His acclaimed wines command stratospheric prices on the secondary market, but the man in the driving seat at Domaine G Roumier is more concerned with looking after the land for the next generation, discovers Stephen Brook.
The day before going to visit Christophe Roumier, I asked some of his neighbours what questions I should pose. The reply came as a chorus: ‘Ask him why he doesn’t reply to emails!’ Indeed, I too have long experienced the same problem.
The topic slipped my mind when I found myself in his modest office at Domaine G Roumier, his sister in the reception area, Roumier seated in shorts behind a crowded desk. That he produces magical wines, all agree. Yet it is clear there is no magic formula behind his success, but rather a combination of excellent vineyards, attention to detail, and finely tuned skills both in the vineyard and winery. He exudes modesty, but not false modesty, and seems genuinely bewildered by the soaring prices obtained by his wines on the secondary market.
‘Frankly, I’m puzzled by the stratospheric prices some of my wines have been fetching, as I’m not convinced they’re so much better than those from many of my neighbours.’
Yet bottles of his Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Amoureuses and Bonnes-Mares have been known to sell for between £1,400 and £1,800 each. Of course, such prices reflect scarcity as well as quality, not to mention the feeding frenzy of international collectors.