre de Manche’ – d’Auvenay owns 0.1 ha. Sometimes this parcel is blended together with other Meursault when yield is not high enough. Only a few vintages has been released.
Meursault ‘Chaumes des Perrieres’ – Chaumes des Perrieres is technically a tiny Premier Cru parcel but for some political reasons classified as a village vineyard. It is located next to Genevireres and Perrieres. d’Auvenay owns a mere 0.08 ha
Meursault ‘Les Navaux’ – d’Auvenay owns 0.67 ha of Les Navaux. Average age of vines 72 years old, yielding at approximately 20hl/ha. Approximately 1,800 bottles produced every year.
Meursault Premier Cru ‘Les Gouttes d’Or’ – d’Auvenay owns a tiny parcel of 0.19 ha in ‘Les Gouttes d’Or’. Average vine age is 47 years old, yielding 27hl/ha. Approximately 700 bottles produced each year.
Puligny Montrachet ‘Les Enseigneres’ – I suspect the ‘Les Enseigneres’ is a new acquisition of d’Auvenay as I can only find the 2012 and 2013 vintages.
Puligny Montrachet Premier Cru ‘Les Folatieres’- d’Auvenay owns 0.26 ha of Les Folatieres. Average vine age is 62 years old, yielding an average of 23hl/ha. Approximately 800 bottles produced each year.
Puligny Montrachet Premier Cru ‘En la Richarde’ – d’Auvenay owns 0.21 ha plot in this tiny village parcel located near Chevalier Montrachet. 62 years old vine with an average yield of 23hl/ha. 650 bottles produced every year. A quick online search suggest only a few bottles circulating in the market.
Criots-Batard Montrachet Grand Cru – A tiny 0.11 ha plot at the bottom of Criots-Batard Montrachet. 67 year old vines, yielding 20hl/ha. First vintage was the warm 1990. Approximately 300 bottles are made each year.
Batard Montrachet Grand Cru (acquired in 2012) – Madam Lalou Bize-Leroy acquired a 0.3 hectare plot in Batard Montrachet €7.5 million in 2012. The first vintage is 2012 and yet to be released.
Chevalier Montrachet Grand Cru – A 0.16 ha plot of Chevalier Montrachet was acquired in 1992 from Jean Chartron. The average vine age here is 40 years old, yielding 25hl/ha. Annual production of 500 bottles. Apparently the 2008 d’Auvenay Chevalier Montrachet has 16% alcohol in it.
Bonnes Mares Grand Cru – 50 year old vines with an average yield of 23hl/ha. Domaine d’Auvenay’s Bonnes Mares parcel is sandwiched between Vogue and G. Roumier’s Bonnes Mares. The 0.26 ha parcel of Bonnes Mares was acquired in 1993. Approximately 780 bottles produced every year.
Mazis Chambertin Grand Cru – Domaine d’Auvenay owns a 0.26 ha parcel of 72 years old vine which was acquired in 1994. The yield is 18hl/ha. The annual production size is 550 bottles.
d’Auvenay Bourgogne Aligote ‘Sous Chatelet’ 2012
The D’Auvenay Aligote is by far the most brilliant Aligote I have ever tasted. Most Aligote is normally drank within months of bottling. This is not an ordinary Bourgogne Aligote, this is the entry level of the legendary d’Auvenay. Huge buttery popcorn-brioche and matchstick aroma with serious reduction on the nose. My first time decanting a Bourgogne Aligote! Flashy oak and stunning concentration. Zesty and high acidity. 4.5🌟aroma but palate was more subtle and tart. The Grand Cru of Aligote! (92/100) Tasted 3 October 2017
d’Auvenay Auxey-Duresses 2004
Tasted blind – Wow! Gorgeous fragrant of buttery new oak and cinema popcorn. Absolutely adorable Burgundy fragrant. Light, yet it is intense – Possibly from one of the greatest white wine winemakers in Burgundy. The wine however is not exceedingly deep suggesting it is not a Grand Cru. New oak, buttery popcorn. Bizot-like with more freshness and charm. Can’t quite figure out the winemaker but is it a Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru from 2011? Shockingly fresh Auxey Duresses 2004. (94/100) Tasted 25 August 2017
d’Auvenay Meursault 2011
Only 288 bottles produced in 2011. The 2011 d’Auvenay Meursault shows a stunning array of tropical fruits, gorgeous buttery popcorn with new wood frame, highly glossed struck-match reduction and spring bouquet. Great intensity and perfumed nose, a generic village with a Grand Cru punch and sophistication. Gorgeous popcorn & Guernsey butter (extra creamy and rich). Grand Cru concentration with perfumed nose. Fresh like a barrel sample, I am confident this will age for half a decade or more! (94-95/100) Tasted 5 December 2018
d’Auvenay Meursault ‘Les Navaux’ 2009
d‘Auvenay is a superlative White Burgundy, the finest but also one of the most elusive wines in Burgundy. D’Auvenay is not as famous as Leroy as it is very rare and highly priced, but it is worth trying if possible. d’Auvenay Meursault is a step up from the Auxey Duresse, more intense and richer on the palate. This d’Auvenay Meursault Les Navaux 2009 has a superb cinema popcorn aroma, insanely perfumed with its flashy new oak and expressive fruits. A village wine with a Grand Cru weight, concentrated and nervy. (96/100) Tasted 31 July 2017
d’Auvenay Meursault ‘Les Navaux’ 2011
This bottle of 2011 d’Avuenay Meursault Les Narvaux transformed into a gorgeous wine after 3 hours in the glass. Gorgeous buttery popcorn nose and seductive ripe orchard fruits. Vibrant and oaky yet the palate is less nervy than the nose. Initially the intensity was only suggesting d’Avuenay’s Aligote/ Auxey-Duresses, but after a few hours in the glass the Meursualt creaminess and Grand Cru concentration strikes like Meursault Perrieres mixed with Le Montrachet, absolutely stunning.
