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Burgundy 2022 En Primeur: Domaine Bachey-Legros

We are very pleased to offer the 2022 vintage from Domaine Bachey-Legros in Santenay, one of the best-value producers we know of in the region.

It seems impossible that domaines like this can still be found; youthful, dynamic, and still 'undiscovered' by wine writers.  You can read more below about how brothers Samuel and Lénaïc Legros are transforming their family domaine, producing whites in a luscious style and reds which rival the Côtes de Nuits for concentration and tannic structure, all at very affordable prices. 

At every domaine we visited last week we found happy winemakers, a transformation from last year when they were showing the minuscule 2021 vintage.  Sam was no exception and was clearly delighted to show us his 2022 wines.  This was possibly the best vintage we have tasted to date.  The reds in particular showed an intensity and structure that we used to think could only come from villages like Nuits-St-George or Vosne Romanée.  As for the white wines, we tasted these having come directly from Meursault, and once again the 1er Cru wines reminded us of that village.

Bachey-Legros' prices were very reasonable last year and the same is true again for this new vintage.  2022 will be easy to drink when young but has long-term ageing potential, so these wines deserve a place as staples on your dining table.   

Offered en primeur.  White wines expected in spring 2024, red wines in autumn 2024. 

 

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.   

RED 2022 Bachey-Legros - Chassagne Montrachet 'Les Plantes' Momières Vieilles Vignes 75cl £295 per case of 12 Bachey-Legros
Chassagne Montrachet 'Les Plantes' Momières Vieilles Vignes
2022 / / 75cl
£295 per case of 12
IB
WHITE 2022 Bachey-Legros - Chassagne-Montrachet 'Morgeot' Les Petits Clos Vieilles Vignes 1er Cru 75cl £295 per case of 6 Bachey-Legros
Chassagne-Montrachet 'Morgeot' Les Petits Clos Vieilles Vignes 1er Cru
2022 / / 75cl
£295 per case of 6
IB
Tasting NotesBeautiful citrus aromas, candied-lemon rind, acacia honey and oak, with energy provided by reductive struck-match aromas on the nose. The wine explodes on the mid-palate but shows a restrained steeliness, salinity and excellent acidity. Sam says this plot is on deep red soils, composed of clay and limestone; deep soil for 1er cru, hence the power and depth. RKL
WHITE 2022 Bachey-Legros - Santenay Blanc Clos Les Gravières 1er cru 75cl £310 per case of 12 Bachey-Legros
Santenay Blanc Clos Les Gravières 1er cru
2022 / / 75cl
£310 per case of 12
IB
Tasting NotesEach time we taste this it evokes comparisons with Meursault. From younger vines in the northern part of Santenay, at a lower elevation, hence riper in style than Sous La Roche. This is mostly a young vine cuvée but from complex soils. Soft and plush on the palate, balanced by salinity, immediately noticeable, and lots of citrus fruit. More layered and complex, with a note of iodine on the finish. The salty-iodine character note and fresh acidity are a counterpoint to the ripeness. RKL
WHITE 2022 Bachey-Legros - Santenay Blanc Sous La Roche 75cl £260 per case of 12 Bachey-Legros
Santenay Blanc Sous La Roche
2022 / / 75cl
£260 per case of 12
IB
Tasting NotesThe 'Sous La Roche' lieu-dit is a small vineyard, less than half a hectare, quite high up on the slopes above the village of Santenay. The grapes are passed through a gentle pneumatic press at low pressure soon after harvesting. Alcoholic fermentation takes place at very low temperatures, in barrel, with particular emphasis on lees management, which contributes roundness and complexity of aroma. The wine spends 12 to 15 months in cask, 20-25% new, with regular bâtonnage until malolactic starts. Delightful freshness and citrus fruit on the nose, quite intense, really nice energy, glycerine texture, full-on attack, then gradually diminishes the on mid-palate, reasserting itself on the finish. Very good balancing acidity keeping the whole impression fresh, with a bit of salinity on the finish. RKL
RED 2022 Bachey-Legros - Santenay Rouge 'Clos des Hâtes' Vieilles Vignes 75cl £220 per case of 12 Bachey-Legros
Santenay Rouge 'Clos des Hâtes' Vieilles Vignes
2022 / / 75cl
£220 per case of 12
IB
Tasting NotesFrom vines planted in 1935. A great all-round village-level red burgundy with some good weight to it. Really nice intensity on the nose, beautifully ‘composed’; raspberry, black cherry, myrtle and thyme. Lovely balance to the palate, deep and spicy, fine tannins giving a soft texture. Perfect ripeness levels. Very straight and pure.
RED 2022 Bachey-Legros - Santenay Rouge Clos Rousseau 75cl £295 per case of 12 Bachey-Legros
Santenay Rouge Clos Rousseau
2022 / / 75cl
£295 per case of 12
IB
Tasting NotesDark, powerful and intense core; dark earthy black cherry and cassis. A brilliant attack, expands, then puckers up the mouth with its tannins, firm but refined, evolving and eventually fading elegantly. Very good length. Not focused or expansive, just long! Very impressive, a reminder of just how good Bachey-Legros’ top sites can be. In previous vintages we have commented on the similarity with wines from Vosne-Romanee and the comparison holds true for 2022! RKL
RED 2022 Bachey-Legros - Santenay Rouge 'Clos Rousseau Les Fourneaux' Vieilles Vignes 75cl £320 per case of 12 Bachey-Legros
Santenay Rouge 'Clos Rousseau Les Fourneaux' Vieilles Vignes
2022 / / 75cl
£320 per case of 12
IB
Tasting Notes"Les Fourneaux" is a lieu-dit within the Clos Rousseau Premier Cru, one of the Santenay's best sites. Most of the vineyard was planted in 1914! The 2022 is even more intense than the 'straight' Clos Rousseau. Intense dark fruits on the nose, lifted, fresh, floral and perfumed. The palate also has more salinity (Sam confirms this is more pronounced here than in Clos Rousseau). The tannins are rounder and finer than Clos Rousseau and the wine has an inky, powerful depth. Lots of concentration, but ultimately this is about refinement, structure, and complexity. RKL

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