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Drouhin to mark milestone anniversary of Clos des Mouches in novel way

Burgundy grower and negociant Joseph Drouhin is to mark 100 years since purchasing its first vines in the Clos des Mouches with a special cuvée that will be made using a 450 year-old wine press.

 

Although Joseph Drouhin was established in 1880, it was not until 1921 that his son, Maurice Drouhin, purchased his first parcel of vines in the Clos des Mouches, citing the superior “finesse” of the wines from this part of Burgundy, which is located at the southernmost tip of the Beaune appellation, halfway between Corton-Charlemagne and Montrachet.

A century since he made that decision, his ancestors from the fourth generation are hoping to mark this milestone anniversary with a special wine made using a wine press dating from 1571, which head winemaker Véronique Drouhin said last week still “works very well”.

“To celebrate 100 years since the purchase of Clos des Mouches we hope to make a wine using a press from 1571,” she said, when presenting a set of wines over zoom on Friday, which is remarkable considering the wooden tool is 450 years old.

The press is called a ‘parrot’ as the spokes in its wheel resemble a parrot’s perches, and it has been used three times since 1980, when it was first put back into use to make a wine to mark the 100th anniversary of the foundation of Maison Joseph Drouhin.

Clos des Mouches is a premier cru hillside vineyard, of which Joseph Drouhin owns 14 hectares, and manages biodynamically, having converted to organic farming practices as long ago as 1989.

Most of the vines are between 25 and 50 years old, with some over 85 years old. Both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay planted in the clos.

Massale selection is used when replanting, and Maison Joseph Drouhin has become a founding member of the Association for the Protection of the Diversity of Burgundy Grape Varieties, which was initiated to preserve the vine heritage in the region.

Clos des Mouches takes its name from the many beehives that previous winegrowers once placed in the fields. Strictly translated, a “mouche” is “fly,” but in Burgundy, they are “honey flies,” or more recognizably, “bees.”

Véronique, along with her brothers Philippe, Laurent, and Frédéric manage the Burgundy business today, as well as the first member of the fifth generation, Laurène, Véronique’s daughter, who has recently joined Maison Joseph Drouhin.

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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53 different wines with 286 vintages

Highlights

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Wine Moments

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

 Allen Meadows / BWW2022 - Best Burgundy Critic of the World, Wine Writer (United States)  tasted  3 wines  from  Joseph Drouhin . In a tasting of  19 wines 

Méo-Camuzet Clos de Vougeot 2018 / An unusually spicy and appealingly fresh array is comprised by liqueur-like red berry fruit aromas, especially cherry, that are laced with notes earth, lavender and a whisper of exotic spice. There is a lovely sense of underlying tension to the rich, well-detailed and relatively sleek medium-bodied flavors that display focused power on the sneaky long and markedly firm finale. 
Barrel Sample: 91-94

7m 2d ago

 Allen Meadows / BWW2022 - Best Burgundy Critic of the World, Wine Writer (United States)  tasted  3 wines  from  Joseph Drouhin . In a tasting of  24 wines 

Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé Bonnes-Mares 2018 is very deeply colored, in fact so much so that it would make a young port blush! The ripe aromas of red and blue berries, spice and earth display a mentholated top note. The dense, powerful and mouthcoating broad-shouldered flavors possess evident muscularity while delivering excellent length on the youthfully austere finale. This isn't refined, indeed it's borderline rustic, but it's a dramatic and impressive wine that should live for decades.

7m 23d ago

 Joseph Drouhin  has updated producer and wine information

10m 13d ago

 Véronique Boss-Drouhin, Wine Producer (France)  tasted  7 wines  from  Joseph Drouhin . In a tasting of  7 wines 

Joseph Drouhin Corton Grand Cru 2019 / Its colour is rather deep, its nose powerful and verging on candied fruit and spices when maturing. It has good structure in the mouth, without harshness. A good Corton must have "gras" (a velvety texture) to counterbalance tannin and acidity. On the palate, it recalls the candied fruit present in the nose. Very long and persistent, it ends on a very complex note".

11m 21d ago

 Pekka Nuikki / Editor of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  4 wines  from  Joseph Drouhin . In a tasting of  4 wines 

Drouhin Beaune 1er Clos des Mouches – the 100th year anniversary. We tasted the 2018 vintage with Veronique Drouhin " “The year started with an early bud- break at the start of April and we already had the flowers in early May. A year that was dry and ‘luminous’ in the summer then veraison already started in mid-July. Aug 30 to September 08 was the actual harvesting window in our Clos des Mouches – some 25% of whole clusters used for the red. Whites bottled after the reds in this vintage – which isn’t always the case but it’s our tasting that will determine.”

1y 1m ago

 Joseph Drouhin  has news

Drouhin to mark milestone anniversary of Clos des Mouches in novel way Burgundy grower and negoci  more ...

1y 2m ago

 Joseph Drouhin  has updated producer and wine information

1y 3m ago

 Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Wine Writer (South Korea)  tasted  1 wines  from  Joseph Drouhin . In a tasting of  26 wines 

Château Mouton Rothschild 2016 / Gorgeous, subtle, layered Mouton with delicate and detailed flavors that linger on the palate for a long time. The density of the tannins combine with wonderful freshness and layers of flavors that range from dark berries, savory spices to cedar and earth. A glorious Mouton that has stature and concentration without any heaviness. The blend is 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 1% Cab Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. The latter two varieties were co-fermented.


99 points

1y 3m ago

 Neal Martin/BWW2022 - Best Bordeaux Wine Critic of the World, Wine Writer (United Kingdom)  tasted  1 wines  from  Joseph Drouhin . In a tasting of  16 wines 

Domaine Dugat-Py Chambertin Grand Cru 2019/ 
The 2019 Chambertin Grand Cru is the usual solitary barrel this year, incorporating 80–90% whole-bunch fruit. It does have difficulty following the stellar Mazis-Chambertin, coming across a little straightlaced by comparison, though attractive pressed flower and marine scents emerge with aeration. The palate is very well balanced with bold, firm tannins. This is where the wine steps up a gear, offering intense red and black fruit laced with white pepper and clove, and delivering a crescendo that brings to mind the thunderous piano chord that finishes the Beatles' "A Day in the Life." Very persistent and grandiose, this deserves several years in bottle. 95-97p

1y 6m ago

 Juha Lihtonen / The Best Scandinavian Sommelier 2003, Pro (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Joseph Drouhin . In a tasting of  185 wines 

BWW2021 competition finals were filled with superb lineup of the world's greatest wines and superb finds from various price categories. The finals that were run in various blind tasting sessions, revealed many surprises. Most commonly, the fact that all the wines were so enjoyable already at this young stage, although many of them will deliver so much more after ageing of 10-15 years. Congratulations for all the winners!

1y 6m ago

 Pekka Nuikki / Editor of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Joseph Drouhin . In a tasting of  37 wines 

A long and interesting BWW2020 -tasting day one is behind. Here is my personal list over 90 points wines! Thank you for all the other tasters - tasting 120 young fine wines from all over the world is always a real and rare pleasure -it also felt like I was back on the school bench - and the teachers were the best wines in the world. What a day one!

1y 8m ago

 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  1 wines  from  Joseph Drouhin . In a tasting of  23 wines 

The 2011 Comtes Lafon Montrachet showed some banana on the nose and palate, with a tropical sweetness and a touch of glue. It was initially a bit awkward on the finish, but Alberto noticed it got better and drier with food, becoming his favorite. I agreed that it got better, and so Pitts, channeling his inner Tony the Tiger and proclaiming, ‘it’s great!’ (95p).

1y 10m ago

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