2013 Benjamin Leroux Volnay 1er cru Les Mitans

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Maison Benjamin Leroux
Volnay "Les Mitans"
1er Cru Red barrel
Score: 88-91
Tasted: Apr 15, 2015
Drink: 2019+
Issue: 58

Producer note: Benjamin Leroux is no longer in the employ of Domaine Comte Armand (see herein) as he recently left to devote 100% of his attention to the négociant operation that he founded several years ago. It is located in a large building just off the traffic circle in Beaune (known as the périphérique, or just the périph by the locals) that he shares with Nicolas Rossignol (see below). Leroux emphasizes that he wants to keep his operation small and focus on terroirs that he finds "interesting or underappreciated" though it's not clear how any of these grands crus would qualify as underappreciated. He works essentially as he did at Comte Armand and notes, importantly, that for both reds and whites he buys exclusively grapes and not must or new wine. Interestingly, as he did last year Leroux noted that it's easier to find high quality fruit in the Côte de Beaune than in the Côte de Nuits though as the scores and commentaries bear clear witness, you can't tell it in 2013 nor could you in 2012 because his Côte de Nuits offerings are clearly more qualitative in my opinion; whether this is due to the hail that hit the Côte de Beaune and not the Côte de Nuits is undoubtedly a contributing factor. Note that some of the wines display curiously advanced aromas and in all cases my predicted ranges assume that this character is a phase rather than a problem that will persist. Still, this is an assumption on my part and not a certainty. (Becky Wasserman & Co., www.leserbet.com, Beaune, France; Veritas Imports, www.veritaswine.com, CA/NV/AZ/NM, Classified Wine & Spirits, LLC, www.classifiedwine.net, Austin, TX, and Willette Wines, www.willettewines.com, NY, NY; Berry Brothers & Rudd, www.bbr.com, UK).
Tasting note: Here the nose is both fresher and cooler with lovely aromas of plum, violet, anise and a hint of sandalwood. There is an equally cool mouth feel to the lightly mineral-inflected flavors that possess good delineation on the dusty and balanced if youthfully austere finale.