The fairy-tale land of vines, the region of Burgundy is known for being the best in the world for producing both pinot noir and chardonnay. However, to the vigneron, Burgundy is not only the original home of these grapes but also the terroir (cultivated land) that best expresses their distinctive characters. In fact, the quality of the soil is so important that Burgundy has a higher number of appellations d’origine contrôlée (AOCs), a term of origin for French agricultural products such as wines, than any other French region.
Business Development Director of FICOFI Singapore Lee Chee Wee adds that in general, Bourgogne is the largest AOC in terms of productions, in the 100 appellations of Burgundy. There, Bourgogne Rouge/Blanc can be made from grapes grown anywhere in Burgundy, and tend to be fresh, light and lively, making them terrific sippers or aperitif wines.
That being said, if you’re new to Burgundy, Leroy Bourgogne, especially the rouge, is the perfect entry point. The benchmark producer, Leroy’s wines are extremely coveted since they represent Madame Lalou Bize-Leroy’s ideology, whereby no expenses should be spared in crafting brilliant, age-worthy Burgundy reds. Noting from a personal experience, Lee shares that he met Madame Lalou 10 years ago and she is full of energy and inspiration, especially when it comes to working in the vineyard. She shares her wine philosophy painstakingly with wine lovers, who visited her or had the opportunity to meet her. She strongly believes in bio-dynamic farming, despite controversial to some, she is not afraid to share and continue to practice it.
The tasting gave a rare opportunity to the guests to taste test two exclusive wines from Maison Leroy: Leroy Bourgogne Rouge 1985 and Domaine Leroy Bourgogne Aligoté 2011. The 1985 wine is charming. It is elegant and refined with tasting notes of excellent depth and fruitiness. It is important to take note that 1985’s dry conditions led to outstanding growing conditions for the vines, whereby the drought led to a good sugar level. Rounded and polished, Leroy Bourgogne Rouge 1985 is a graceful example of red Burgundy.
On the other hand, Domaine Leroy Bourgogne Aligoté 2011 is bright and with a nose of lime and tangerine as well as pungently redolent of thyme, fennel, parsley and parsnip. Pale gold in colour, the wine offers a well-balanced taste with an invigorating splash of delightful buoyancy and silken polish. The palate receives both consummate refreshment and a complex interaction of citrus and herb with saline and crystalline mineral nuances. Further extending its sappy cling are notes of bittersweet citrus oils, herbal essences and a hint of oak resin.
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