By Maison Joseph Drouhin
2006 Bonnes-Mares from Maison Joseph Drouhin, Burgundy, France
The 2006 Bonnes-Mares from Maison Joseph Drouhin represents a sterling example of how a challenging vintage in Burgundy can still yield wines of profound complexity and eminent investability. With over four decades of immersion in viticultural narratives, the 2006 growing season stands out as one of capriciousness—a year that separated adept vignerons from the less sagacious.
A Tumultuous Growing Season’s Silver Lining
Burgundy's 2006 vegetative cycle was beset with vicissitudes, commencing with a damp, cool spring that threatened vine vigour. However, the undaunted Maison Joseph Drouhin cultivated a Bonnes-Mares crop indicative of their refined practice—balanced and meticulously nurtured despite the elements. The region was granted an 11th-hour reprieve with September warmth and wind, culminating in an October harvest that presented fruit articulating both ripeness and tension—a dialectic seldom achieved.
Indomitable Spirit in a Bottle
In the glass, the 2006 Bonnes-Mares reveals a tapestry woven from threads of dark cherry and earthy undertones, intertwined with whispers of spice and mineral élan—a testament to the terroir’s indomitable character. A firm yet finessed tannin structure underpins a bouquet replete with secondary notes emerging triumphantly from its chrysalis, rewarding those who patiently cellar such treasures.
The maturation narrative of this wine is both compelling and cohesive: a slow ascent into its current state where it exudes both the panache expected from one of Burgundy's most emblematic cuvées and the singularity conferred by 2006’s climatic tension.
In consideration for fine wine investment portfolios, the 2006 Bonnes-Mares from Maison Joseph Drouhin stands as an articulate chronicle; its narrative one etched by Burgundian temerity against meteorological odds. For collectors, it is undeniably a sought-after vintage from this estimable maison, encapsulating not just the characteristic precision inherent in their winemaking but also an exceptional year's trial by nature.
Verdict: A Resolute Vintage
This particular vintage harmonises the Maison Joseph Drouhin’s stringent quality ethos with 2006's unpredictable weather patterns to present a Bonnes-Mares that confidently asserts its storied provenance and solidifies its place as a noteworthy contender within any discerning investor's cellar. One sips not just wine but history—a reflective musing on how resilience meets finesse in the confluence of grape, earth, and climate.
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Scores and tasting notes
Exuberantly pungent aromas of raspberry, sassafras, sage, and pepper greet the nose from the glass of Drouhin 2006 Bonnes Mares. Sappy and bright; lip-smacking and palate-sticking in its intensity; as so often from its appellation, this acts more like a high spirited stallion than a mature mare. The mineral dimension here is marine, with suggestions of brine, iodine, and shrimp shell reduction. More emphatic in its spice, pungency, and fresh fruit cut than most of its fellow Drouhin 2006s, this shares with them its virtues of clarity and cleanliness, and boasts refined tannins that should support 8-10 years of felicitous bottle evolution. "I was skeptical when the harvest came," says Philippe Drouhin about 2006, "because the weather had been so hectic; we had to sort the grapes; and it was not as nice as '05. But the more I tasted the '06s in the course of the year, the more I liked them." Winemaker Jerome Faure-Brac says he was hyper-cautious about avoiding the extraction of bitterness or under-ripeness, and employed vendange entier (whole clusters with stems) on a significant share of the grands (and top premiers) crus, but only in conjunction with rigorous table-sorting. Most came in at 13-13.5% potential alcohol. The wines were bottled about as early as they ever have been at Drouhin, to preserve and avoid drying out the fruit. (Just as elsewhere in this report, I have frequently indicated in my tasting note whether the source of grapes is the family's domaine or contract fruit, but have not attempted to reflect this as part of the descriptions used to identify the wines.) Importer: Dreyfus-Ashby & Co., New York, NY; tel. (212) 818-0770
David Schildknecht - The Wine Advocate, 21 December 2009