Tasted in Beaune with Véronique Drouhin, 10 November 2016.
Maison Joseph Drouhin
7 Rue d’Enfer
Tel: +33 3 80 24 68 88
Véronique on 2015:
“Our vision on the vintage season is marked by two things; the dryness and the arrival of the rain. This vintage the vines very quickly lacked water. Rain was welcome just after the flowering, then came the heat, which was almost brutal. There was some hydric stress and blocking of maturities at this time, but rain came and released the maturity. So, it’s still one of the very early vintages. Only Chablis had hail a couple of days before the harvest.
“It’s still a very low volume vintage, small grapes was mainly the reason, but vineyards that had been hailed in the previous vintage also delivered a very low volumes.
“The reds are very coloured and it was important to be prudent with pigeage – to not to extract too much. Very little malic acid due to the warmth of august, but the wines retain a nice surprise of acidity. The whites had very fine lees and we kept a large part of that, no batonnage, we found that the lees gave a fine freshness to the wines – it’s a vintage that nicely shows the differences.”
The format was the same as the previous two years – a ‘walk-around’ tasting of cuvées, before a sit-down tasting with some commentary from Véronique.
NB As every year, we were using small tasting glasses that do the wines no favours. Where I note a reticent or tight nose, that’s at least as likely to be the glass as the wine!
Walk around wines…
The wines here seem less direct and broader in shape than at most addresses I’ve tasted at. Yet they have generosity and, largely, great flavours. A number of the whites were also showing more barrel than I’m used to at this address – but the richness of the 2015 vintage should eat much of that up – still, it makes a number of the wines much less attractive today, for this taster.
2015 Côteaux Bourguignons
20% pinot, the rest is gamay – this is the second vintage. Destemmed, bottled in September.
Medium-plus colour. Fresh, cushioned red fruit, faintly perfumed. Mouth-filling, attractive, with nice balance. A cushioned and interesting wine.
2015 Brouilly Hospices de Belleville
A new label vs last year. Drouhin offer some technical help, also sometime some equipment, otherwise all is done by local vignerons. Destemmed, bottled in October.
Less overt but a finer, clean nose. More direct, more muscled, a growing tannin but there’s floral-inflected and attractive fruit too. More saline and with more line. Id definitely drink this ahead of the last.
2015 Fleurie Hospices de Belleville
A 6 hectare parcel! Harvested a week earlier than the Brouilly, also destemmed fruit and bottled in October.
A little extra floral brightness and more weight of fruit aroma. Plenty of tannin but more vivacity and energy. Freshly mouth-watering in the finish with a little herb. Very good!
From 4 parcels, two each on the Savigny and Aloxe sides of the appellations – a mix of domaine and bought grapes. Very frosted this year. Destemmed and a barrel sample.
Hmm this is nice, with soft red fruit – more high tones – very inviting. Great texture, lovely layers of fruit, fine freshness too. Less strict and more encompassing and enjoyable than the Fleurie. Yum!
2015 Savigny-lès-Beaune Clos des Godeaux
‘Domaine, in bio, villages monopole, with a lovely photogenic cabotte.’ This was destemmed and was bottled in September.
More than a trace of oak toast and/or reduction for this sample. Sweetness behind. Flavour of oak too – this seems more like a barrel sample today than a finished wine.
Same vines every year, Corgoloin, Comblanchien, Premeaux and Fixin – ‘not an easy label to commercialise’ says Véronique. Destemmed and a barrel sample.
Ooh that’s a beautiful fruit! Fine and beautifully focused. Wide, fresh fruit on the palate, this is simply a gorgeous thing – bravo – great finishing too. well, if it’s not easy to commercialise, then there’s more for me and you!
Not domaine but have bought the grapes for 40 years – destemmed, a cask sample.
A tighter nose than the CdNV, a subtle volume but really only that. Fresh, very nice fruit with fine structure – really this starts to get interesting and even engrossing only from the mid-palate on – the finish is wide, fine and very tasty. Tons of potential here.
