Domaine de la Romanée-Conti
Jean-François Coche-Dury produces some of the very greatest white wines coming out of Burgundy. The ingredients at the root of this success are mostly no secret, they also apply to several other producers of exceptional wines: prime vineyard land, constant work in vineyard and cellars, and rigorous yield limitation. However in Jean-François Coche-Dury’s case they are taken to a level of perfection which would appear difficult to equal.
The Coche-Dury estate was founded in the inter-war years, and was greatly expanded from 1964 onwards, when Georges, Jean-François’s father, set about increasing the vineyard holdings and selling more wine in bottle rather than selling in bulk to merchant firms. Jean-François Coche-Dury continued this policy after inheriting the estate in 1972. Yet when he buys a vineyard plot he uses the occasion to divest himself of a less well-situated one, his aim being to have vineyards of the very highest quality rather than to expand the estate.
Nowadays, Jean-François Coche-Dury runs the domaine with the help of his son Raphael.
At 10.5 hectares Domaine Coche-Dury is relatively small; 9 hectares lie in Meursault, while the remaining plots are in Pommard, Monthélie, Auxey-Duresses, Puligny-Montrachet and Corton-Charlemagne. Total production is some 60,000 bottles.
Work in the vineyard comprises the usual activities, but is carried out with great care and attention to detail. The utmost importance is attached to limiting yields by pruning, which is carried out with great meticulousness. In the cellar the wine-making is absolutely traditional, and here again the same close attention to detail is given. After a gentle pressing and being left to settle, the wines are fermented in barrel. For the top wines half the barrels are renewed each year. The lees are stirred regularly during the twenty months’ barrel-ageing and the wines are racked twice before being bottled by hand, unfiltered.