Since 2010, Yannick Champ is the co-director of the Domaine Prieuré Roch. Originally from Paris, he met Henry Frédéric Roch in 2003 and left the Faculty of medicine to become “vigneron” (wine maker). He did Masters in Vineyard studies in Dijon while Henry taught him his art of culture and natural vinification. Today he represents, with Henry, the spirit and the fame of the Domaine Prieuré Roch.
The 2014 vintage is multi faceted:
the season started
with incredible conditions,
like we hadn’t seen for at least 30 years
before on the Côte des Nuits.
No disease pressure,
no mildew, no oidium,
and it was perfect until June 28th
when we had a big hailstorm.
We regularly see hail sweeping
down on the vineyard.
Usually from east to west,
which affect one or two vineyards
on the Côte,
but this one swept
south to north.
So several appellations
were affected to varying degrees.
these last few years…
the Côte de Beaune was affected worse
than the Côte de Nuits,
we were affected at Ladoix
on the Côte de Beaune,
and a little at Vosne Romanée
and Clos Vougeot.
So after this hail on June 28th,
the weather conditions
significantly degraded through July.
This was quite bit worrying.
The fruit was generous that year,
despite the losses from the hail.
We still envisaged a good harvest,
although the extremely rainy July
made us fear the worst.
As sunny conditions are really needed…
to dry out the damage
caused by the hail.
We had the exact opposite conditions.
Thankfully from the end of August
we had marvellous weather.
So harvesting was with ideal conditions,
a bit warm, even!
But we ended up with a record volume
for Domaine Prieuré Roch,
since the start
we averaged 25 hectolitres per hectare,
that year it was more than 30,
so a very generous vintage for us.
We were happy to have a vintage like that
after 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013,
when for four years we harvested
less and less each year,
so we needed a higher volume
and 2014 delivered.
Volume is good
but only when matched with quality,
held some good surprises for us.
The first berries pressed
had exceptional colour,
a truly magical balance
of acidity, sweetness,
it was a vintage
for which we have great hopes.
I’m very happy with this vintage,
November’s a little early to say
“these are stunning wines”.
It will be aged in barrels
for two years,
then we will bottle it
in the summer of 2016.
So there’s still much work to do,
but we have high hopes
for this vintage.
I don’t like to get ahead of myself,
since these wines are still babies,
at this point,
but they are extremely fruity,
with good tannins
that are well measured,
so these are wines we could almost
want to drink already.
Several of our vineyards
have performed very well this year,
under quite varied conditions.
Clos de Bèze,
we know what this plot is capable of,
but this vintage
has been even better.
The ‘mirandés’ grapes were magnificent
with an above average quantity.
Which is great news.
Then at the other end of Clos de Béze,
we had a great surprise as normally
in July and August,
we were not sure if or when to pick.
The berries didn’t seem all that great,
it’s a vineyard
that always raises questions,
but bit by bit
as the harvest neared,
the more I’d visit it,
the more I’d find it looking good.
I would think:
“this could be something interesting”.
I have never had occasion to harvest
and vinify from Gamay like that…
in all my time here at the domaine.
It was bursting with fruit,
the juice was so pure, more than normal,
this was a stunning vintage…