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.
Autumn In Vineyards 2014
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.
Good sanitary state. The maturity level is rather low, although close to the legal degrees.
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.
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