Ben Leroux, it is whispered in reverent tones, may well succeed to the mantle of Henri Jayer as Burgundy’s emblematic winemaker. In the words of Allen Meadows, Ben (still in his 40’s) is “extremely thoughtful . . . positively brilliant . . . one of, if not the, most gifted young winemaker in all of Burgundy.”
Formerly the régisseur at the prestigious Domaine des Epeneaux (Comte Armand), Ben Leroux carefully crafts wine not only from some of his own recently-purchased vineyards, but also from growers scrupulously selected for their goal of producing top quality fruit. He exerts maximum control over the growers, insisting (as much as possible) on organic and biodynamic practices. The focus remains on high quality vines and fruit rather than merely prestigious appellations, although there are, to be sure, many of these as well.
While Ben has mastered the technical elements of winemaking, he equally embraces a philosophical vision of his craft and art. Although he follows the rhythms and practices of biodynamic, and embraces its benefits, he insists that it is a philosophical approach and not religious dogma. He will accordingly deviate from any treatments that conflict with his own perception of harmony with nature. He thus eschews copper entirely, even though it is permitted in both organic and biodynamic practice. In the same vein, Ben remains unconcerned whether his wines win high praise and scores from critics. Rather, Ben insists, he strives to produce wines that, as a group of friends sit down and open a bottle, there is a shared sense of good times, a bonhomie.