Benjamin Leroux Auxey-Duresses 2007
Perched in the western uplands alongside the famous Chardonnay-producing village of Meursault, Auxey-Duresses is a small but substantial wine-producing sub-appellation in the Côte de Beaune of Burgundy. Its vineyards cover both sides of the valley (called a combe in French) that cuts through the low hills just west of the lower Côte de Beaune villages of Meursault and Volnay. Cooling winds flow through this basin during the growing season and result in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with a touch of charming rusticity. They are also more approachable in price compared to their Volnay or Meursault counterparts.
The village does include some Premiers Crus vineyards. Les Duresses and Le Climat de Val climb the southeastern slope of the Montagne du Bourdon.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”