Benjamin Leroux Volnay 2018

  • Burgundys best 'new' winemaker
  • It is one of those rare Burgundy vintages where the wines are already drinking beautifully and yet they will certainly age as well
  • Neal Martin has written on Benjamin Leroux: “… [He] certainly has the gift of touch that seems to elevate everything from village crus to grand crus.”
  • 1 or more bottles
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  • The Wine Advoca
    88-90 points

Editors notes

Volnay was arguably the standout village of the Côte de Beaune in 2018 and, when you consider that half of this wine comes from declassified 1er Cru, it’s easy to understand why Leroux considers this his favourite villages red from 2018.

This year’s blend was drawn from Les Grands Champs, a site abutting the 1er Cru belt that lies below the village, from declassified 1er Cru La Gigotte, and, for the first time, the 2018 includes some fruit from the lower part of 1er Cru Les Carelles. These sources are in fact all one continuous parcel from one owner. The vines average 40 years of age.

Across the blend, just 20% whole bunches were employed this year and there was no new oak. It all adds up to one hell of a village release—deep and packed with dark cherry fruit and all kinds of spice and plenty of fine tannins. Will certainly repay cellaring for at least a decade.


Tasting Profile

  • Light (Light)
    Full (Full)
  • Low Tannin (Low Tannin)
    Tannic (Tannic)
  • Sweet (Sweet)
    Dry (Dry)
  • Low Acidity (Low Acidity)
    High Acidity (High Acidity)
  • Aroma
    • Earthy
    • Herbal
    • Red Fruits
  • Palate
    • Cedar
    • Red Cherry
    • Strawberry

Food Pairings

  • Fish
  • Game
  • Poultry

Critic Scores & reviews

  • The Wine Advocate

    "“Leroux's 2018 Volnay Village offers up aromas of cherries, cassis, dark chocolate and grilled squab, followed by a medium to full-bodied, supple and velvety palate with a pretty core of fruit, powdery tannins and succulent underlying acids. It's a blend of Grands Champs, Gigotte and Carelles—fine communal lieux-dits that touch the premiers crus.” 88-90 points, William Kelley, The Wine Advocate"

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Wine is being produced throughout France and has been done for over 2,500 years with certain Châteaux dating their history back to Roman times, around 6th Century BC. Ranking second in the world in per-capita consumption and first in total production quantity. More so than the overall quantity of wine is the quantity of truly great wines coming out of France makes the nation the envy of wine-making nations worldwide.

Two concepts pivotal to the higher end French wines, in particular, are the idea of 'terroir' and the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) system. Terroir refers to the way the geography, geology and climate find their way into the glass, telling a story of the origin of the wine. The AOC was set up in 1935 and has the primary goal of protecting the authenticity of the wines and the livelihoods of the producers. Appellation rules strictly define which varieties of grapes and winemaking practices are approved for classification in each of France's several hundred geographically defined appellations, which can cover entire regions, individual villages or in some cases, like in Burgundy even specific vineyards.

Classic wine regions in France include Champagne (home of Champagne), Burgundy (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay), Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot), Alsace (Aromatic varietals), Loire Valley (Chenin Blanc, Crémant) and the Rhône Valley (Syrah, Grenache Mourvedre)

The Bordeaux classification of 1855 is still in use, as is the Sauternes and Barsac Classification of the same year. Wines from certain regions can be bought En Primeur, which is when the wine is sold prior to it being bottled.


Burgundy is undoubtedly the home of the finest Pinot Noir and Chardonnays in the world, where vineyards, or Domaines have been producing wines for over 2000 years. Burgundy is located in the North-east of France, an hours drive from Lyon and 2 hours from Paris. With over 100 appellations, or sub-regions (more than any other wine region) Burgundy is known for being the most terroir-oriented region in the World. The finest red wines of Burgundy are found in the Côte d'Or, a string of villages including Côte de Nuits, Gevrey-Chambertin, Morey St Denis, Chambolle-Musigny, Vougeot, Vosne-Romanée and Nuits-St Georges.

There are flavours present in great Burgundys that are the envy of Pinot Noir producers worldwide. The elusive peacocks tail finish that goes on and on, and the pretty-elegance backed by Burgundy muscle is the goal of winemakers around the globe. The main levels in the Burgundy classifications, in descending order of quality, are: Grand crus, Premier crus, village appellations, and finally regional appellations. For the Chablis wines, a similar hierarchy of Grand Cru, Premier Cru and Village wines is used, plus Petit Chablis as a level below Village Chablis.


Nestled within the stunning Côte de Beaune region of Burgundy, France lies the quaint and picturesque village of Volnay. Characterized by a steep and narrow terrain, this appellation boasts an ideal southeast-facing position for its vineyards, which are exclusively dedicated to producing exquisite red wines made from the revered Pinot Noir grape variety.

The wines of Volnay are highly regarded for their exceptional aromatic complexity and opulent character, making them among the most sought-after wines in the entire Côte de Beaune. These wines typically exhibit a brilliant range of hues, from bright ruby to light garnet. Their intense and captivating aromatics often include delightful notes of fragrant violets, succulent gooseberries, and succulent cherries. As these wines age, they develop additional complexities on the nose, including hints of spicy notes, game, and even cooked prunes.

On the palate, Volnay wines are characterized by their lighter body, which is a hallmark of Pinot Noir wines. These wines showcase a delicate balance of fruit, acidity, and tannins, providing a refreshing and elegant drinking experience. Overall, Volnay's wines offer a unique and memorable expression of the Pinot Noir grape variety, capturing the essence of this remarkable appellation and its exceptional terroir.

About the brand Benjamin Leroux

Branching out to launch his own label in 2007, young talented winemaker Benjamin Leroux honed his craft at Burgundy's famed Domaine Comte Armand.

Starting his wine studies in Beaune at the age of 13, Leroux moved on to become manager of Domaine Comte Armand at just 26, a position that he still maintains while running his own label. Drawing from his own parcels and purchased fruit from selected growers, Leroux crafts a wide range of small-batch Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from a variety of appellations throughout the Côte-d'Or. Over half of these vineyards are organic or biodynamic and none are under the influence of herbicides or pesticides.

A respectful relationship between Leroux and his growers ensures that he controls important details such as low yields and ripeness levels. He is considered by his contemporaries in Burgundy as one of the region's most influential winemakers.

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