d’Avenuay 2011? (95/100) Tasted 20 December 2018
d’Auvenay Meursault Premier Cru ‘Les Gouottes d’Or’ 2009
This elusive d’Auvenay has the concentration and finesse of a top Grand Cru, a clear and powerful latent energy. d’Auvenay wines not only has exceptional concentration and extracted flavours, they also have seamless balance and beautiful harmony. After warming up, a huge popcorn and guernsey butter fragrant explodes with stunning white flower, warm stone fruits, and exotic spices emerging gracefully. Utterly seamless finish. Gorgeous! Thank you for sharing this incredible wine, Jerome. (97+/100) Tasted 10 November 2017
d’Auvenay Puligny Montrachet ‘Les Enseigneres’ 2012
The 2012 d’Auvenay Puligny Montrachet Les Enseigneres initially showed exceptional intensity of new oak and struck match character like the 2005 Criots Batard Montrachet, then the fruit profile diverged. It offered more refreshing citrus fruits and cool tree fruits. Great concentration for a village lieu-dit, hitting the top Premier Cru concentration and depth if not Grand Cru. Intense buttery popcorn, lots of new oak spices but well integrated with the fruits and minerals. Mesmerising fragrance. (96/100) Tasted 18 May 2018
d’Auvenay Puligny Montrachet ‘En la Richarde’ 2004
This was the stand-out village Puligny Montrachet, it left me speechless. The quality of this En la Richarde (located near Chevalier Montrachet) is equally as good as the d’Auvenay Puligny Montrachet Premier Cru Les Folatieres 2006. 2004 was not a strong vintage for red Burgundy, but brilliant for white. This wine is close to perfect. Incredibly dense, perfectly integrated popcorn, mineral, toast and spice, gunpowder, and gentle floral notes. Beautiful refined richness, finesse. (96/100) Tasted 31 December 2015
d’Auvenay Puligny Montrachet Premier Cru ‘Les Folatieres’ 2006
Incredible concentration and intensity, this is Grand Cru quality with stunning density and generous fruits. Reductive aroma, some tart initially with acidic backbone, a bit Coche Dury like, but with more power, more leesy and buttery. Restrained but eventually it opened up and express immense floral and popcorn nose, flakey minerals and toast. One of d’Auvenay’s speciality is their precision within the fat, explosive palate. Refined and complex. (96-97/100) Tasted 17 August 2017
A gorgeous wine with lots of density, intensity and complexity. Exquisite nose of flowers, butter, pop corn, slight gun powder, perfumed ripe peach and pear skin, olives, minerals, and extra spices all harmonised and well layered. Wonderfully balanced on the palate with great structure and flavours, explosive flavours and incredible texture, beautiful minerals finish. (96/100) Tasted 24 December 2015
d’Auvenay Mazis Chambertin 2003
d’Auvenay Mazis Chambertin is a different kettle of fish in Gevrey Chambertin, it is majestic, classy and generous while remaining elegant and subtle. We were quite surprised by this wine, it has no resemblance to this vintage. Gorgeous array of flavours with some 2004 under-ripe characteristics. Profound floral nose. Ethereal, mixed dark berries, buttery, ultra pure and oak chips, lovely sweetness and wonderful terroir. Amazing purity and incredible intensity without the heaviness. Seductive. (97-98/100) Tasted 17 March 2017
d’Auvenay Criots Batard Montrachet 2005
A magnificent tasting of this unicorn wine 2005 d’Auvenay Criots Batard Montrachet. Domaine d’Auvenay owns a tiny 0.0637 ha parcel in Criots Batard Montrachet, only a mere 182 bottles produced. The 2005 d’Auvenay Criots Batard Montrachet is the best 2005 white Burgundy I have ever tasted, remarkable concentration and extraordinary intensity, it is a league above Grand Cru level. This 2005 doesn’t have the slightest hint of overripeness of this vintage. Impressive youthfulness, it carries a freshness of 2012 with the power of 2002. Ethereal, stunning popcorn and new oak flavour with densely packed orchard fruits and deep minerals. Extraordinary long finish. (98/100) Tasted 18 March 2018