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News

Records are set to be beaten!

The 154th Hospices de Beaune Wine Auction took place on 16th November. 417 barrels were put up for sale, which is 90 more than last year, but still less than when the Hospices de Beaune vineyards are not hit by hail. The buyers certainly enjoyed the vintage and favoured a price increase of 3% for the reds and 14% for the whites. Overall, the average increase is 5% for a total amount of 7 548 000€. Last year, the bidding raised 5.3M€. The charity barrel was sold for 220 000€; it will be greatly appreciated by the two charities "Toutes à l”Ecole” and "Imagine”.

Although we did not acquire all the "cuvées” we would have liked, we nevertheless bought:

-2 barrels of Meursault Genevrières Premier Cru cuvée Baudot, 
-1 barrel of Corton Vergennes Grand Cru cuvée Paul Chanson,  
-1 barrel of Meursault Charmes Premier Cru cuvée Bahèzre de Lanlay
-1 barrel of Beaune blanc Premier Cru cuvée Suzanne et Raymond
-1 barrel of Saint-Romain cuvée Joseph Menault 
-4 barrels of Beaune Premier Cru cuvée Maurice Drouhin.

We were hoping for lower prices...but alas this was not the case. 

Frédéric DROUHIN

 

Autumn In Vineyards 2014

Burgundy
This period of nice weather is appreciated. In our Chablis vineyards, as well as in Côte d'Or and in the north of Saône-et-Loire, the rainy weather encountered during the summer led to the swelling of the berries. It is a little but pleasant compensation for the failure of bloom, millerandage (small berries) and hail which affected the vineyards at the beginning of the year.

Chablis
Good sanitary state. The maturity level is rather low, although close to the legal degrees.

Côte d'Or
Reds: when the clusters are dense and of big size, some rot appeared, but fortunately it is now drying up thanks to the ideal weather conditions we are enjoying. The grapes start developing some taste.

Whites: the yields seem lower than for the reds, with maturity levels which could greatly increase and offer a good surprise.

Vines affected by hail: good news! They offer higher homogeneity and maturity than usually. The yields remain very low but should be slightly higher than in the last few years.

Oregon
The sanitary state is good and the summer weather is steadily speeding the ripening. High temperatures are forecasted for the coming days. The vines located at a lower altitude, thus precocious, could suffer from this heat (aromas, degrees) if they are close the harvesting period.
As far as we are concerned, our vineyards on Dundeee hills are higher in altitude and our Roserock plots even higher, which prevents us from these drawbacks.

Philippe J. Drouhin

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History

Founded in 1880, Maison Joseph Drouhin, with an experience now spanning four generations, is resolutely committed to a strict observance of tradition and respect for the heritage of Burgundy. The estate comprises 77 hectares of vineyards among the greatest appellations in Chablis, Côte de Nuits, Côte de Beaune, Côte Chalonnaise. It is one of the largest estates in the region. It is comprised of a majority of Premier and Grand Crus, planted with the two Burgundian grape varietals, pinot noir and chardonnay. The Domaine was put together through the years, thanks to judicious purchases and agreements between families.

Some vineyards are among the most famous in Burgundy, such as Clos des Mouches, Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche, Musigny, Clos de Vougeot, Corton-Charlemagne, etc. For some appellations, Joseph Drouhin complements its supplies by purchasing grapes from other vineyard owners who have been long time partners and share the same quest of excellence.

 

Joseph Drouhin was a daring and enterprising young man who came from the Chablis region. In 1880, at the age of 22, he settled in Beaune and founded his own wine company there. His aim was to offer wines of great quality that would bear his name. His son Maurice followed in his steps and began to establish a vineyard domaine for the House, purchasing land in some outstanding appellations such as Clos des Mouches and Clos de Vougeot.

Robert Drouhin took over from Maurice in 1957, gave the domaine its present dimension, acquiring many vineyards, especially in Côte de Nuits and Chablis where he was able to recognize the true potential. He was one of the first in Burgundy to introduce "culture raisonnée" (doing away with pesticides and other chemicals).

