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Prieure-Roch: The Importance
Described as “outré” or eccentric by Jancis Robinson and “a remarkable man” by Steen Öhman, Henri-Frédéric Roch is among other things a co-owner of Domaine de la Romanée Conti and the nephew of Lalou Bize-Leroy of Leroy fame. The establishment of the domaine in 1988 is based on from the acquisition of the Romanée-Saint-Vivant parcels from DRC.
Prieure-Roch: The Insight
Clos de Bèze Grand Cru is the star of the show at the domaine, made from 60 to 70 year old vines. The domaine also owns significant parcels in Clos Vougeot Grand Cru, “from a beautifully situated parcel of vines almost at the top of the slope near the Château” according to Allen Meadows.
In Vosne-Romanée, Prieuré-Roch produce excellent wines in Le Clos Goillotte, described as “ridiculously fine” by Neal Martin, for whom the Vosne-Romanée Haut-Maizières has also been “deeply impressive.” Also of note are the Vosne-Romanée climats of Clos-Goillotte Monopole the Les Clous.
Meanwhile in Nuits-Saint-Greorges, the Premier Cru Monopole Clos-des-Corvées has been a trailblazing wine, made entirely from from ‘millerandés’ (fully ripe but undersize berries giving very concentrated juice and flavour ) from the oldest vines in the vineyard. This has been described as “one of the best wines from the Nuits-Saint-Georges appellation” by Steen Öhman, who also recommends the Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Argillieres Premier Cru.
In a similarly pioneering spirit, the domaine produces a cuvée with the name Pinoterie, made exclusively from the large, ripe berries that come detached of their own accord on the sorting table. For Jancis Robinson, this has “something quite DRC-like about the liqueur-like appeal.”
Prieure-Roch: The Background
Allen Meadows notes that Prieuré-Roch has been acquiring excellent terroirs from other domaines. Besides DRC mentioned above, this also includes the Domaine Marion, “long associated with its famous 1 ha parcel of Clos de Bèze” according to Meadows, which was leased in 1994.
All the vineyards are farmed “organically with an eye to biodynamics”, to quote Jasper Morris, but the real statement is made in the cellar, where wines are aged in large proportions of new oak (though journalists are never allowed to taste from barrel) and there is wide-spread use of whole-bunch fermentation.
Young domaines such as this provide vibrancy to the Burgundian landscape, and this domaine shows enormous potential thanks to its prime vineyard locations and above all the conquering personality of Henri-Frédéric Roch.
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