Having created a name for himself as régisseur (general manager) of Domaine du Comte Armand in Pommard, Benjamin Leroux established, with English backing, a small négociant business based in Beaune since 2007. The range is confined to the Côte d’Or, from Chassagne-Montrachet to Gevrey-Chambertin, with the intention of developing farming contracts or indeed purchasing vineyards in the future. The possibilities are very exciting for this exceptionally talented vigneron. Benjamin is a master at delivering purity of fruit alongside a seamless texture in his wines which have only the subtlest influence of oak. One of Benjamin’s favourite locations for white wine vineyards is the border between Auxey-Duresses and Meursault, which is where Les Vireuils can be found. Here the natural weight of Mersault is enhanced by the fresher minerality typical of the side valley of Auxey-Duresses. A small village nestling in a valley behind Mersault and Volnay, Monthelie produces mostly red wines, mini-Volnays with appealing fruit but sometimes a rustic edge, and a small amount of white wine. The best wines come from the steep slopes above the village, such as Les Duresses.
This wine has a nose of fresh peach and buttered toast that is very reminiscent of Meursault, though with perhaps a touch of lime that points to a cooler appellation. The palate has some ripe, exotic fruit but is underpinned by a precise core of citrus acidity and rounded out with a toasty, creamy finish.