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Duroche Bourgogne Rouge 2015

Duroche Bourgogne Rouge 2015

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"The 2015 Bourgogne Rouge has a potent nose that is positively bursting with macerated red cherries, desiccated orange peel, almost Gamay-like in terms of precocity. The palate is sweet and ripe with plenty of sucrosity, again almost Gamay-like in personality with a succulent finish. A bit heady perhaps? Maybe, but what cannot be denied is that it will be delicious in 2-3 years. Drink: 2017-2022. 87 points

Like last year, my visit to Domaine Duroché was visit number one of my marathon 2015 barrel tastings, Pierre Duroché inviting me to his winery as the secateurs were being sharpened for the 2016 harvest. Twelve months ago his “harvest baby” was due and 12 months later, the same “bundle of joy and sleepless nights” joined us for the tasting. You can never introduce a kid to the joys of wine too young. "The 2015 vintage was easier than recent growing seasons because of the weather," Pierre told me. "After what was a rainy winter, it became sunny and dry from the end of March. It was easy because there was not much disease in the vineyard. There was some rain in August, between 50 and 60 millimeters, which was good for ripening. It was almost a perfect vintage: not too hot during the day and the nights were cool, so we kept a good balance with the acidity, better than in 2003 and 2009 when the nights were hotter. The pH levels were around 3.55 to 3.60. We started the harvest on 4 September and finished one week later. The conditions were dry throughout and it was cooler than it has been this year. We didn't have to do any sorting because the fruit was perfect, plus we didn't have too much problem with alcohol levels, as the vines are old. They came in between 12.5° and 13.0°. Yields were 20% less than for 2014, but areas like Latricières-Chambertin were 40% down because of coulure earlier in the season. The average yield is around 30 hectoliters per hectare. The vinification was similar to other vintages, though we had to keep the vats cool. The balance is one of the best I have seen: the fruit ripe with good acidity and freshness. It's the first vintage we can see the detail of the terroir - more than 2013 for example. There is no racking during ageing and the proportion is the same as previous year except there is no new wood for the Latricières-Chambertin. Also I normally blend the Cazetiers into the Gevrey-Chambertin Villages, however in 2105 I bottled a barrel separately."

Pierre Duroché's profile has risen dramatically in recent months and yes, maybe I am partly to blame. But you have only to look at the wines to see who is really culpable. I have noticed even my most conservatively-minded Burgundy friends whose narrow focus extends little further than DRC or Roumier, are asking about this new "kid on the scene." The 2015s continue in a similar vein to Pierre's recent vintages. Even in a fruit-driven growing season such as 2015, there is a restraint and transparency throughout his wines, a focus on precision and terroir expression. That probably explains why out-priced Rousseau buyers have sought out Pierre's wines. They are generally impressive across the board, notably at a village cru level that punches around premier cru weight and also at the grand cru level, as you would expect. Sure the Griotte-Chambertin is predestined to be catnip to those who are turned on by rarity: there are only 80 bottles this year. However, it was his Latricières-Chambertin that really caught my eye and as I state in my tasting note, is probably the best that Pierre has ever made. As always, quantities are tiny and with demand seeming to increase each year, place any allocation requests as soon as possible."

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (228)