Today, Robert and Françoise Drouhin's children are animated by the same passion that inspired the founder of the company. Frédéric supervises the overall activities, Philippe is in charge of the vineyards in Burgundy and in Oregon, Véronique, the oenologist, is responsible for perpetuating the style of the wines and Laurent manages the sales development in the United States where he lives,. They uphold the values of the House and its constant quest for quality, for the pleasure of all those who have a deep appreciation for the natural elegance of Burgundy wines.

The Domaine comprises 77 hectares (192 acres) of vineyards in Côte de Nuits, Côte de Beaune, Côte Chalonnaise and Chablis. It is one of the largest estates in Burgundy. More than two-thirds of the vineyards are classified as Premiers Crus and Grands Crus. With close to 90 different appellations, Joseph Drouhin offers a fascinating array of Burgundy terroirs in all their authenticity and subtle variations.

 

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Vineyards

Joseph Drouhin has adopted the biological and biodynamic approach. Only natural products are used and all procedures show the utmost respect for the soil, the vine and the environment. The true amateur will discover in these wines the Drouhin signature: the originality of the terroir, the finesse of the aromas, the elegance and harmony of the structure and the style of the vintage. 

Vine stocks: the "sélection massale" (propagation of new vine stocks from a number of selected vines) is carried out at the Drouhin nursery with clones of recognized quality.

Soil maintenance: compost of manure and white wood, sometimes guano (seabird manure) are used as fertilizers.The soil is ploughed either by tractor or by horse to manage spreading of weeds.

Treatment: only authorized products for biological cultivation are used: infusions and macerations of plant materials, sulfur and copper, powdered rock. Natural predators are not eliminated.

Plantation density: from 10,000 to 12,500 stocks/ha in order to extract all possible nuances from the terroir and limit the production of each vine stock.

Pruning: Guyot.

Yield: low yields are deliberately favoured to allow our grapes to enhance the true type of each soil.

The grapes are put in small perforated crates in order to protect and preserve the integrity of the fruit.

 

 

 

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Winemaking

The vinification is traditional with as little interference as possible.  Technical know-how is always at the service of authenticity. "We favour the natural rhythm of the vinification process, depending on the terroir and characteristics of the vine: destalking, vertical or horizontal pressing, decanting of the must by gravity, fermentation with indigenous yeasts".

"Our care takes into account the origin of each wine: stainless steel vats to enhance fruit and freshness in Chablis and Mâconnais, oak barrels to develop complexity and finesse in Côte d'Or".

"We gently use new oak and the barrels are made from oak trees individually picked by us in the forests; we let them weather for three years so that all coarse tannins can be eliminated". "The barrels to be used and the length of time the wines will spend in them are determined according to the appellation and the vintage.  Since younger barrels give out more tannin, they will be used only for wines that will gain from it".

"Together with Jérôme Faure-Brac  (Joseph Drouhin's enologist), we taste and evaluate each wine on a daily basis so as to follow its evolution.  No wine is bottled unless it receives the approval of the Drouhin family".

At each step in the elaboration of a wine, a strict technical control gives the finishing touch to the actual tasting. Every single detail is important. "We were one of the first Houses in Burgundy to apply bar codes for identification on the barrels in order to ensure total traceability of our wines."". "We stamp each cork with the name of Joseph Drouhin, the appellation and the vintage, in order to guarantee the authenticity of the wine". "We refuse to commercialize any appellation that does not reach the standards of Joseph Drouhin".

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Inside information

Four generations of  Drouhin family have built up a large and one of the most prestigious wine estates in Burgundy.Corton has enjoyed great fame in Burgundy ever since the Emperor Otho gave it his name in the 8th Century. The word "Corton" comes from curtis (the estate) and Othon (the Emperor). The hill of Corton is the most distinctive in Côte d'Or : it is massive, crowned by a forest of gnarly oak trees and, from a distance, looks like some kind of crouching animal.

Through erosion, the soil is a mixture of ochre colours, with patches of clay and angular stones delineating various terroirs on the slope. This explains why there are other Grand Cru vineyards on the hill using the name Corton, such as Corton-Bressandes for instance. Corton (the real Corton) is not very large : it is situated at the top of the hill, right below the line of trees, facing South-East. Due to excellent drainage, the roots of the Pinot Noir must dig very deep through the rocky sub-soil for their subsistence. This is one of this wine's secrets : Corton is not made just at the surface of the vineyard, but deep below.

