This exceptional, unconventional, domaine was created by the late Henri-Frédéric Roch in 1988 by buying some parcels of vineyards such as the Clos de la Goillotte that Domaine de la Romanée-Conti – of which his family is part-owner – was selling to finance the purchase of the large slice of Romanée St-Vivant Domaine Marey-Monge which it had been farming. The Prieuré part of the name has been added because Monsieur Roch liked the sound of it.

The vines are farmed organically with 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 Premeaux 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.

The entire buildings in Premeaux have been reconstructed and will soon include a restaurant overlooking the vines, in addition to the hip Bist’Roc in Nuits itself.

The Clos Goillotte is in the heart of the village of Vosne- Romanée, taking its name from the ancient hunting lodge building, La Goillotte, which was part of the Prince de Conti’s property. The vineyard was replanted in 1964-5. A bottle of the 2000 vintage, drunk in April 2013, was fading in colour but had the most ethereal perfume, suggestive of the highest class – though the body and intensity of the wine remained at village level.

The Nuits-St-Georges 1er Cru Clos des Corvées is a monopoly of the domaine, which chooses to make several different wines from its holding. A selected picking of very small millerandé berries is used to make Clos des Corvées. The produce of old vines is sold as Nuits-St-Georges Premier Cru Vieilles Vignes. After that there is a Nuits-St- Georges Premier Cru from 45- to 50-year-old vines and a Nuits-St-Georges ‘1’ from slightly younger vines.

The Chambertin-Clos de Bèze has been leased from Domaine Marion in Fixin since 1994. A 2001 tasted in 2009 was walking the tightrope of an unsulphured wine. It began brown in colour with a dry-leafy nose, but regained life with aeration and turned into a superbly elegant and very intricate wine.

Chambertin-Clos de Bèze Grand Cru 1.01
Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru 0.62
Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Suchots 1.02
Nuits-St-Georges 1er Cru Les Corvées 5.21
Vosne-Romanée Les Clous 0.72
Vosne-Romanée Clos Goillotte 0.55
Vosne-Romanée Hautes Maizières 0.63
Click here to view all wines from Domaine Prieuré-Roch
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