Three growers, bought for a long time – this contains some Malconsorts and Chaumes 1er Crus. All destemmed, a cask sample.
Also a little tight but showing more than the Chambolle – slowly a faint and attractive fruit lifts from the glass. A little more muscle and complexity of flavour here – pretty and with more energy and structure. Very yum!
About 10 different parcels, including one that’s from 1er La Romanée – indeed this has 30% 1er cru fruit. Destemmed and a cask sample.
Another tight nose – such a shame. Bigger volume in the mouth, with a more obvious fresh complexity and a little more tannin too. A broader wine than the Vosne but fine flavoured too. The tannin is my last thought.
2015 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru
All domaine from seven parcels. Destemmed and a cask sample.
Also tight, with a faint oak toast. Wide, more cushioned, faintly reduced flavours. Not the best time to taste this, but there is a nice shape, weight, texture and lots to see and taste – it will be super – despite a little finishing coconut…
2015 Chambolle-Musugny 1er Baudes
Small parcel under Bonne-Mares. Destemmed, from barrel.
Depth but a tight width, a little dark fruit of fine clarity, but tight. Some reductive flavour, this is fresher and has more energy than the 1er, a more muscular wine with slowly leaching pretty flavours. This will be super!
Contract for 3 years. Destemmed and a barrel sample.
A fine minerality and freshness to this nose – I still find the volume of aromas very low. Muscular, fine structure and tamed velvet tannin – like the Baudes the complexity leaches from the structure, fine flavours here. Like many, this needs time but the flavour and potential is excellent! And what a finish!
2015 Nuits St.Georges 1er Procès
Hard to sell Nuits. This plot in bio, was bought in 96. Here with 30% whole clusters, a barrel sample.
Oaky reduction, but a little more aromatic impact here. Direct of line – structured and long – yet essentially showing very little today. I wonder if it’s a root day…(?)
As usual, a very small yield – 7 barrels – it should deliver 11-12. 20% whole clusters – a cask sample
Here is a little aromatic vibration, it invites. Wide, a hint lush, but melting flavours and quite some complexity too. The mid-palate is quite gorgeous and those flavours hold into the finish too. Excellent wine!
From 5 parcels and about 17-18 producers each year. One part fermented in 500 l barrels – one-third barrels. Bottled in July.
A fine and citrussy-fresh nose – very attractive. A little lush but there is volume and balance. Mineral and fresher in the mid-palate then into the finish. And its a fine finish too. Yum!
Just one parcel. Also 30% in 500l barrels, the rest in tank. Bottled in September.
Ooh – that’s a beautiful citrus edged freshness – and it shouts ‘drink me!’ Fine texture and weight but perfectly proportioned ‘southern’ burgundy. Bravo! I love.
Bottled in June.
An extra weight of aroma and some herb and saline impression. Fresh, more mineral and transparent, weight for the label and fine texture. Almost a reductive (but not) fruit. Also bravo!
2015 Chablis 1er Vaillons
Bottled in July.
Wider, fresher, tighter – the top note, however, is an attractive ripe lemon. More weight but beautiful over the palate, depth of fine flavour – certainly not rapier-like acidity but so much to find here. Very, very tasty wine.
2015 Chablis 1er Montmains
Bottled in September.
More depth of saline aroma – yes! More apparent minerality and it plays over the palate very well. For the flavour I prefer the last wine. for the structure this! An excellent finish!
In bio, no new wood for any wine at this level. Bottled in August.
Ooh perfect focus, vibrant citrus fruit, faintly agrumed at the base – super yum! Mouth-filling, big wine, slowly leaching complex notes. A wall of sound today rather than discreet complex clarity – that will come – but super impressive – oh and tasty too!
Assembly of domaine and bought grapes. Mainly in a high section called the plateau. Made like a Meursault -15% new oak. Bottled at the end of August.
