88-91 Pts Allen Meadows - Burghound
"Note: from 80+ year old vines. Tasting note: As one would reasonably expect, this is bigger and richer with a decidedly masculine character to the layered game-suffused dark berry fruit nose that leads to earthy and underbrush nuances on the powerful and solidly concentrated big-bodied flavors brimming with dry extract on the textured, precise and energetic finish. The only nit is that this seems, at least at present, to lack the depth I'm used to seeing here as these old vines rarely miss." 88-91 - Allen Meadows - Burghound
"Gevrey Chambertin is the most northern of the great communes of the CoÌte de Nuits. There are 26 Premiers Crus and 8 Grands Crus.
The vineyard "Combe aux Moines" is situated at the north of "Combe de Lavaux", next to the Premier Cru "Cazetiers". It faces the south on a both chalky and clayey soil." -Winery
"The iconoclastic RenÃ© Leclerc, older brother of Philippe who also has his own domaine (see above), took his half of the family domaine in 1976 and now manages 12 ha. RenÃ©'s son FranÃ§ois, whom I met with on this visit and who is beginning to build up a small domaine in his own name (see above), has contributed mightily toward the quality improvement here that has occurred over the last 5 years though one has any illusions about who is still running the domaine."
"Young Leclerc called 2006 a "vintage of contrasts. We had a great July followed by a lousy August followed by an ideal September. We began picking on September 20th and while there was some sorting, it wasn't like in 2004. The vinifications were straightforward and we used the same approach that we always do. The malos though were difficult as they stopped, started, stopped again and I wasn't sure if they were ever going to finish. Overall, 2006 is a lovely vintage and while it won't make anyone forget 2005, I quite like the wines." FranÃ§ois reiterated that since 2005, the domaine has eliminated all new wood though there is a proportion of one-year old oak. The '06s will be bottled unfined and unfiltered." -Allen Meadows
"Rene Leclerc says he does not want to make technical wine. Instead, he wants to make wine from experience. Rene has been making wine under his own label since the mid 1970âs. Today, he is one of the best known and most highly respected craftsmen in Burgundy. He simply makes great wine year in and year out."
"Rene is slowly passing the reins of the domaine to his son, Francois, who was married to an American from Macon, Georgia. They have two beautiful children. Francois has trained in both France and America. He works closely with his dad because he wants to continue the successful winemaking style that Rene has perfected â both for the Rene Leclerc wines as well as for his own wines with the Francois Leclerc label."
"The Leclerc family uses the same traditional vinification techniques on all of their wines, including the basic Bourgogne Pinot Noir. They emphasize the fruit component of wine by pressing the grapes for only 3 hours, instead of the usual 10 hours. Thus, they get the best juice for their wines while avoiding the bitter tannins. By the way, their press is one of only 3 of its kind that are still in existence that arenât in a museum."
"Rene and Francois use oak only to bring out the fruit flavors in the wines. And they use very few new oak barrels. Too much oak, Rene says, dries out a wine and makes it less pleasurable. For the Leclerc family, this is art, not simply a scientific recipe. In short, these are traditional wines of uncompromising quality." -Importer