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Joseph Drouhin – 2013

DSC05544Tasted in Beaune with Véronique Drouhin, 20th November 2014.

Maison Joseph Drouhin
7 Rue d’Enfer
21200 Beaune
Tel: +33 3 80 24 68 88
www.drouhin.com

A somewhat complicated tasting for invitees: Given the low yielding vintage, Drouhin chose to make just two group tastings, rather than multiple visitors tasting from barrel.

We began tasting a selection of ‘self-service’ wines from bottle at our own pace, before a sit-down tasting hosted by Véronique where we tasted ‘grander’ wines whilst she discussed the vintage and infos about the respective wines. I asked about pricing, and Véronique noted that “The prices for the 2013s will not be higher than the 2012s.”.

Véronique on 2013:
“2013 was a late harvest – and a cold harvest too – 14-18 days later than average. Luckily we had good weather in the lead-up to the harvest. We had bad weather during flowering and this was more of a problem for the vieilles-vignes than the younger wines, as the ‘vv’ wines usually flower a little later. This and the hail are the main reasons for the short crop.

“We had normal malos, lots of good surprises and also a lot of satisfaction.”

The self-service wines…

2013 Rully (Rouge)
In bottle – no hail here.
Discrete but pretty, clean red fruit – some strawberry. Round, with nice volume in the mouth with a lovely growing intensity and fine acidity. This is lovely!

2013 Côte de Nuits Villages
More depth of aroma and of slightly dark fruit with a faint spice. More intensity and acidity – less ripe, but with very fine attack. Lovely length.

2013 Vosne-Romanée
Contains some declassified Petits Monts and au Dessous de Malconsorts.
A more pungent nose, but its the smell of Vosne augmented with a little green herb. Round and fills the mouth, showing very good complexity. Fine finish – this is very hum!

2013 Chambolle-Musigny
Round and sweet with good depth – yet it remains a modest nose. A little more structure than the Vosne – some extra mid-palate flavour too. Very, very good!

2013 Chambolle-Musigny 1er
Here is a more overt spice over a cushioned velvet. More weight and certainly more flavour dimension than the villages. Plenty of grippy tannin too – Yum!

2013 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Baudes
This was last included in the 1er Cru in 2006.
Good, deep colour. Here is a classic top-note of violets with a suggestion of weight below. Very wide and faintly saline – fine acidity and a little tannic drag, though modest versus the previous wine. Super – and a little floral in the finish too.

2013 Gevrey-Chambertin
There seems a silky width but otherwise this is something of a discrete nose. More acid attack – today the main feature – but there’s bright fruit in the mid-palate too. Finishes modestly, but has a hard time following the wines from Chambolle.

2013 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cazetiers
Vinified by the supplier but harvested according to Drouhin’s schedule.
An intense nose, strong floral perfume with a subtle spice below. Lithe, complex and muscled – but no fat. Very fine wine – I find this super.

2013 Nuits St.Georges 1er Les Proces
Deep colour. A deep but faintly reduced nose. Wide and also muscled – here with more tannin and less complexity. Still, it’s a more assertive and direct wine than the Cazetiers, and I like the finish very much.

2013 Beaune 1er Les Grèves
60% hailed in 2013.
A fresh nose, but also one of depth, high-tones and complexity – a little minerality too. Wide and lithe with cool fruit and some grip to the tannin. Super mid-palate flavour intensity. Fine, herby, stony length with dark fruit and tons of potential.

Les Blancs…

2013 Macon-Bussières Les Clos
Worked with this producer since 2007. Previously this was included in the Macon Villages cuvée, but this has been vinified separately since 2009, some in 500 litre barrels. Macon-Bussières is such a small appellation, this cuvée represents 75% of the total!
A stony and mineral nose with a fainter depth of ripe fruit. Silky and slightly padded – faintly salted but sweet and balanced – Super!

2013 Saint-Véran
Altogether a more fruit-driven nose that includes some fresh pear. In the mouth, not though… this remains a lithe, taut wine of good complexity. Very good!
2013 Vaudon, Chablis Reserve de Vaudon
Another fruit-driven aromatic – but nicely fresh. Lovely, bright Chablis in the mouth – really nice with a fine finishing intensity.

2013 Vaudon, Chablis 1er Mont de Milieu
A new acquisition, but low yields due to coulure. Manually harvested with 100% tank elevage.
A flighty, airy nose with a discrete roast depth. Lovely lithe wine, a mouth-watering palate with super minerality. I very much like!

2013 Rully
Barrel-fermented on lees…
Modest but fresh aromatic. Surprisingly mineral, if more full and hard versus the Chablis, but I’m surprised that this holds its own so well against the 1er Cru Chablis. A very pretty finish too.

2013 Côte de Beaune
Much more aromatic dimension and interest – it’s really lovely. Fresh, cool fruit with beautiful balance. This is very fine – super!

2013 Meursault
A lovely aromatic that melds Meursault character with a good freshness. The texture is a little padded and with good dimension of flavour too. Fine, if understated Meursault.

2013 Puligny-Montrachet
A quite lovely nose of padded freshness and white flowers. Round and fresh if not super-energetic – yet with a nice depth of flavour.

