Tasted in Beaune with Véronique Drouhin, 09 December 2020.
A change of scene this year – gone the large open tasting and then sit-down tasting with about 30 people – just myself and Véronique on this occasion. Véronique explains that the samples are representative of the whole cuvées and have been sulfured as they are being served from closed bottles via a Coravin.
Véronique on 2019:
“A hot vintage but amazing. I think for these warmer vintages our the work with the lees has progressed. We used a little less new oak this year because of the richness of the raw materials.
“For the reds, nothing is in bottle at this stage though some wines have been assembled in tank. The whites have already started their campaign of bottling but reds will wait until the new year – there’s no urgency, there’s nothing fragile here.”
With a selection like this, it is easier to forget the poor quality of the samples presented last year. Here we have wines of purity and class – in both colours. You won’t note the alcohol levels in the whites, nor the sunshine in the reds – apart, of course, for the relative sweetness of the fruit. But here you will find a number of great wines, and at all levels of the AOCs presented.
All natural cork, and depending on the market, some may have screwcaps. All half bottles are now DIAM for whites, Natural cork and a little screwcap for the reds. The team here work with a selection of the more dense corks available. The first three wines are bottled:
A small AOC of 50 ha. Of course, the less well-known than neighbour Pouilly Fuissé. From Chateau Vinzelles – but not allowed to write on the label as they have the rights to that – and they own 17ha, Drouhin controlling 12 just now. One-third in 500 l barrels, none new, the rest in stainless-steel
A good depth of ripe citrus, a little fat to the nose but also freshness. Lush, comforting, soft but oh-so-tasty wine. There’s good depth and the finish is completely delicious. A very good wine.
A deeper, more structural nose – slowly showing a finer higher toned citrus. A little fat but very mouth-watering and shows fine texture. A beautiful burst of slightly saline accented favour. Delicious again.
A compact nose – though some width. More mineral, more freshness, depth of open and pure flavour. Radiating out with a beautiful finish. That’s an excellent wine!
2019 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Pucelles
This the first not bottled.
A little more aromatic intensity here – mainly the depth and width at the base. Concentrated, wide, faintly oaked, but a certain stature here, fine-textured and with extra intensity and depth to the finishing flavour. Very good
Bought in must
A fuller nose again – wide, beautifully Meursault – that’s a very lovely nose. More saline, spiced and mineral – open, wide, with enough energy. That’s a really great representation of this vineyard. Bravo
1921 purchased, 1928 the first white vintage. Some declassifying this year – ‘whatever we didn’t think good enough’ – this all went into the Côte de Beaune Blanc.
Less width than the Genevrières but still a fine depth of aroma. Mouth-filling, the faintest accent of salinity, a fine, focused wave of flavour. Fuller than the Genevrières but beautifully balanced – a great Beaune too!
2 parcels here. For a long time sold as Morgeot, not Morgeot 1er, but it was always a 1er. Laguiche owned since 1361, together with Drouhin since the 1940s, usually 3 different harvests
A smaller nose, very faintly oaked. More driving and direct – I love the mineral intensity here. Long, long, long. Another winner!
From Les Languettes – this year only half a harvest. One of the first Drouhin vineyards to be converted to biodynamics in the mid-1990s. Separately there is also a Maison Corton-Charlemagne.
Not the largest nose but one that’s faintly floral and shows an interesting depth. Excellent! Nice direct attack, a wine of direction and concentration but beautifully balanced too. Very long, not powerful finishing but so persistent all the same. Like a number of wines here, showing the place so well. Excellent wine, perhaps even better…
From 5 parcels named 1 to 5 – nice! 3 different picks as there are 2 hectares and because the vines have different ages
The first – a burst of floral notes – more white flowers, almost acacia. Vibrant, fresh, rich but cut by perfect acidity – that’s one of the best of the Montrachets this year. Another world of finishing complexity – open, fresh and nothing dominates – bravo!
Domaine vines plus some contracts – mainly the higher vines on the plateau above Rully, direction Bouzeron.
Plenty of colour. A big nose – ripeness of fruit, not obviously too much. Lovely freshness and attack – that’s very tasty wine indeed – mouth-filling with lovely energy. That’s a wide and particularly delicious finish. Bravo villages Rully.
2019 Côte de Beaune
Multiple young 1er cru vines are declassified into this, including Clos des Mouches (hence, the similar labels) plus the actual AOC from the Montagne de Beaune.