Wide and fresh, plenty of oak too for padding. Full, fine, seemingly mineral, textured but a whack of vanilla oak on the mid-palate – I think this will take some time to fade – not my style. But very tasty and silky wine.
A barrel sample
A fine and perfect aromatic for the appellation. Quite some volume, slowly leaching flavours and including some oak. Really mouth-watering and attractive but I’d like more line. Yum even though.
From 8 parcels around Puligny. A barrel sample.
Attractively high and low-toned, faintly oaked too. Wide, with good freshness and a little more mineral in character after the Meursault – fine complexity – really rather good, despite an obvious oak component. Fine finishing – yum!
From 3 parcels – a barrel sample.
An open, oaked nose – I’m missing just a little typicité today. In the mouth fine texture and a good intensity. Very fine flavour in the mid-palate, despite the oak. This is very, very tasty, and I highly recommended the 2014 version, but I wouldn’t guess the village today.
Not domaine but always bought the same parcel – though the grower keeps more and more for themselves each year. Always one of the first to be harvested. A cask sample.
Ooh – now that’s special! Fresh, wide complex and engrossing. Fresh, great volume, super texture. Bravo, there is some oak in the finishing flavours, but only here. A big bold and super finish too!
2015 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Clos de Garenne
Just one parcel. A cask sample.
Also a fresh and mineral nose, a little stricter than the Perrières. A little fuller in the mouth, less clarity but no less weight of flavour. Fine finishing notes, if today less engrossing in the middle.
One parcel. A cask sample.
A modest nose but it’s wide and shows some freshness. Wide on the palate too but here it’s a beauty; sone agrume reduction, some oak, but just a very fine ‘whole’ – bravo! This is really excellent!
The whites started well here and finished even better, with 4 magnificent 2015s. As for the reds, some are rather unfinished – no surprise as many of them won’t be bottled before March/April – others shine very brightly despite that! For those reds, Véronique comments “When I taste them I think of 1990 with much more tension. There is a certain luxe to these wines, but the best have fabulous lines of flavour.”
2015 Mâcon-Bussières Les Clos
Lieu-dit in Milly-Lamartine, part vinified in barrels of 500l – 20%. Some malo blocking with this cuvée. Bottled in June.
Fresh and saline nose. Bright, wide, mouth-watering flavours. Structured and very tasty – super layers of finishing flavour too. Yum!
2015 Chablis 1er Le Mont de Milieu
Right bank, domaine, zero oak on the villages and 1ers. Relatively new here as a domaine wine, the grapes were previously bought, but since 2013 was domaine. Bottled in July
A reticent nose, clearly of some freshness. Lithe, mineral, melting flavour. Different, almost (surprisingly) softer. But much in common. Extra depth of finishing flavour and finishing width vs the Bussières.
3 small parcels assembled. Bottled in August.
A big nose, some salinity too – rather classic Chablis, less easy to say clos. Big, beautifully full and mouth-watering, very fine complexity and clarity too. This is excellent. Bravo!
2015 Meursault 1er Genevrières
Purchased in must, still in barrel.
Pretty, fresh, with a spiced citrus note – instantly classic Meursault and instantly very inviting. Good volume, some oak at the base but this plays very nicely across the tongue. Width and very fine fresh and intense finishing. Very, very tasty indeed.
2015 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Folatieres
From two parcels, and it’s a barrel sample.
Pretty, citrus and floral edged notes. A core of intense flavour here, some more citrus some more florality, some weight too. Long, finishing, narrowing in the finish but always very tasty.
A cask sample.
Big and fresh nose, some oak but this is very much saying ‘what are you waiting for?’ Fresh, fine, beautifully delineated and complex, hardly any oak. Mineral, precise and with some super intensity. A great finish too – bravo!
A cask sample.
A big nose, complex too – the Vosne of whites with a subtle spice. Great scale and architecture – beautiful intensity too – layers of fine flavour. This is a brilliant wine. Gorgeous stuff. And long a hint of tannin to finish.
