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!
In the 2017 vintage, Pierre & his wife Marianne began purchasing a small amount of fruit from her family, adding both Vosne-Romanée Village and Echezeaux Grand Cru to their already impressive ensemble of terroirs.
Duroché vineyards are worked with the utmost attention given to the health of the soil. As a matter of principle, nothing more than sulfur or copper are used for vineyard treatments. Grapes are of course hand-harvested and sorted both in the vineyard and in the cellar prior to maceration and fermentation. In general, everything is de-stemmed and macerated with a gentle pigeage, followed later by remontage, all with the goals of purity and finesse. With the exception of a small bit of sulfur following malolactic fermentation, absolutely no additives are used in the winemaking process. Additionally, the wines see no more than 15% new oak and ageing lasts 15-16 month on the fine lees, most often without racking. Lastly, wines are 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 enjoy upon 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.