A bright and vibrant fruit – ripe but not too. Wide and fresh – open, faintly tannic – love the combination of freshness and structure here – the shape of the wine. Nicely long, a faint caramel touch here. Good length. Excellent
2019 Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Aux Fourneaux
Mainly domaine fruit here, some wc but not overtly visible.
A nice extra freshness of fruit here, flashes of violets too. Wide, sweet but with the freshness to balance. Fine finishing flavour interest. Very tasty wine.
Véronique’s dad’s favourite wine!
A width of freshness here though tight-ish. Hmm, that has a super combination of structure – minerality and modest tannin – and fresh, wide, fruit. This I love. A slightly cooler style and very involving. Mineral and considered in the finish. Love the character here – keep this a while, it will be worth it – bravo.
2019 Beaune 1er Les Grèves
Nearly a hectare – all domaine, ‘Sur les Grèves’ so high on the hill.
Not wide but an extra depth of aroma here – wide at the base. More mouth-filling, textured – though still hardly any grain – but quite overtly saline too. Long waves of finishing flavour. Seriously put together wine – you should have patience here but it’s a super wine.
A large-scaled nose, darker-red fruit. Mouth-filling again, but the flavour is much more airy, almost floral – a nod to Chambolle for sure. The tannin is present but there’s no grain here. Weight but also elegance in one package. Today I’d still take the Cras but that’s a style, not a quality, decision! Bravo!
2019 Nuits St.Georges 1er Procès
Since 1996 in the family. Under the Château Gris. ‘Not the easiest to sell, but this cuvée is delicious.’ Owned by Laurent Drouhin
Like all, full coloured. A higher-toned and very open nose – a cherry-stone impression here. Great shape in the mouth – lots of mouth-filling volume but open, classy, and the tannin is showing virtually no grain. Wide finishing. A wine still of structure so have patience but well-flavoured wine too!
Some Chaumes 1er included in this.
This nose is intense and ripe, impressive but I don’t see Vosne to start with. In the mouth, there’s freshness, still a little of the higher-toned flavour that recalls the nose. But this relaxes in the middle and shows a nicer complexity and style. The finish is a very good one.
25-30% 1er in here, each year.
Less forward but a nice width of deep aroma here – more inviting aroma than the Vosne. Here there is plenty of material, a little more calm and wide than the Vosne too. Almost earthy, more tannin but somehow more comforting wine after the Vosne.
Not domaine but have bought the grapes for 40 years.
Plenty of colour. Here’s more freshness and floral style than the previous two wines. Great attack, fine freshness, mouth-watering. A wine of perfectly proportioned structure and flavour – for a villages. Fine form for this wine, beautifully long. Excellent wine.
All domaine from seven parcels. A blend of north and south.
More weight of aroma – not fully open, though still with a nice style and florality visible. A little extra depth to the texture and the concentration – clearly extra complexity, clearly more to find. Finely packaged. Bravo!
2019 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Clos Prieur
A contract – seemingly a good one!
Nice width of freshness, tighter below – but slowly expanding and becoming more and more attractive, floral even. Fine in the mouth – there’s volume but with density – concentration for sure but open and complex. Deliciously flavoured – excellent wine.
2019 Vosne-Romanée 1er Petits Monts
2 small parcels above Romanée-Conti and Richebourg
A nose that starts with a little density but with air becomes ever-more interesting and fine – lovely complexity here. Mouth-filling a little less open than the Clos Prieur but not a feeling of overt density – like the nose slowly starting to show flashes of complexity here and there. Textural in the finish, tannin but with no grain coupled with a long line of complex, modestly spiced interest.
A fine, large-scaled, nose in the higher tones, a little tighter below – slowly evolving florals too. Wide, comforting texture, finely grained tannin – but not drying – layered flavour with a certain minerality at the base too – this is a very fine and very complex CV that still retains a little comfort from its texture. A very fine CV – bravo.
2019 Chambertin Clos de Bèze
A blend of estate and purchased grapes
Lots of depth of aroma here a certain mocha style – open, rather easy for Bèze. Supple, fine flavour – certainly some wc here – a finesse to this wine. Lovely, wide and long in the finish. Much less evident structure vs the Clos de Vougeot which I prefer for its forthrightness and purity, but a wine of fine and engaging complexity…
Wow – there’s no impact or density here – but you have everything else; finesse, florals and a slowly growing depth of aroma. Fine direction – not quite linear but here is a superlative combination of shape, energy and direction – never too much of any. The tannin appears in flashes but is then gone. Of course, you are going to have to work out how to pay for it, but here is peak everything in such an accessible and ethereal package. Bravo!