One reason for the fame of Corton was its ability in the old days to travel very well. Nothing surprising, since Corton, in its youth, has a particularly firm structure. It is a wine which always needs some ageing, especially in a great vintage.

The use of biological methods is a profound conviction at Joseph Drouhin. An organic approach, discreet and natural so to let the wine express himself at his best. For many years now, Joseph Drouhin has been experimenting biodynamic methods.

The mission of Joseph Drouhin is to unfold the greatness of Burgundy. Vigilance, common sense and gentleness define the winemaking process in order to allow the wines to express their very best.

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35 different wines with 131 vintages

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users.    or    to see wine moments from your world.

 Clive Coates / MW, Wine Writer (France)  tasted  3 wines  from  Joseph Drouhin . In a tasting of  46 wines 

2005 - A magnificent red wine vintage in Burgundy. This was a dry year, though never particularly hot, save for a heat-wave in May. A hail-storm on 17 July devastated the vines between the villages of Santenay and Chassagne-Montrachet. After a mixed August, and much-needed rain on 6 September, the skies cleared and it became increasingly sunny and warm. The Côte d'Or harvest began in the middle of the month and was all but complete by the week-end of 1st. October.


Now ten years old, the red wines, though many are still rather closed, are well deserving of all the bally-hoo they engendered at the outset. The vintage is consistently good (except naturally in Santenay and Chassagne-Montrachet) from Marsannay to Maranges, as well as proportionately so from grand cru to the humblest generic. Few past vintages come close. Perhaps the nearest is 1999, but that was a very much more generous harvest. The relative shortness of the 2005 crop can be seen in the concentration of the wines. They also have depth, finesse, harmony and the potential to last. But they are not monolithic. What more do you want? Don't start opening the best until 2020 or so.

10d 12h ago

 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  1 wines  from  Joseph Drouhin . In a tasting of  29 wines 

The last of our Bacchanalian extravaganza found us at Per Se, for lunch. Noon is about the minimum recovery time after an evening full of many (many) wines, and thankfully we had a lot of experience at the table. Everybody was ready to go, although I must confess that first glass of welcome Champagne was not easy going down.

15d 11h ago

 Christer Byklum / Leading Scandinavian wine blogger, Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  1 wines  from  Joseph Drouhin . In a tasting of  43 wines 

2013 Domaine Leflaive Bâtard-Montrachet / Pale lemon yellow. Lemons, vanilla, minerals, spices, some floral notes, brighter expression for Bâtard, lighter. Fresh acidity, fresh and fruity, apples and citrus with more subdued minerals beneath, detailed and long. 95p

16d 15h ago

 Clive Coates / MW, Wine Writer (France)  tasted  1 wines  from  Joseph Drouhin . In a tasting of  13 wines 

Burgundy was beset by two problems in 2004: an unprecedented outbreak of oidium (which attacks the fruit, rather than the leaves) and several attacks of hail. Moreover, the crop was more than plentiful, and the season was wetter than usual, greyer than normal and colder than the average. There was an attack of ladybirds, say some, though what effect this would have on the potential crop was not made clear. Ladybirds, after all, are major predators against aphids. September, however, was kind, and what looked like being a disaster at the beginning of the month did in fact turn out at least OK - in those vineyards correctly maintained - for reds, and better still for whites.

3m 21d ago

 Michael Chan, Wine Blogger (United States)  tasted  1 wines  from  Joseph Drouhin . In a tasting of  20 wines 

