Tasting Group 150 Selections for February

2011 Maison Benjamin Leroux Volnay                                                     Burgundy, France  

100% Pinot Noir.  Benjamin Leroux is the Régisseur at Domaine Comte Armand, Clos des Epeneaux in Pommard.  In his role as director, he is in sole charge not only of the vineyards and winemaking, but also the sales and accounts.  Remaining in his position, Leroux launched his own label with the 2007 vintage.  Leroux is considered to be one of the most gifted and knowledgeable winegrowers in all of the Cote d’Or, a potential heir apparent to the great Henri Jayer.  He is clearly one to watch.  This Volnay contains a significant portion of 1er Cru grapes, so is a great value.  2011 is a fine vintage and the wines will be more approachable in early stages than the 2010s.  Volnay, situated in the middle of the Cote de Beaune sub-region, is renowned for making some of the smoothest, most delicate, most elegant wines of the southern Cote d’Or, the Chambolle of the south.

2005 Pecchenino Barolo “Le Coste”                                                         Piedmont, Italy       

100% Nebbiolo. The commune of Monforte d’Alba produces the most structured wines of the Barolo region. Big, bold, deeply concentrated wines are the norm, with great potential for aging – a necessity for their more slowly maturing tannins.  2005 was an excellent vintage, producing quite tannic wines.  Pecchenino’s aims for extremely low yields – just 1kg per vine for the Le Coste, from the San Giuseppe vineyard, and long macerations – 30 days for this cru.

Wine Advocate: “Pecchenino remains a reference point producer for wines from Dogliani. More recently, the estate’s Barolos have shown much promise as well.  The 2005 Le Coste is a big, sleek Barolo loaded with black cherries, minerals, flowers and graphite. The Le Coste shows the telltale imposing Monforte tannins, but here there is more than enough fruit to provide balance. The finish is long and harmonious…clearly needs time to come together, but it is a highly promising Barolo. 24 months in oak barrels of various sizes. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2022.”