Domaine Phillipe Leclerc, Chambolle-Musigny Les Babillaires (lieux-dits villages) 1995

Phillipe Leclerc, Chambolle-Musigny Babillaires 1995 (lieux-dits village)
Admittedly, the wines from Phillipe (and his brother Rene albeit for different reasons) are usually not my cup of tea.  To their credit, P. Leclerc wines last well but I find their wines to be too stocky for their own good; they lack refinement.  When Barb said it was time to cook up the top loin steaks she had in the fridge she asked for something tannic with some size to pair it up with.  She was up something a little out of the box (red burgundy goes with fish and chicken, not steak right?).  This turned out to be a good call.  Rich, violet and spice driven nose.  Full, meaty palate.  More Leclerc than Chambolle-Musigny.  In fact, very little I would recognize as Chambolle-Musigny at all. Like all Leclerc wines this was quite oaky but not aggressively so.  It would appear Phillipe dialed back some of the high Limousin toast for his lesser wines like this Babillaires.  I would treat this red burgundy more like a medium-weight northern rhone syrah.  I thought this was a perfect example of how a wine I would categorize as “good” became something a little more memorable if paired with the right food (in our case, a well seasoned sirloin and grilled, cumin-spiced onions).   In the end, a much more interesting wine that I expected.  At some point during the night Barb said perhaps a wine is best served without the burden of any expectations, positive or negative.  Certainly in this case she was proven correct.

Really cool bottle too.  To look at.  Not as cool to store.

Again, Leclerc wines last well.  This is villages and at age seventeen I would not push these bottles too much farther.   Drink them up over the next five years.

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