Domaine from Languettes, the first vines in bio for Drouhin. A barrel sample.
More flowers and citrus high tones. More fat, more muscle, just as well-balanced. A bright wave of grand cru finishing flavour washes over the palate. Also a super wine and very yum too!
Not the biggest nose – but packed with lots of fresh, subtle complexity. Large scaled, layered, lovely intensity and long – ooh what a finish – here is the difference, a faint agrume in the length, but this is length in BOLD TYPEFACE…
2015 Hospices de Belleville, Morgon
Destemmed, bottled in September.
Here is fine nose, of almost bloody depth and herb-tinged fruit – very attractive. Quite large-scaled, and complex too – this tasted very good. The tannin is very controlled. Long finishing too. Excellent wine.
Cask sample. Part domaine, part purchased fruit from two locations.
The nose is fresh and faintly spiced, dark red fruit underpinning. Layers and nicely textured. A floral aspect to the red fruit. Unlike the white this has less obvious oak. Super!
Always possible to declassify 1er cru Beaunes into this appellation. A barrel sample.
A nice nose of high tones and depth, pretty dark fruit. Fine texture and super intensity of bright and interesting fruit. The extra ripeness of 2015 makes this super-charming this year. A brilliant wine in this vintage – great finishing too.
Also a barrel sample – 20% whole clusters used.
Very much a deeper colour than the last wine. Much more depth of aroma, faintly vibrant cassis today it’s probably some reduction providing the vibration. Large-scaled, complex, a little reductive on the palate, but with super density and texture. Less finished than the last wine, but really a great vintage even for Clos des Mouches – encore bravo!
2015 Vosne-Romanée 1er Petits Monts
10 ouvrées, hard to access so work done by horse. 40% whole clusters and a barrel sample.
Deep colour. Lots of reduction today – direct from barrel – but fresh and very pretty aromas behind. Also quite some reduction on the palate. Wide, super complex, really quite some potential here, but the finish is simply excellent. Hard to taste today, but the disparate parts say this will be great!
A mix of aux Charmes and Mazoyères, 10% whole clusters. Cask sample.
A shade less deep colour. A very pretty nose, fine textured, and very much easier to appreciate, almost a faint coffee in th aromas. Bright, wide, complex oohh, this is showing really brilliantly today – easier of course, slightly more louche than the Petits Monts, but really a super Charmes.
10% whole clusters and a barrel sample.
A deep colour again. A big boisterous nose – freshness and complexity – interesting if not yet ‘serious’. Ooh – that really has a concentrated dark cherry fruit flavour – quite massive actually. The fruit actually dominates the structure today, the finishing flavours are very good. But this is a massive primary wine. Great potential it seems.
30% whole cluster, cask sample.
Fresh and very fine just some base of more reductive elements. Also some reductive elements in the flavours. Here is a more widespread complexity, some structure and a drag of modest tannin. Grand vin!
2015 Grands Echezeaux
There’s not much now as a parcel has been uprooted. 30% whole clusters and a barrel sample, of-course.
Here is a nose that needs a little more time, but there is a very modestly, faintly spiced and importantly beautifully textured aromatic. Big, faintly reduced, a little more tannin, but really a great intensity here, very good complexity too. Long and lovely…
35% whole clusters and a cask sample.
A faint coffee halo to fine fruit. Big, very nice complexity and a super length too. A less obvious character here – maybe Charmes with more intensity and visible structure. But clearly a wine to fall in love with…
35% whole clusters, and a cask sample. Veronique remarks that this is ‘Always difficult to place in a tasting as there’s less structure than the wines of Gevrey…
Deeply coloured. The nose is big and round – great volume – but nothing here is specially striking. Fills the mouth, a base with some reduction, but here, like the nose, is a wine of roundness, and it even still seems round after you have swallowed (no spitting!) and the flavours continue very long. Like the Petits-Monts the disparate parts are just fabulous. Only 75% of a complete wine today, but really something special all the same.