Domaine PrieurÉ Roch: Wines of Elegance and Power
This domaine was established in 1988 by Henry-Frédéric Roch, a member of the Leroy winemaking family and current co-owner and co-director of Domaine Romanée Conti. It is a private estate consisting of tiny “clos” of premier cru and gran cru vineyards of the Côtes de Nuits.
The domaine’s wines are organic and crafted following the same regime: use of gravity-flow in the winery, whole cluster fermentation, no de-stemming, fining or filtering. The wines are aged in new French oak for a minimum of 18 months. Stylistically, the wines show the attributes of their terroir and combine elegance and refinement with earth and power, characteristics often associated with the wines of Leroy. The wines are, in general, lightly colored but with good aromatic intensity and flavor complexity and beautifully integrated fruit and oak.
The wines reviewed here are only sold in numbered mixed cases--only some 50 cases were produced--and are priced at $3,200 per case. (Importer: J.A.O Wine Imports, McLean, VA)
Domaine Prieuré-Roch 2006 Vosne-Romanée Le Clos Goillotte Monopole 92
This lovely wine has a ruby garnet hue fading to the rim and floral scents of earth, dried leaves, red cherry pie and raspberry fruit. On the palate, it exhibits a savory blend of earth, minerals and fruit with almost no noticeable oak. It is elegant, silky and soft with a slight wild note, and at this point it’s quite fruit forward but will develop earth and autumn leafs traits with time. Good structure with firm ripe tannins on the finish. The Clos Goillotte is 0.5 hectares of 40 year old vines. Vines have been planted on this site for hundreds of years.
2006 Nuit Saint Georges Clos des Corvées 1er cru Monopole 90
The dark ruby garnet Clos des Corvées exhibits aromas of rich, dark soil, and cloves, with underlying dark cherry fruit and a note of wood shavings, dried mushrooms and a touch of vanilla. Dense on the palate it reveals firm, young tannins that are slightly astringent at this early stage of its evolution and has a very long finish. The Clos des Corvées is 5.2 hectares of 70+ year old vines. At harvest time, three passes are made through the vineyards. The first pass is of the ripest, smallest grapes, which goes onto the Clos des Corvées.
Domaine Prieuré-Roch 2006 Clos-Vougeot Grand Cru 92+
The Clos-Vougeot Grand Cru displays a medium ruby core and garnet rim. Located on the upper part of the vineyard, it has a beautiful, fruit forward and aromatic nose with leather notes, dark red berry fruit, and baking spices. It is silky and lush on the palate offering ripe cherries with spice, firm tannins, good acidity and minerals. Powerful, round and mouth filling, it has a very long finish of spicy cherry fruit. Very concentrated with no noticeable oak – extremely well integrated.
Domaine Prieuré-Roch 2006 Clos de Bèze Grand Cru 93+
The top bottling in this foursome is the Clos de Bèze Grand Cru. It has a medium ruby garnet hue and an earthy yet refined nose of ripe cherry and plum fruit with light cedar notes, wet stones and dried mushrooms. It shows incredible purity and density of dark cherry fruit flavor on the palate with earth and warm spice notes. It is mouth filling and beautifully balanced and has great finesse. The tannins are firm but ripe and the finish is very long full-fruited finish. A wine built for the long haul and should drink well for at least 25 years.
Written by Don Winkler and Mike Potashnik, January 2010