Krug Clos du Mesnil 2003 / Purchased by Krug over the phone in 1971, the Clos du Mesnil is a 4.5 acre walled plot planted only with Chardonnay grapes. This vintage is marked by extreme hot weathers which made different plots of land yield different maturation levels. As a result, the berry picking span over 2 months than the customary 2 weeks. Aged for 9 years before release, this champagne pours a light straw color, almost like that of a Sauvignon Blanc, with thick legs and very fine beads. A somewhat austere wine, this Blanc de Blanc yields notes of toast, white peaches, citrus oils, Comté, mint, chalk, tobacco smoke, slate and cream desserts on the nose. On the palate, the wine first caresses the tongue with robust masculinity, followed by a string of very fine bubbles and a mineral-forward backbone. Surprisingly for a vintage with very ripe berries, the champagne has vibrant acidity while maintaining an unctuous structure. On the palate, the champagne is dominated by notes of chalk, honeysuckle, leather, smoke, charred oak, brioche and smoked fish. With time, there are even notes of citrus oils. The finish is very long and spins with more smokiness. Although the wine is very young, as shown through the astringency towards the end, it surely shows the promise in years to come. 95p

5m 15d ago

 Clive Coates / MW, Wine Writer (France)  tasted  2 wines  from  Joseph Drouhin . In a tasting of  44 wines 

Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Romanée-Conti 2010 / 20.0 points.


Fine colour. Aromatic, minerally nose. Not as fat as La Tache or Richebourg. A bit more of the stems. Best on the follow through. Very, very lovely complex fruit. Marvelous long, lingering finish. Truly excellent.

5m 19d ago

 Omar Khan, Wine Writer (United States)  tasted  1 wines  from  Joseph Drouhin . In a tasting of  7 wines 

Lafite Rothschild 1953 / The nose is immediately ravishing, cedar, spice and violets perfume the nostrils. Aromatically you are simply stunned. The velvet texture, the round, sweet, bolt of silk on the palate, the Lafite lead pencil, all seduce you with their encompassing charms. You get lively mineral and spice laced red fruit at the mid palate, some ceps and a gently inviting smokiness. The tannins are gorgeously resolved, there is a sweet seamlessness and harmony to the wine that almost defies parallels. Twice now, the wine has been just disarmingly beautiful, stunning in its layered, complex, nuanced, yet emphatic Lafite elegance, showing the sheer poise that Cabernet Sauvignon can display. The smooth, sweet, nuanced finish is just magnificent. This is a simply extraordinary wine, and along with the ’59, arguably the greatest Lafite of the last century. 99 Points+

6m 8d ago

 Paulius Gruodis, Pro (Lithuania)  tasted  1 wines  from  Joseph Drouhin . In a tasting of  16 wines 

BYOB night with quite a few interesting wines including 1947 Montrose, 1959 Joseph Drouhin Chassagne-Montrachet Morgeot, 1982 Latour, and of course some lovely bubbles to prepare one's palate - 1981 Lanson Oenotheque Magnum, Louis Roederer Rose (70s) and Laurent-Perrier Grand Siècle (70s).

6m 18d ago

 Aldo Sohm / Best Sommelier in the World 2008, Pro (Austria)  tasted  1 wines  from  Joseph Drouhin . In a tasting of  10 wines 

"MY TOP 10 WINES OF THE 2016"

6m 23d ago

 Clive Coates / MW, Wine Writer (France)  tasted  1 wines  from  Joseph Drouhin . In a tasting of  32 wines 

The 2009 white wines in the Côte d'Or are attractive but not as successful. Yes: there is no lack of ripe, succulent fruit, but here I do have to search more extensively for the sort of reserve I seek; the austerity at this stage that indicates the wine will be better at eight years old than at four.


The quality in the Mâconnais as well as Chablis has been to some extent compromised by their local weather conditions. In general I prefer the 2008s and 2010s in both cases, but there are no long faces. It may be the Côte de Beaune and the Côte Chalonnaise have got the best of it this year, as far as white wines are concerned; but elsewhere growers are nevertheless more than happy. The Beaujolais crus, on the other hand, are terrific. These are the best Beaujolais I have enjoyed for many a year.

7m 14d ago

 Thomas Alsgaard, Pro (Norway)  tasted  1 wines  from  Joseph Drouhin . In a tasting of  14 wines 

Martha's Vineyard 1970, Sassicaia 1970, Grange 1970, Unico 1970 etc.

7m 18d ago

 Aldo Sohm / Best Sommelier in the World 2008, Pro (Austria)  tasted  1 wines  from  Joseph Drouhin . In a tasting of  9 wines 

MY TOP 10 WINES OF THE 2016

8m 6d ago

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