Skip to main content

Burgundy 2020 En Primeur: Domaine Bachey-Legros, Santenay

Our offers of 2020 Burgundy en primeur will be in full swing by early January, with over 75 wines from 15 domaines.  But before Christmas (and Omicron) occupy all of our mental space, we would like to offer to you the wines from one of the most exciting domaines we visited last month, Bachey-Legros in Santenay.  To talk about the wines being exceptional 'value' does them a disservice and this domaine really is something of an anomaly at the present time...though we suspect it won't remain quite so undiscovered for long.  We cannot recommend them highly enough.  Do read more about it below.

 

Sam Legros at Bachey-Legros explaining the 2020 vintage to us

Offered en primeur, landing by autumn 2022. 

Domaine Bachey-Legros, Santenay

Producer Profile

Domaine Bachey-Legros, Santenay

Amongst the blue-chip domaines of the principal Côte d'Or villages, Bachey-Legros is an outlier, both geographically and for the charming, slightly buccaneering energy of brothers Samuel and Lénaïc Legros.  Neighbouring Chassagne-Montrachet and at the southern end of the limestone ridge which forms the Côte de Beaune, Santenay is a gem of a town, with an "off the beaten track" air to it. The slopes behind the village are beautifully situated, with numerous fine terroirs. Very helpfully, these fall into distinct sub-zones, with more oolitic limestone in the soils neighbouring Chassagne giving more powerful wines, versus more limestone-marl soils to the south, giving more finesse.

The Legros brothers have 18 hectares here, inherited from their grandfather who, by 1993 had almost ceased wine production, contracting out many of his vines to other growers. It was Sam and Lénaïc's mother, Christiane, then living and working as a psychologist in Dijon, who returned to the family domaine to begin re-building it, gradually taking back control of vineyards as those leasing contracts expired (maybe this is why it feels as if this domaine has come from nowhere and remains relatively undiscovered). Today, it still has the air of a work in progress, with the unrestored stone buildings pressed into service at what is clearly a growing business.

The Clos Rousseau, on the upper slopes to the South of Santenay

In contrast to the sleepy air at most of the domaines we visited, Bachey-Legros was a hive of activity, with a lorry delivering a huge quantity of frost candles for the winter ahead (quite an investment, at 8 Euros each, with 300-400 needed per night, per hectare). There was also a mobile bottling line in full swing, with bottles being packed by a young team in another outbuilding. Sam and Lénaïc themselves project a laid-back energy and are instantly likeable. The other thing which stands out here is the volume of wine in tank and in barrel (compared to the many bare-looking cellars we visited). We have said several times over the last couple of years what amazing value this domaine's wines are. Seeing it in person really helps to understand how they achieve this, with a combination of outstanding raw materials (their holdings of ancient vine are second to none) and an unstuffy, no-frills approach.

Old vines play an important role in their success and you will see the vineyard planting dates proudly listed next to many of their wines, from 1950 for 'Les Charmes' back to 1914 for 1er Cru Clos Rousseau 'Les Fourneaux'.  Caring for these old vines is clearly a labour of love and they describe themselves as working like 'curators in a botanical museum'!  Deep-rooting older vines are very resilient to annual vintage variations, giving consistently brilliant wines each year.   

 

