The wines of Duroché are models for the transparency and fine tannins that Gevrey is capable of, with the inherent structure and dark earth signature synonymous with the village. Duroché’s wines have a hallmark featherweight texture and lacy minerality that persist in the most impressive way. It’s this harmony between the reflection of place and a lifted, graceful sensibility that stands out immediately when you taste.
The Premier and Grand Crus from Duroché are exhilarating but very rare. In the domain’s lineup, it’s the Gevrey Chambertin lieu-dit that can not be overlooked. Le Clos is a minuscule parcel of less than half a hectare. The grapes are 100% de-stemmed and raised in 15-20% maximum new oak, without fining or filtering prior to bottling. Le Clos is a benchmark villages level bottling that calls to mind the iconic, yet understated examples from Mugnier and D’Angerville.
Pierre’s home village is often characterized by its dark earth notes and the most formidable structure of the Côte de Nuits appellations. Often this leads winemakers to implement more new oak and push for maximum extraction and flash. Pierre takes his cues from an entirely different playbook.
Duroché’s style of wine is very much in the mold of, say, Charles Lachaux in Vosne-Romanée or Romain Taupenot in Morey-Saint-Denis. These are not wines stuffed to the rafters with sweet fruit; instead, they prioritize fine tannins, mineralité, transparency and focus. They are intense in their own way, perhaps as intellectually satisfying as satiating the senses, and they clearly express their terroirs this year. Tasting through the range was like a guided tour of the Gevrey’s climats.
One crucial point to make is that Pierre Duroché bottled in November 2018, earlier than many of his peers, in order to capture their freshness. I wonder whether a second winter would have imparted more weight, as some fellow winemakers suggest.
Whether you’re a seasoned Burgundy collector or just interested in finding the most (relatively) under-the-radar superstars of the region, Pierre Duroché’s 2017’s are not to be missed!
Champ: Along with an impressive cast of Grand Crus, Duroché has great lieu-dit holdings in Gevrey. Duroché’s Champ comes from northern Gevrey, from a site averaging 40-45 year old vines. Champ’s signature is refinement, freshness and detailed minerality. The 2017 “Champ” is a profoundly exciting bottle. The vintage endowed “Champ” with a remarkable refinement, verve and soil tinged aromatics. If you ask a winemaker from Burgundy to describe the 2017 vintage, many will respond with a single word: Joyful! The 2017 “Champ” offers up delightful drinking, but also some serious depth and complexity.
91 points Neal Martin, Vinous The 2017 Gevrey-Chambertin Champ (not to be confused with “En Champs”) has a lilting red cherry and crushed strawberry scented bouquet that opens nicely in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, just a little saline in the mouth. It demonstrates more density and grip than the Gevrey-Villages, a touch of spice surfacing toward the elegant finish. Very fine.
Les Jeunes Rois This village lieu dit parcel is located in Brouchon, just below Champ, at the northern limit of the appleation, and famed for producing Gevrey-Chambertin wines of great character. Vines planted in 1952, so many of the grapes are affected by millerandage (different sized berries in each bunch); this results in more concentration of flavors. The Les Jeunes Rois is slightly more perfumed and concentrated than the Gevrey Chambertin village with juicy strawberries and bright cherries.
92 points, Neal Martin, Vinous The 2017 Gevrey-Chambertin Les Jeune Rois has a giving bouquet with perfumed red cherries and crushed strawberry laced with lavender and pot pourri scents, though these do not overpower the terroir expression. The palate is medium-bodied with fleshy red cherry and crushed strawberry fruit, a fine line of acidity, gentle in terms of grip with a caressing, velvet smooth finish. Gorgeous.
Aux Etelois is located right next to the Griotte-Chambertin Grand Cru. The old vines (planted in 1961) provide plenty of depth and punch, but the true headliners are the finesse and beautiful expressiveness that it offers. Savory, spicy and succulent, with just a touch of ageworthy reduction, some spice and texture from 20% whole bunches and no new wood at all. Sweet raspberry fruit is framed by acidity and palate-caressing tannins
91 points Neal Martin, Vinous The 2017 Gevrey-Chambertin Aux Etelois has an understated bouquet at first, though it demands little aeration to reveal attractive aromas of brambly red fruit mixed with overripe Satsuma and bay leaf. The palate is medium-bodied, quite sensual in style, smooth and elegant with a pixelated finish laden with tart red cherries and a dash of spice. Very fine indeed.