Notwithstanding the Clos des Epeneaux, Leroux has always said there is only one 1er Cru that would tempt him back to Pommard: Les Rugiens. A new long-term contract with the same owner as the Volnay Caillerets brought Leroux back to his old stomping ground, once again working the same iron-rich, red clay soils that he did at Comte Armand. These vines—0.6 hectares covering three small parcels of 25- and 90-year-old vines—lie at the foot of Les Rugiens-Hauts, the part of the vineyard that is considered by many (Leroux included) to produce Pommard’s greatest wines, along with Clos des Epeneaux. Again, only the youngest fruit was destemmed, leaving half of the fruit as whole berries. Leroux’s 2017 is a wine that effortlessly lives up to the vineyard’s lofty reputation; a deep, yet fleshy Pommard with velvety fruit underscored by really fine tannins and bright freshness. Super impressive now, it will make for incredible drinking in the decades to come.
“A background application of wood sets off the interesting combination of earth and floral nuances to the red and dark currant aromas. There is both excellent punch and power to the bigger and more powerful flavors that also exude plenty of minerality on the youthfully austere and impressively persistent finish. Patience.” 90-92 points, Allen Meadows, Burghound issue 75
“Clear bright mid purple. This is really lively, a high class Pommard with some concentration too. Especially this builds beautifully at the back of the palate, so much fruit that the structure sits very nicely surrounded by its fruit, along with a useful point of acidity.” 91-93 points, Jasper Morris, InsideBurgundy.com
“The 2017 Pommard Les Rugiens-Haut 1er Cru includes 50% whole bunch fruit this year. It has a mineral-driven, sea-cave-scented bouquet that is racy and vivacious. The palate is medium-bodied with plump, pure black fruit, a pitch-perfect line of acidity and a rich, generous finish that is going to make a lot of people happy. Excellent.” 91-93 points, Neal Martin, Vinous January 2019