Richard Leroy, 2017 Update

The quality of Richard Leroy’s wines is now reflected by their scarcity. There was a time when I could pick up a few bottles for my own cellar at leisure, without too much difficulty. During the past couple of years, however, I have noticed that they tend to sell out more quickly. I turn to my usual sources, only to find I have missed the boat.

Of course, some recent vintages have been very difficult, the vineyards on some occasions struck by mildew, on others by frost. Both have contributed to a reduction in yields, sometimes drastically, to a fraction of what Richard would hope for. That means allocations can be restricted, the bottles and cases spread ever-more thinly around the world’s wine merchants. But I sense here a wider awareness of Richard’s work, and a corresponding increase in demand for his wines, is also part of the story.

Richard Leroy

Will we see Richard’s wines eventually reach the turbocharged prices now fetched by individual bottles of, for example, Clos Rougeard? He has the same cult status, a very small area of vines, and consequently he works with a very restricted supply of fruit. And as for the wines, who would argue that these are not of the same high quality as Brézé, the almost-impossible-to-find white from Clos Rougeard? It might take a long time for the world’s label drinkers to wake up Richard Leroy (pictured below) – after all, Clos Rougeard remained shadowed in obscurity for decades, despite the evidently superior quality of the wines – but I certainly wouldn’t bet against it happening eventually.

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