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 tp 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.
This is another important cuvée for Ben and it demonstrates his ability to capture the essence of a village’s character with, it seems, almost minimum effort. Everything was de-stemmed this year and, yes, it’s immediate and authentic, but also delivers more complexity than is at first evident. Notes of lavender and sweet peony, and a more schoolmasterly structure.