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Lunch with Yannick Champ of Prieure Roch

September 28, 2015

DSC_6125After a leisurely breakfast on 27 September 2015, we drove down south of Beaune to the sleepy township of Puligny-Montrachet where it was very good, once again, to be able to walk up the gentle slope of the Cote de Beaune from the D113 secondary road and to tread gently at the skirting of Bienvenues-Batard-Montrachet, followed immediately by Batard-Montrachet and then Montrachet itself, where the twin pillars of Marquis de Laguiche stood silently at a corner. Memories of the lovely Grand Crus that we have had over the past couple of days from these vineyards of Bouchard Pere & Fils and Joseph Drouhin came flooding back. Harvesting for the 2015 vintage has concluded but, here and there, one can see forlorn bunches of grapes left untouched by the pickers hanging, a poignant reminder about how absolutely fastidious the winemakers must be in choosing their grapes and how much hard work has been done by all these passionate individuals just purely for our pleasure.

Yannick's handsAs it turned out, lunch had been arranged that afternoon at a small lovely restaurant n Pommard, Aupres du Clocher, and waiting to meet us there was the good-looking young winemaker M. Yannick Champ of Domaine Prieure Roch. The first thing I noticed as I shook his hand were the deep purplish stains on his hands and the red inflamed knuckles. Apparently, Yannick has been up since 4.00AM to tend to his newly-pressed wines and he had evidently been hard at work right till it was time to meet us, for he was still wearing his soiled working clothes. Yannick certainly embodies the new generation of hardworking young winemakers driven by passion and it shone through in his wines that he had brought for lunch.

DSC_6120But first, we began with a 2009 Coche Dury Mersault from the restaurant list. This displayed a light luminosity with lifted aromas of fig and apricot, marked by delicate clear citrus and intense minerality with great linearity, depth and persistence. Quite amazing for a village, easily outperforming many other classified wines. Superb. Following this was the 2000 Domaine Leflaive Bienvenues-Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru, displaying a luscious gold, considerably heavier with notes of apricot, peach, rock melon and a hint of caramel with excellent intensity, understated acidity and length. This can easily keep for many more years.

From here, we moved on to a series of Prieure Roch wines, all provided by Yannick himself:

2014 Prieure Roch Nuits-St-Georges Clos des Argillieres 1er. Direct from barrel. Dark with generous dark cherries raspberries. Rustic. Stern on the palate, receding quite quickly as the wine developed bright red fruits and some sweetness in the glass. Good potential though too early to pass judgement.

DSC_61752014 Prieure Roch Vosne-Romanee Les Suchots 1er. Direct from barrel. Abundant red fruits, brighter and more open.
Stern metallic notes on the palate, again replaced by more fruit and sweet tannins over time. Good potential.

2009 Prieure Roch Vosne-Romanee Les Suchots 1er. Brownish red. Dark plums, earth, some ferrous element. Good depth of fruit. Trace of sweet tannins but firm now, finishing with medicinal overtones. Needs more bottle time.

2006 Prieure Roch Vosne-Romanee Les Maizieres. A village. Very open. Aromas of rose petals and cherries, some briar, wild berries and dark red fruits, medium-full, missing the complexity of higher classified wines but drinking well now.

DSC_61272005 Prieure Roch Clos Vougeot Grand Cru. Lovely fragrance of rose petals and strawberries, open, earthy, displaying good depth. Very enjoyable.

2000 Prieure Roch Nuits-St-Georges Le Clos des  Corvees 1er. A 5.2 ha monopole. Dusty brown. Subdued fragrance, fairly intense with salty minerality, somewhat austere and minty at the finish. Came together very well. Beautiful.

This has been a remarkable afternoon and truly an honour and privilege to have spent time with Yannick and his wines. Merci beaucoup.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Andy Tan permalink
    July 13, 2016 00:19

    Is that SS Ngoi? Please tell him I say hi!

    Andy TAN, greeting from Shanghai

  2. Ric permalink*
    July 13, 2016 08:01

    Hello Andy…thanks for visiting the blog…I’ve conveyed your message to Mr Ngoi.

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