Is this the greatest estate in Burgundy? - 2008 Leroy Bourgogne Aligoté

Posted by Ian McFadden

Aligoté Meets Burgundy Royalty
2008 Leroy Bourgogne Aligoté
"Is this the greatest estate in Burgundy?" -Clive Coates

What happens when the finest of winemakers lays her hand on the humblest of grapes?

A wine that is anything but humble, a pure expression of Aligoté with the exacting pedigree of the world's most desirable Grand Cru. In short, something like Leroy's Aligoté.

If her Aligoté is more available than her flat-out unattainable Corton-Charlemagne, it's only marginally. We almost never see this unique bottling come available—Leroy's wines are doled out bottle by bottle. People who are lucky enough to have tasted Leroy's Aligoté fiercely chase down the meager amounts available.

This is a domaine wine, vinified right alongside the legends and with no less meticulous care. Along with Coche-Dury, Leroy is one of two mythical winemakers bringing her skill to the earthly Aligoté grape. She manages lavish texture and intense concentration in a wine that is still bright and fresh. It's an intersection of styles that'll stop a drinker in his tracks.

The 2008 vintage is just about perfect for Aligoté: ripe and juicy, generous enough to coax real feeling out of austere, high-acid Aligoté. Combine this with Leroy's deft touch, and the result is a little wild, a little exotic, and all brought together in aristocratic refinement.

Clive Coates wondered what makes greatness, only to answer his own question above: "However you do compute it, the greatest Domaines of Burgundy today must be those under the control of Lalou Bize."

Lalou Bize-Leroy is a powerhouse. The woman behind the world's finest Burgundies (and still partial owner of DRC), she is fiercely confident in her own style and taste, just as she's not going to let anyone tell her that Aligoté is a throw-away grape.

Her wines, from Musigny to Aligoté, are among the very best singular expressions of each place, of each grape. For me, Leroy's magic is in some ways more shockingly present in her Aligoté than her majestic Grand Crus. To elevate a grape like Aligoté to this level is simply shocking.

To order, reply to or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Ian McFadden
Director, Fine and Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits