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Pierre Duroché's family has been bottling their own wines since the 1930s, when all but a handful of Burgundy growers — families like Duroché's neighbors, the Rousseaus—sold their produce to negociants. But the pioneering American wine importers, Colonel Wildman and Frank Schoonmaker, who made international stars of the Rousseaus (et al.) skipped his address. The Duroché wines remained a French-only phenom. That's beginning to change. Just a few years ago a member of the contemporary club of elite importers (thank you Doug Polaner) started importing the wines. Daniel Johnnes introduced the Duroché name at his La Paulée events. American Burgundy-lovers have caught up fast. Whatever it is that drives Pierre up the faces of sheer cliffs, also drives him to work obsessively in the vineyard and in the cellar. The fastidiousness that keeps him alive when climbing translates to elegant wines with gorgeous fruit and pure terroir expressions. They hit a stylistic bullseye for today's Burgundy drinkers: subtle oak; just a touch reductive; red and blue fruited, with maybe a touch of orange; and always, the terroir. No wonder Duroché is suddenly one of the most talked-about “new” producers on the market. Duroché has tiny plots in Premier and Grand Crus, but you don't have to shell out for the big bottles to see what all the fuss is about. His ability to make village Gevrey-Chambertin taste so extraordinary and distinct really sets him apart. Of course, this wouldn't be possible without his fantastic terroir: this is not across-the-road Gevrey, but good sites in Brochon, with plenty of old vines.
"The 2018 Gevrey-Chambertin Champ shows a little more amplitude than the regular Gevrey Village. Perfumed wilted rose petal scents and crushed stone infuse the transparent red fruit on the nose. The palate is medium-bodied with a crunchy opening. A brittle-boned Gevrey (and I write that in a posi- tive sense) with a stony, mineral-driven finish. Great persistence here. Superb" -Neil Martin
RP 89-91 January 2020
"The 2018 Gevrey-Chambertin Le Clos reveals a pretty bouquet of sweet berry fruit, cherries and candied peel that's pure and expressive. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, supple and layered, with powdery structuring tannins and good length on the finish. Le Clos derives from a parcel planted in 1998 in lieu-dit Le Village, situated at the foot of the combe Lavaux on alluvial soils. As I wrote last year, the quietly confident Pierre Duroché—who once represented France in rock climbing—took over this eight-hectare Domaine in 2005. He knows what he wants to achieve and is well on the way to achieving it. Blessed with an enviable patrimony of vineyard holdings and plenty of old vines too, his hand-harvested grapes see gentle macerations and élevage with decidedly modest percentages of new wood. Stems, thoughtfully employed, are increasingly part of the equation. The ensuing wines are beautifully fragrant, with filigree tannins, vibrant fruit tones and sneaky persistence. Duroché harvested early in 2018 and has produced a lovely range of fragrant, elegant and unusually vibrant wines that I can't wait to taste again from bottle. His 2017s, which I also revisited, are showing beautifully, capturing all the inherent charm of the vintage. In short, Domaine Duroché continues its ascent, and readers who haven't yet taken notice should do so before it's too late. " -William Kelley