2013 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Les Folatières
The same supplier for 40 years – so that would be Pernot 😉
Wider, a super extra intensity of aroma – beautiful. Again a lithe, padded texture with some extra minerality and intensity. Fine finishing too.

2013 Vaudon, Chablis Vaudesir
30% lower yield in the grand crus…
A lovely depth of fresh aroma here. Intense, beautiful, mouth-watering sweet acidity. Intense fruit, almost passion-fruit, which isn’t my favourite, but this is a fine wine.

The ‘sit-down’ wines…

2013 Vaudon, Chablis Les Clos
From 3 parcels, all close-by but with slightly different vines. Elevage is mainly in tank but some barrel too.
More salty, more classically sea-shore aromas. Fuller, with very good energy again. Fine minerality and intensity with a super finish.

2013 Meursault 1er Les Perrières
Wide, faintly oaked aroma – old-style Meursault. Some gas, but clearly with full, round and oaky flavour too. That said, there is excellent intensity, complexity and length – indeed super length.

2013 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Les Embazees
A depth of Chassagne aroma, with fine high-toned, herby top-notes. Wide and fresh, dynamic too. Lovely complexity – this is lovely and fortunately much less oaky than the Perrières…
2013 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Morgeot Marquis de Laguiche
Also fresh and fine aromas, again with lots of Chassagne herb. Again intense, fresh and dynamic and with just a little finer flavour. Nice floral finish too!
2013 Beaune 1er Clos des Mouches
The post-hail yields were so small that this will be sold in cases of 3.
A musky, oaky but attractive depth. A growing mineral aspect too. Good power, lots of dimension and super energy. It’s fine flavour too. I recommend, but it will be harder to find than the Musigny…

2013 Corton-Charlemagne
Again there’s a strong creamy oak, fortunately with plenty of high-toned aromatic detail too. Dynamic, brilliantly pure. Simply outstanding – though the oak needs to fade a little.

2013 Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche
There were three passes through the vines. There is anyway less wine as one of the five parcels has been replanted due to old age and virus infection.
The nose offers less obvious oak and offers much scale if limited specifics. Full, beautiful acidity and superb intensity. Superb length too. Brilliant wine.

Les Rouges…
Véronique noted that Drouhin had used plenty of 500 litre barrels for elevage in this vintage, also that after the malolactic fermentations, the wines held their colour very well – almost no fading…

2013 Côte de Beaune
A weight of ripe but fresh dark-red fruit, some fresh herbs above. Tasty, sweet fruit – fresh with good intensity and with faint licorice in the finish. Very tasty.

2013 Beaune 1er Clos des Mouches
Again only available in 3-packs, and no large formats in this vintage.
Deep but faintly reduced. Full with good structure and plenty of concentration and some tannic drag on the tongue. A little reductive flavour too – not the best day to taste…

2013 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Lavaux St.Jacques
Just 4 barrels of this.
A very elegant depth of aroma – super. Round, full-textured, just a little gas but really great presence. Perfect fruit again with a little tannic drag. Beautiful wine!

2013 Charmes-Chambertin
Some whole clusters used here, also some 500 litre barrel elevage.
Super-deep colour. A weight of silky aroma with a faint whole cluster suggestion. Padded, concentrated and with growing intensity and structure – great intensity. Absolutely grand cru – super.

2013 Clos de Bèze
Vinified separately, but this is a blend of domaine and purchased fruit.
High-toned and complex with a growing depth of aroma that is very different to the Charmes. Full and round but with no padding – plenty of tannin but it’s a ripe grain with little drag. Super-long…

2013 Griotte-Chambertin
Still in barrel, but only 3 barrels – 18 hl/ha. Not yet racked.
Massive colour. A beautiful weight of bass notes and growing florals too. Soft, intense, ripe fruit with beautiful balance and weight, but without fat. Brilliant!
2013 Vosne-Romanée 1er Petits Monts
It’s a shame that the nose is compromised with some reductive notes – but it doesn’t hide a fine dimension and width of aroma. Plenty of structure and a fine line of flavour through the middle. This will be excellent, it delivers a super finish too!
2013 Clos de Vougeot
A blend of two parcels, one from the bottom of the Clos.
Also a very dark colour. beautiful weight and complexity of aroma – it’s gorgeous. Full in the mouth, super-complex, balanced yet intense, underpinned with a fine-grained tannin. Very long, super, super…!

2013 Grands-Echézeaux
50% whole cluster.
A very different aromatic, fresh and quite attractive with floral accents. A mouth-filling, large-scaled wine. Very fine complexity that fades faster than the Clos de Vougeot – to my great regret, as it’s lovely.

2013 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Amoureuses
Plenty of whole clusters used here, yielding 2 ‘pieces’ and one 500 litre barrel.
More depth of aroma – fine and velvet textured. Hmmm – fine and dynamic but with a little note of reduction. Lots of density and a little gas too – but it hardly hides the fine complexity. Very, very fine…

2013 Musigny
‘Some whole clusters, not a lot…’
Not a full-power Musigny today, but the complexity and impression of Musigny remains. Power and complexity – almost without weight. Plenty of structure with faintly dry tannin, but the length is brilliant. A wine that suggests future brilliance without quite delivering it today.

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?

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