?The Unicorns Are Here!!?

Domaine François Lamarche ‘La Grande Rue’ Grand Cru Monopole 2015

Sometimes when your vineyard is surround that's OK especially when it's surrounded by DRC!

I’ve had the pleasure of drinking La Grande Rue a couple of times. There is no doubt about the quality of the vineyards. La Grande Rue is sensual, feminine, with an incredible perfume, and silky texture. A special wine indeed.

“This is clearly a wine of distinction – Vosne-Romanée royalty if you prefer – and there is no royalty higher in the Côte de Nuits. It is elegant, endlessly complex, and I could spend the whole night sniffing the glass.” Bill Nanson, The Finest Wines of Burgundy


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Why is this Wine so Yummy?

La Grande Rue is a 1.65 Ha Monopole with an average vine age of 30 years and average yield around 32hl per hectare. The site first fell into Lamarche hands in 1933 and has been a monopole of the family ever since.

La Grande Rue is surrounded by the vineyards of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti.


Fruit is hand-picked and sorted. 80-100% of the fruit is destemmed depending on the vintage. Cold maceration & temperature controlled fermentation in open wood vats lasts around 15-18 days depending on the vintage.

Maturation in oak barrels lasts 16-20 months of which 30-50% are new.


About Domaine François Lamarche

2018 Vintage at Domaine Lamarche

2016 Vintage at Domaine Lamarche

Domaine François Lamarche are sole owners of La Grande Rue, one of the four grand cru monopoles of Vosne-Romanée (La Tâche, La Romanée and La Romanée Conti are the others)

In this day and age, great Burgundy Domaines such as this are a rare find – even more exceptional because the vineyard holdings here are almost entirely made up of Grand Cru and Premier Cru parcels in Vosne/Echézeaux

Under the current generation – Nicole and Nathalie Lamarche – quality at this Domaine has skyrocketed and this is now one of the very finest sources of fragrant, supple and richly-fruited Vosne.

In the three vintages between the publication of his opus, The Wines of Burgundy, and the quote above, Domaine François Lamarche has been promoted from a one star Domaine to Coates’ highest, 3-star rating, a rating they now share with a rare clique of the very best Burgundian growers.

The rapid, Lazarus-like rebirth of this Domaine seems to have caught some quarters of the French cognoscenti by complete surprise. In fact it has been the English speaking commentators like Allen Meadows, Jasper Morris, Jancis Robinson and Clive Coates that have been the first to pick up the scent. This is a tale of Domaine François Lamarche, an Estate that has, without doubt, one of the finest collections of vineyards in the entire Côte or, more specifically, Vosne Romanée/Echézeaux. After a long period of underperformance, the Domaine has managed to turn its fortunes around and is today producing wines that honour the lofty expectations of their holdings. To be specific about these holdings, Domaine François Lamarche are sole owners of La Grande Rue – one of the four, legendary Grand Cru monopoles of Vosne-Romanée – as well as holding choice parcels of Echézeaux, Grands Echézeaux, Clos de Vougeot, Suchots, Chaumes and Malconsorts! Terroir was never a problem here!

The upturn in quality has been the result of a gradual series of key changes, most significant of which has been the emergence and ensuing influence of the Domaine’s 6th generation, Nicole and Nathalie Lamarche, who now control every aspect of Domaine François Lamarche’s operations. Since 2007 Nicole Lamarche has been solely in charge of the vineyards and winemaking while her cousin, Nathalie Lamarche, has had the role of régisseur, or general manager. Since taking the reins of this jewel of an estate, these ladies have seriously reduced yields, converted the vineyards to organic viticulture (certified from 2010), implemented procedures to handle their grapes more gently and have stopped fining or filtering. The barrel suppliers have also been changed and there is less new wood used. In short they have pulled out all stops to produce the highest possible quality from their remarkable patrimony of vineyards. These changes, combined with a new, gravity-fed cuverie and a much needed upgrade of equipment and new cooling apparatus (that had already occurred in 2010), has resulted in a rapid improvement in quality that continues to improve each year.

Where in the World are They?

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94-96 points

The 2015 La Grande Rue Grand Cru, from the 1.65-hectare monopole, has a very fine bouquet, quite open and expressive with red cherry, bergamot, early grey and light earthy scents that unfold in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with fine definition. There is superb tension on the entry and conspicuous salinity here. It is not a powerful La Grande Rue but in keeping with Nicole Lamarche's vision, pursues elegance and style. Yet the persistence is very long, so much so that I have written this entire tasting note and I can still feel my mouth tingling! This is superb. (12/2016)

Neal Martin - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

94 Points

This perfumed beauty displays fireworks in a glass with its kaleidoscopic nose of super spicy, floral and cool red and dark berry nose. The middle weight flavors are less concentrated and powerful than those of the Grands Ech but markedly finer with a caressing and sophisticated mouthfeel that carries over to the rich finish that once again tightens up noticeably on the impeccably well-balanced and strikingly persistent finish. While at least some patience will also be required this classy effort should be approachable sooner than the Grands Ech. 2030+(1/2018)

Allen Meadows - Burghound

Where in the world does the magic happen?

Domaine Francois Lamarche, Rue des Communes, Vosne-Romanée, France