Domaine François Lamarche
Côte de Nuits
Domaine Lamarche was run by François Lamarche together with his wife Marie-Blanche since the death of his father Henry in 85 till his retirement in 2006. The vineyards belonged jointly to François and to his sister Genevieve and their respective daughters Nicole and Nathalie, who are now in charge. Nicole is responsible for the vineyards and wine making, and Nathalie runs the commercial aspects of the domaine. The vineyard portfolio of this important domaine was created masterfully over three generations of the Lamarche family. Most of the domaine’s holdings are in the village of Vosne-Romanée. The jewel in the crown is the monopole vineyard of La Grande Rue, a 1.65 ha “sandwiched” between the vineyards of Romanée-Conti and La Romanée on the north, and La Tâche on the south. Interestingly, this fine vineyard was honored Grand Cru classification only in 1992 (this was not done in the original classification of the 1930s because of tax reasons…). This is the second smallest Grand Cru in the Côte d’Or (the smallest is La Romanée with 0.85 ha). The reclassification was not easy to achieve back in 1992, because for years the quality of the wines didn’t match the ones of it’s neighboring prestigious vineyard, mainly due to poor vineyard management and wine making.
The other domaine’s vineyards include fine parcels of Grands-Échezeaux, Échezeaux and unique mélange of Clos de Vougeot from three different parcels located at different parts of the Clos, an array of top notch Premier Crus in Vosne Romanée inc. Les Malconsorts, Les Suchots, Les Chaumes, La Croix Rameau (with recent addition of Nuits-Saint-Georges “Les Cras”). It took hard work over years to bring the domaine back on track, and the hard work was evident since the 1999 vintage and dramatically since the 2005, two years after Nicole completed her diplome in Oenology and joined her father in the domaine. Since 2006 Nicole is solely in charge of the domaine, and she got the freedom to run the domaine as per her own philosophy. The vineyard practice was changed to biological cultivation, the barrels’ suppliers were changed and less new wood present (maximum 50% for the top wines depending on the vintage), and the equipment in the winery was updated to modern standards.
Nicole’s objective is to respect the terroir of each wine and keep the viticulture traditional.
Lamarche is now a “top notch” domaine, with wines expressing themselves through their terroir rather than power. This has been widely acknowledged, and quoting Clive Coats (MW) own words from his recent magnificent book “My Favorite Burgundies” – “This is now a three-star domaine”!