Benjamin Leroux Meursault La Piece Sous le Bois Premier Cru 2017
The highest 1er Cru in Meursault, this could also be labelled "Meursault 1er Cru Blagny" as it is in the hamlet located between Meursault and Puligny. These Chardonnay vines planted in Ben's parcel are on the uppermost part of the hill, while the part below is planted to Pinot Noir.
As the climate warms up in Burgundy, cooler Blagny is starting to come into its own. This brilliant white comes from vineyards planted in the 1930s at an altitude of between 350 and 375 metres. Saline, chalky and lightly oaked, it's very reminiscent of a top grand cru Chablis from Blanchot or Les Preuses.
Matchstick and lychee nut aromas precede the finer if less dense middle weight flavors that exude a subtle minerality on the overtly saline and youthfully austere finish that exhibits fine length. This will also need at least a bit of forbearance in order to more completely harmonize and add depth.
Barrel Sample: 89-92
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.
Known to offer a magical balance of smoothness and freshness, Meursault's quality is hard to rival. The village lies in the middle of Côte de Beaune, just south of Volnay. Meursault is said to mean “mouse’s jump” because in the past the plots producing Pinot Noir and those producing Chardonnay were no more than a mouse’s jump from one another. Today the village is almost exclusively Chardonnay. A tiny bit of Pinot Noir is produced here with the best coming from Les Santenots on its northern side near Volnay.
While there are no Grands Crus, Meursault’s numerous acclaimed Premiers Crus can compete with any other top-notch white Burgundy. Some to know are Les Perrières, Les Genevrières, Les Charmes, Le Poruzot, Les Bouchères and Les Gouttes d’Or.
Meursault produces outstanding village level wines as well. In general great Premiers Crus and even village level Meursault (Chardonnay) have enticing aromas of lime peel, tropical fruit, crushed rocks, spice and hazelnut. On the palate there is a wonderful balance of brightness and a seductive length with flavors of white peach, pineapple and citrus.