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domaine de durban

Leydier lay

Leydier “Domaine de Durban” 2000 Côtes-du-Rhône-Villages Beaumes de Venise (Rhône) – Unlike the previous bottle, which was brutally corked, this is singing in all the quartzy, brittle tones its crystalline youth promised. There’s no “fruit” as such, but then there never really was; this was always about some sort of rocky simulacrum of its terroir (whatever the source…not, biologically, the actual soil, but it sure likes to mimic same), but now that soil is slightly eroded and fully exposed. Eccentrically brilliant. (12/11)

Durban engine

Leydier “Domaine de Durban” 2005 Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise (Rhône) – I keep waiting for someone to show me a better example of this wine, and year after year I come back to Leyder/Durban as the pinnacle. (I’m open to counter-suggestions, though.) The key, since my very first taste, remains a vibrant foundation of quartz-like minerality. Lots of wineries can do the perfumed sweetness, the orange blossom, the fun. The rocks are something special. And I can only guess that it’s terroir or some sort of particular cellar technique, because I find the same incredibly appealing quality in the winery’s Beaumes-de-Venise red. (9/10)