2012 Chassagne-Montrachet, Baudines, 1er Cru, Benjamin Leroux

2012 Chassagne-Montrachet, Baudines, 1er Cru, Benjamin Leroux

Product: 20121138470
2012 Chassagne-Montrachet, Baudines, 1er Cru, Benjamin Leroux

Description

A fine and elegant wine, with a real nervous tension. It is a very pure, distinguished wine, that’s chiselled and crystalline. This is superb in its beautiful tightly knit style. Very persistent.
Jasper Morris MW, Burgundy Wine Director

As far as supply is concerned it’s a topsy turvy position in 2012. Overall, Ben has made plenty of wine but some cuvées are missing this year. The best volumes are with the Chassagne-Montrachet Premiers Crus, which are always a strong point chez Benjamin. From a standing start in 2007 Benjamin has made truly exciting progress, and has grown his business a little more quickly than expected as great opportunities have come his way. Yet each year he still doesn’t seem to have quite enough wine to satisfy demand. Wines marked † are bottled under stelvin screwcap closures.

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About this WINE

Benjamin Leroux

Benjamin Leroux

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 Meursault is enhanced by the fresher minerality typical of the side valley of Auxey-Duresses.

Jasper Morris MW, Burgundy Wine Director and author of the award-winning Inside Burgundy comprehensive handbook.

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Chassagne Montrachet

Chassagne Montrachet

When it comes to the world's greatest white wines, the border between Chassagne and Puligny is the ‘X’ that marks the spot, the treasure at the end of the rainbow. Within a few hundred metres lie five wonderful Grands Crus, three of which are in Chassagne. They are led by the luscious, perfumed but variable Le Montrachet, to which Chassagne gained permission in 1879, along with Puligny, to hyphenate its name.

Both Montrachet and the rich, nutty, honeyed Bâtard-Montrachet are shared between Chassagne and Puligny. The fragrant, very fine and rare Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet however, lies entirely within Chassagne's borders. The Grands Crus have their own appellations, which is why Chassagne (or Puligny) does not appear on the label.

Although the most southerly of the three great names of the Côte de Beaune, Chassagne's style is often described as lying between that of Puligny-Montrachet and Meursault: less fine than Puligny, less rich than Meursault but containing elements of both. Chassagne is minerally yet succulent, and often floral with hints of hazelnuts.  Despite a bevy of very good Premiers Crus, it is not as good or famous, overall, as Meursault and Puligny, but it is usually extremely good value. Grands Crus should not be opened before eight years of age, and can last for 20 or more. Premiers Crus are at their best from five to 15 years of age; village wines from three to eight.

Perhaps surprisingly, given that the name ‘Montrachet’ is so synonymous with white wine, much of the soil in Chassagne is more suited to Pinot Noir than Chardonnay. Indeed it was only really in the second half of the 20th century that white wines began to dominate here. The reds have a firm tannic style that needs time to soften, with the best examples coming from the Premiers Crus Morgeot, Boudriotte and Clos-St Jean. At their best they combine the weight of the Côte de Nuits with the suppleness of the Côte de Beaune.
  • 180 hectares of village Chassagne-Montrachet
  • 159 hectares of Premier Cru vineyards. Several of the larger ones are subdivided and may be cited under various different names. The best include Caillerets, Ruchottes, Chaumées, La Boudriotte
  • 11 hectares of Grand Cru vineyards: Le Montrachet (part), Bâtard-Montrachet (part) and Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet
  • Recommended producers:  RamonetNiellon
  • Recommended restaurant: Le Chassagne (good cuisine and wine list)

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Chardonnay

Chardonnay

Chardonnay is the "Big Daddy" of white wine grapes and one of the most widely planted in the world. It is suited to a wide variety of soils, though it excels in soils with a high limestone content as found in Champagne, Chablis, and the Côte D`Or.

Burgundy is Chardonnay's spiritual home and the best White Burgundies are dry, rich, honeyed wines with marvellous poise, elegance and balance. They are unquestionably the finest dry white wines in the world. Chardonnay plays a crucial role in the Champagne blend, providing structure and finesse, and is the sole grape in Blanc de Blancs.

It is quantitatively important in California and Australia, is widely planted in Chile and South Africa, and is the second most widely planted grape in New Zealand. In warm climates Chardonnay has a tendency to develop very high sugar levels during the final stages of ripening and this can occur at the expense of acidity. Late picking is a common problem and can result in blowsy and flabby wines that lack structure and definition.

Recently in the New World, we have seen a move towards more elegant, better- balanced and less oak-driven Chardonnays, and this is to be welcomed.

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Reviews

Customer reviews

The Wine Advocate90/100

Critic reviews

The Wine Advocate90/100
Tasted blind at the Burgundy 2012 tasting in Beaune. The 2012 Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru les Baudines from Benjamin Leroux has a more subdued bouquet compared to Sophie Morey's Les Embrazes 2012. It is pretty, quite detailed but tightly wound, traces of yellow flowers and a touch of almond developing with time. The palate is crisp and tensile. There is plenty of race here, good depth with that saline element flourishing towards the finish. This is a well-crafted Chassagne-Montrachet though without quite the same degree of nuance as the very best in its class.
Neal Martin - 30/10/2015 Read more