What is it that makes a domaine a cult? This is arguably the most sought-after internationally of all white burgundy domaines.

You might expect to be able to put a finger on why the wines are so good. Are the yields low? Not exceptionally. Is there some wizardry during the vinification or élevage? Sometimes I think it is just that Jean-François Coche-Dury has green fingers. His reds are beautiful, perfumed wines as well, though mostly from lesser appellations. They are destalked and only lightly extracted during a relatively short vinification. Since the first edition of this book however, even the prices for the red wines in the secondary market have raced away.

Historical

The founder of the domaine was Léon Coche in the 1920s followed by his son Georges. Another son, Julien, created Domaine Coche-Debord, while their sister Marthe’s daughter married Guy Roulot.George was succeeded by his son Jean-François, who developed Domaine Coche-Dury from the mid 1970s. Jean-François officially retired in 2010, though there is a clear continuity of style in the hands of his son Raphaël, who has been working alongside his father since he was fifteen.

Viticulture & Vinification

There have been some changes in the detail since Raphaël took over: the vineyards are now all ploughed, and a pneumatic press has been ordered to work alongside the old mechanical Vaslin, which itself has been refined and updated.

The wines are firmly crushed before pressing, which must surely be a factor in the Coche-Dury style, then fermented and matured in barrels using a relatively low percentage of new wood, no more than 25 per cent except for the very top wines. The whites are racked in July, when the barrels of a given cuvée are blended, then returned to cask for a second winter, being bottled cask by cask in April of their second year. There is now also a bottling line which is used for some wines though not necessarily the same ones each year.

Vineyards

It should be noted that Coche-Dury bottles labelled Meursault without designation of vineyard may come from differing vineyards. For example the cuvées of Narvaux, Chaumes and Vireuils are kept separate, though each importer will know which he has ordered and received.

The Meursault Rougeots is the single-vineyard Meursault most likely to be seen. Typically in youth there will be green tints to the fruit before it opens out onto a superbly generous palate which retains precision. It is this touch of green in the Coche wines – which are nonetheless properly ripe – which gives them the possibility of ageing so beautifully.

The Meursault 1ers crus Caillerets and Genevrières get passed over too easily in order to pay homage to the majestic Meursault Perrières, from two plots in the upper section of Perrières, one each in Perrières Dessus and Aux Perrières, but the bluest of blue chip wines is of course the Grand Cru Corton-Charlemagne The original vines, which are rented on a farming agreement since 1986, are in Le Charlemagne, just below the cross. From 2012 further plots, two adjacent and one a little bit below on the same part of the slope, have swelled production. This wine is offered to the market later than the others.

The combination of a great vineyard with the Coche-Dury expertise has created a legendary wine in the marketplace. Words as ever will fall short, but the Corton-Charlemagne in youth has an exceptionally strict backbone which will take years to open out, and amazing persistence. Only right at the finish, when all has been concentration rather than detail, do the classic minerals of this vineyard appear. Certainly the 1999 and 2002, drunk at dinner in Hong Kong in 2018, are amongst the two greatest white Burgundies I have drunk.

White Wines

Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 0.14
Meursault 1er Cru Perrières 0.26
Meursault 1er Cru Genevrières 0.30
Meursault 1er Cru Caillerets 0.30
Meursault Chevalières 0.17
Meursault Rougeots 0.50
Meursault 0.60
Puligny-Montrachet Enseignères 1.00

Red Wines

Volnay 1er Cru 0.39
Monthélie 0.28
Auxey-Duresses 0.50
Click here to view all wines from Domaine Coche-Dury

Dedicated Tastings from Domaine Coche-Dury

  • A Visit to Raphaël Coche-Dury to Taste the 2018 Vintage
    June 11th, 2022
    Having missed visiting the domaine in recent years I was delighted to be able to spend some time with Raphaël Coche-Dury in February this year. Though we tasted together a range of his 2018s, the real value of the occasion was the chance to catch up with Raphaël’s thoughts on...
    Read More
  • The Wizards of Meursault 1: Coche-Dury
    June 11th, 2022
    An evening at Sushi Shin restaurant, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong (highly recommended by the way) dedicated to the wines of Jean-François Coche-Dury across various appellations and vintages. While sadly both bottles of Corton-Charlemagne 1989 were a little flawed by their corks, there were a number of quite magnificent wines at...
    Read More
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