If I were to choose one domaine in Burgundy to drink from Chablis through the Côte de Beaune, it would be Joseph Drouhin. The name has become synonymous with value and precision, offering terroir-driven wines built on elegance above all. While the relatively large estate purchases grapes from many top growers, they also have their own "domaine" holdings where all aspects of viticulture are under their control.
Among the echelon of these vineyards, the three featured today are hallmarks of every savvy Burgundy collector. The 2015 vintage means small allocations with big attention. These wines are not listed on the website, and will only be made available to those on our mailing list today.
My first experience tasting Burgundy's most adored Premier Cru, Les Amoureuses, was at a small wine shop in Chassagne-Montrachet in 2012. For some reason it's one of the more vivid memories that's stuck with me from a year living in Beaune. A well known Canadian collector who splits his time between the US and Burgundy called me over to taste the highly anticipated release of Drouhin's 2010. I remember his incredibly strict declaration to me as I swirled: You can have all the money in the world to line your cellar with DRC, Leroy, and Rousseau, but if you pass on Drouhin's domaine holdings you're a fool. Not surprisingly, the wine in the glass was one of the most memorable I had in Burgundy - there's something to be said for the openness and generosity of brand new releases. Pure, unadulterated fruit and maximum impact. The great vintages like 2010 and 2015 do not hold back in making their presence felt.
Drouhin's Les Amoureuses sits directly below Grand Cru Musigny, and is widely regarded as the 1er cru most deserving of elevation, along with Gevrey's Clos Saint Jacques. It's the model of grace, but has grip and structure that's only seen in the best sites. Chambolle's high active limestone content gives a pale hue with still an underlying sense of tension and power. If I was given one 1er Cru for all time, it would be Les Amoureuses.
Drouhin's Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru is labeled as such because it comes from only 1.3 hecatares of vines divided through the 1ers: Noirots, Hauts Doix, Borniques, Plantes, and Combottes. The tiny parcels are vinified together. Among secret gems in all of France I put this pretty high on my list. It always over-delivers, and late releases from the domaine clearly show its transformative capabiliites through decades.
Drouhin's Beaune 1er Cru Monopole Clos des Mouches is a wine that transcends the reputation of its village more so than any other wine in Burgundy. Located at the southern end of Beaune next to Pommard, Clos des Mouches always surprises with the classic Drouhin elegance that marries with the inherent muscle and structure of this dark earth territory. The track record of aging is unmatched in Beaune. Bottles from the 80's are often highlights at dinners filled with Côte de Nuits Grand Crus.
Robert Drouhin was among the first in Burgundy to adopt "culture raisonnée" in the late 1950's, and today the domaine is fully organic and biodynamic in all owned vineyards. Grapes are de-stemmed and fermented with native yeasts. Gentle punchdowns are applied once per day for the first half of fermentation, with pumpovers utilized afterwards. Each Premier Cru featured today is aged in a modest 20% new French oak.
2015 Drouhin Beaune 1er Cru Clos des Mouches (Domaine)
2015 Drouhin Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru (Domaine)
2015 Drouhin Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru Les Amoureuses (Domaine)
1988 Drouhin Vosne Romanée 1er Cru Les Petits Monts (Domaine)
1989 Drouhin Beaune 1er Cru Clos des Mouches Rouge (Domaine)
1990 Drouhin Beaune 1er Cru Clos des Mouches Rouge (Domaine)
1990 Drouhin Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru (Domaine) *Late release from domaine
1993 Drouhin Bonnes Mares (Domaine)
1999 Drouhin Grands-Echezeaux (Domaine)
1999 Drouhin Griotte-Chambertin (Domaine)
2001 Drouhin Grands Echezeaux (Domaine)
2002 Drouhin Beaune 1er Cru Clos des Mouches Rouge (Domaine)
2002 Drouhin Bonnes Mares (Domaine)
2007 Drouhin Musigny (Domaine)
2008 Drouhin Clos Vougeot (Domaine)
2010 Drouhin Chambertin-Clos de Beze
(50% Domaine fruit, complemented with purchased fruit from an adjacent parcel)
2010 Drouhin Musigny (Domaine)
2012 Drouhin Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru 1.5L (Domaine)