Pierre Duroché is a man of reflection, and while he keeps his thoughts and vineyard tests to a close circle, he does have some pretty strong views about wine – and wine journalism.
During the past several years, Pierre has voiced his concern about the use of points (the 50- to 100-point scale used by many journalists), noting out that the score is often relatively static from year to year, and in reality tells very little about the wine reviewed, such as words what the consumer could expect when drinking it (please note: this is my interpretation of Pierre’s words).
I’ve often had the same thought regarding the 100-point scale, so I suggested that I rate the Duroché wines without points, and use only my vin d’émotion scale to weigh a wine’s hedonistic qualities.
Pierre Duroché agree to test this solution; stage two of a Winehog experiment that started years ago when Arnaud Tessier preferred to have an article without points.
Back then I did not have the vin d’émotion scale to support my impressions, but now we have the hedonistic scale ranging from vin de soif to vin d’émotion.
So let’s get tasting the Duroché wines!
The 2021 vintage was difficult at Duroché and in Gevrey-Chambertin as a whole. First came the April frost, and then a hailstorm in June that left quite a bit of damage in the village and 1er cru parts of the Duroché vines.
The result is much lower production in the lower part of the domaine’s range; the vines in the grand cru appellations between Gevrey and Morey-Saint-Denis were less affected.
The damage in the village and 1er cru parcels has reduced the number of cuvées significantly: there are only two Gevrey villages (normally six) and one 1er cru (usually five).
However this resulted in two new, exciting 2021 cuvées. There is a blended Gevrey village that includes a bit of 1er cru Les Champeaux, and then a special village – No. 26 – made from Aux Etelois (destemmed village), Estournelles St. Jacques (whole-cluster 1er cru), and Les Cazetieres (baie-par-baie 1er cru). This gives an exciting blend and a blistering village.
Points and ratings: Pierre Duroché has agreed to participate in the remove-the-points trial here at the Winehog. The purpose is to test if we can refocus the evaluation of the wine onto its lyrical qualities and emotional content. In this case, the link to the old point scale is still possible, but not directly visible on the page.
Tasting notes from the visit on October 27
This was a challenging vintage, but with proper sorting and some cellar creativity, it has been possible to make truly delightful wines. They are vivid, lively, outspoken, and forward in the best sense of the word (currently, at least), with the terroirs exposed in a crystal-clear way.
Let’s move on to the wines, both old and new cuvées.
To start, Domaine Duroché Bourgogne Chardonnay 2021 is both a generous and a vivid glass. On the nose, I find attractive cool aromas of white flowers and orchard fruits. It’s harmonious, with a mineral structure, citrus fruits, and a bit of crunch on the palate. Quite an intense wine for this level.
(Drink From 2023) – Good+ – Tasted 27/10/2022 –
Next is the Domaine Duroché Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2021, a delightful generic with fine phenolic maturity, giving a lively wine with lovely intensity. It has a transparent expression, and is a good vin de soif without doubt. Down the hatch!
(Drink From 2023) – Good++ – Tasted 27/10/2022 –
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