When last in Beaune I had the opportunity to visit Domaine Joseph Drouhin, it was too long since my last visit so I so it was time that I made ammends. Jean-Pierre Cropsal was my guide – I had just missed Laurence Jobard as she had retired just a couple of weeks earlier after 34 years as winemaker. Jean-Pierre and I spoke on many subjects – in fact so much so that we didn’t have all that much time left to taste – but we are professionals, so we coped…;-)
It was Jean-Pierre that spoke those words “these wines will define the benchmarks for a generation”, and there was no element of self-serving hype in his delivery as Jospeh Drouhin has largely pre-old their 2005’s; Véronique Drouhin had already told me the vintage was a ‘gift from God’! As the 2005’s had only just been bottled (only Le Montrachet was still in cask) we mainly had a quick run through some wines of recent vintages. Here I will start with a few whites:
2005 Joseph Drouhin, Chablis
This high-toned, slightly nervous nose shows really ample depth, minerality and just a twist of citrus. Lovely acidity that rolls around the mouth with a good citrus bite. The flavours nicely expand on the palate and there is an uncommon intensity for a wine of this appellation. Super, crisp wine with a medium-plus length of finish. Really excellent for the label. If I can find it, I suspect this to be a wine to buy by the case-load for my ‘house-wine 2007’ and perhaps beyond…
Rebuy – Yes
2004 Joseph Drouhin, Rully
The nose is denser than the 05 Chablis, a little fatter too. Hidden in there is an interesting note that gives me the impression of beans – haricot blancs sounds better – but it’s much nicer than it sounds, honest! Made in barrel means the texture in the mouth is more plump and less mineral than the Chablis, but it gives a longer impression on the palate, there’s nice acidity too. Very good and stylistically very, very different to the Chablis which is my preferred style. The oak has added shape, rather than flavour.
Rebuy – Maybe
2004 Joseph Drouhin, Puligny-Montrachet
The nose is both wide and deep; neither fat nor high-toned it delivers subtle blossom and cream. Very well textured in the mouth, giving the impression that real muscle could be under the jacket, but the jacket stayed on in our short time together. There is good minerality and super acidity that pushes long into the good finish. Perhaps it’s just a little tight as there was little I could put my finger on – I summarised by writing ‘very efficient and understated Puilgny’.
Rebuy – Maybe