Vinous – 95+
Bright, deep red. Slightly reduced but already remarkably nuanced nose combines strawberry, raspberry, musky game, truffley underbrush and dried flowers. Silky and fat on entry, then builds on the back half, gaining in fullness, energy and power. Peppery, earthy spices add complexity to the savory, very long finish, which has the tannic clout to require 10 to 15 years of patience. Should be another in a growing collection of great Clos de la Roche bottlings from this domain.
Robert Parker – 94
After the amazing performance of its 2007 predecessor, I was especially keen to see what the Leroy 2008 Clos De La Roche held in store, especially given the energetic proclivities of its vintage. Cedar, quarry dust, and aromas of clean raw red meat ally themselves with intensely ripe cherry and black raspberry, which acquire a liqueur-like richness on a palate whose texture is as seamless as is the uncanny welding of distilled and confitured fruits, chalk and subtly oaky elements it manages to achieve. Here’s an instance, though, where 2007 beats 2008 at its own high-energy game. Still, this hauntingly-long 2008 is remarkable in its way, and doubtless poised to reveal further complexity to accompany its amazing richness over the next two decades. Lalou Bize-Leroy reports average 2008 Pinot Noir yields of 13 hectoliters per hectare, almost absurdly tiny even by her singular standards. Malos were a bit later than usual but were finished by summer, and the wines bottled ” as usual ” in December. Yet ” also as usual ” if their development was thereby in any way stunted, you certainly won’t detect it in the bottle today! The best of these display a sense of transparency; levity; and ” even when rich and head-spinningly complex ” a sheer sense of refreshment and invigoration that I have seldom encountered in other great wines from these sister estates. (Please note that my account of the complete 2007 red collection at Leroy was published in issue #189.) Importer: Martine’s Wines. Novato, CA; tel. (415) 883-040
Anticipated maturity: 2010-2030