The story of a ‘next generation’ taking over the reins and infusing newfound energy and dedication to a family-owned winery is an exciting one. We’ve seen it at places like Boisson-Vadot and Ballot-Millot where the wines were certainly solid in the past, but are now at a whole new level under the next generation! Such is the case at Domaine Duroché, where Pierre, the son, who started in 2003 alongside his father, took over fully on his own in 2005 and is quietly bringing a new energy to this under-the-radar producer in Gevrey-Chambertin.
While Gevrey has more than its fair share of "Rock Stars", it is nice to see a young winemaker not trying to make his mark by emulating some of the big/flashy/oaky proponents in the village. Humbly stated, Pierre’s intentions are to continue the family tradition and make wines of elegance and finesse, and this he achieves beautifully.
The Duroché holdings encompass 8.25 ha, all in the village/appellation of Gevrey-Chambertin. The range starts with both Bourgogne Rouge and Blanc. Then, there is the lovely Gevrey-villages as well as a smattering of mostly micro cuvées of top lieu-dits from around the village, the largest of which comes from a parcel called “Champ” in the northern part of the appellation. Moving up the ladder, the Durochés have 1.2 ha of 1er Cru Lavaut St Jacques, which is stunning, as well as tiny plots of Estournelles St. Jacques and Champeaux. The crown jewels are of course the four Grand Crus, including Charmes, Griottes, Latricieres and Clos de Beze!
The vineyards are worked in lutte raisonée, and are of course hand-harvested and sorted both in the vineyard and in the cellar prior to the maceration and fermentation. Grapes in general are 100% de-stemmed, and macerated with a gentle pigeage initially, followed later by remontage, all with the goal of promoting finesse and elegance to the wines. New oak is judicious: 50-75% max on the Grand Crus, one-third on the 1er Crus, and 15-20% on the villages wines. The wines see a 15-16 month élévage with their fine lees, most often without racking, and are then bottled without fining, filtration or enzyme additions.
The style here is about understated power and elegance with fine-grained tannins and an earthy, briny, minerally core that is a hallmark of the Gevrey terroir. The wines are forward enough to drink fairly well on release, but also have the requisite structure to age as well. As one of France's celebrated rock climbers, Pierre's determination and precision come through in his wines, which possess the delicacy and strength of lace.