WHITE 2020 5 cases Bachey-Legros - Bourgogne Blanc 'Saint Martin' 75cl £180 per case of 12 Bachey-Legros
Bourgogne Blanc 'Saint Martin'
2020 / 5 cases / 75cl
£180 per case of 12
IB
WHITE 2020 2 cases Bachey-Legros - Chassagne Montrachet 75cl £380 per case of 12 Bachey-Legros
Chassagne Montrachet
2020 / 2 cases / 75cl
£380 per case of 12
IB
Tasting NotesFresh lime, lemon, pear and hazelnut on the nose, some light toast notes from the elevage, very accessible and immediate palate, a total crowd-pleaser, will make lots of friends very quickly! RKL
RED 2020 3 cases Bachey-Legros - Chassagne Montrachet 'Les Plantes' Momières Vieilles Vignes 75cl £280 per case of 12 Bachey-Legros
Chassagne Montrachet 'Les Plantes' Momières Vieilles Vignes
2020 / 3 cases / 75cl
£280 per case of 12
IB
Tasting NotesOpen, ripe, expressive, succulent redcurrant fruit, fine tannins. There is an elegance and perfume to the fruit and an earthiness to the palate which marks this out as a Chassagne rouge. Good potential for cellaring too. RKL
WHITE 2020 2 cases Bachey-Legros - Chassagne-Montrachet 'Morgeot' Les Petits Clos Vieilles Vignes 1er Cru 75cl £480 per case of 12 Bachey-Legros
Chassagne-Montrachet 'Morgeot' Les Petits Clos Vieilles Vignes 1er Cru
2020 / 2 cases / 75cl
£480 per case of 12
IB
Vines planted 1950.
WHITE 2020 3 cases Bachey-Legros - Meursault Les Chevalieres 75cl £460 per case of 12 Bachey-Legros
Meursault Les Chevalieres
2020 / 3 cases / 75cl
£460 per case of 12
IB
Tasting NotesThis is a 'negociant' wine, from bought-in fruit, but that doesn't really do it justice. The detail is that the brothers exchange grapes with friends, in this case they give some of their Chassagne fruit in exchange for 'Les Chevalieres' fruit, allowing them to add this appellation to their range. Wonderfully rich and open, with a glycerine-texture and evident oak (25-30% new). This will delight lovers of traditional Meursault. Ripe, luscious fruit, almost a whiff of California, but with great energy, in perfect equilibrium. RKL
WHITE 2020 6 cases Bachey-Legros - Santenay Blanc Clos Les Gravières 1er cru 75cl £295 per case of 12 Bachey-Legros
Santenay Blanc Clos Les Gravières 1er cru
2020 / 6 cases / 75cl
£295 per case of 12
IB
Tasting NotesFrom younger vines in the lower, northern part of Santenay and is mostly a young vine cuvée. The style is similar to Chassagne-Montrachet with lots of richness and texture, presumably influenced by the use of lees stirring and ageing in 30% new wood. Closed on the nose at present (the wines were racked yesterday) but with a huge attack on the palate, opening out to an even bigger mid-palate. Citrus and pineapple fruit character, but still with lots of freshness and a lovely salinity at the end. RKL
RED 2020 5 cases Bachey-Legros - Santenay Rouge 'Clos des Hâtes' Vieilles Vignes 75cl £220 per case of 12 Bachey-Legros
Santenay Rouge 'Clos des Hâtes' Vieilles Vignes
2020 / 5 cases / 75cl
£220 per case of 12
IB
Tasting NotesFrom one the domaine's oldest plots, the vines were planted in 1935, 2 hectares in one parcel, described by Sam as the best of all of the Santenay Villages plots. Excellent, structured tannins and tending more towards black fruit character than the first two wines. RKL
RED 2020 5 cases Bachey-Legros - Santenay Rouge Clos Rousseau 75cl £280 per case of 12 Bachey-Legros
Santenay Rouge Clos Rousseau
2020 / 5 cases / 75cl
£280 per case of 12
IB
Tasting NotesThe 'Clos Rousseau' is from three parcels of old vines; Les Fourneaux, planted in 1914, Le Grand Clos Rousseau (1980), and Le Petit Clos Rousseau (1955). Spicy, black fruit and then exceptionally fine tannins which change the profile of the wine, with succulent fruit and mouth-watering acidity. Excellent length and very precise on the finish. RKL
RED 2020 5 cases Bachey-Legros - Santenay Rouge 'Clos Rousseau Les Fourneaux' Vieilles Vignes 75cl £295 per case of 12 Bachey-Legros
Santenay Rouge 'Clos Rousseau Les Fourneaux' Vieilles Vignes
2020 / 5 cases / 75cl
£295 per case of 12
IB
Tasting NotesVines planted in 1914. Les Fourneaux is a lieu-dit within the Clos Rousseau Premier Cru, one of the Santenay's best sites. 30% new wood. Tasted directly from tank, hence the nose is more restrained than the previous wine. Still very expressive, with a huge tannic structure, more powerful than the straight Clos Rousseau, less chalky, more clay influence, a broader-shouldered wine. Very long ageing potential. RKL
RED 2020 1 case Bachey-Legros - Santenay Rouge Vieilles Vignes 75cl £220 per case of 12 Bachey-Legros
Santenay Rouge Vieilles Vignes
2020 / 1 case / 75cl
£220 per case of 12
IB
Tasting NotesA blend of climats, from Santenay-Le-Haut. Refined, pure summer fruits on the nose, raspberry and strawberry, very intense; then equally refined tannins and concentrated dark cherry on the palate. Not at all in the rustic style associated with Santenay (of old), this has lots of elegance. RKL

Cookie Notice

COOKIE NOTICE

Find out more about how this website uses cookies to enhance your browsing experience.

Back to top