A pioneering Domaine, quickly settled as one the most famous producers of the Côtes de Nuits
Henry Frédéric Roch
Henry Frédéric Roch founded Domaine Prieuré Roch in 1988. Mindful of the wine-making traditions and pedological singularity of the Burgundy terroir, he developed and enhanced the domaine by scrupulously applying the ancestral methods of tending the vines, the vinification, and cellering which have historically made the wines of Burgundy so glorious, methods known today as “organics” and “bio-dynamics”. He shares his viticultural vision and his passion of fine wines with Yannick Champ, whom he has nominated co-director of Domaine Prieuré Roch since 2010.
Originally from Paris, Yannick Champ met Henry Frédéric Roch in 2002 and left the Faculty of medicine to become “vigneron” (wine maker). He did Masters in Vineyard studies in Dijon while Henry taught him his art of culture and natural vinification. Today he represents, with Henry, the spirit and the fame of the Domaine Prieuré Roch.
The vines are farmed organically with half an eye on biodynamics. The grapes are vinified with all their stems in wooden vats, with old-style human punching down (rip the clothes off and leap in but be careful of the carbon dioxide). No sulphur is used at all at any stage except once, when the wines are racked.
"The barrels in the cellar in Prémeaux are kept at a tilt that looks untidy to those used to rows of perfectly aligned barrels, but has the practical purpose of encouraging the sediment of the fine lees to gather in one spot, below the tap-hole through which the wine will eventually be racked. At the moment the wines are kept for a maximum of 24 months in barrel because there is not the space for a third vintage in the cellar, but Henri-Frédéric Roch and his right-hand man, Yannick Champ, are evidently tempted. One batch from 2002 was kept in wood for 44 months as a trial. Barrel tasting is no longer allowed, so my experience of the Roch wines is from bottle."
- Jasper Moris MW, Burgundy Wine Director.
- Jasper Moris MW, Burgundy Wine Director -
One person will be fascinated by the practices at this domaine, another may mock. Is this cutting edge, or are they out where the buses don’t run? The proof of the pudding is in the wines themselves, once bottled, and if you can afford them.
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