Before national lockdowns and travel restrictions tightened, our Head of Fine Wine Lukasz Kolodziejczyk managed to spend a few weeks in Burgundy last year and is one of a small group of professionals to have firsthand and on field experience of the vintage. Over the coming weeks we will be putting a spotlight on top Burgundy producers and highlights from Lukasz’s trip to the Cote d’Or. This is the 12th profile of our Burgundy spotlight series featuring Maison Joseph Drouhin.
Maison Joseph Drouhin - Burgundy 2019 En Primeur Producer Profile
With roughly 80 hectares of vineyard area, two-thirds of which is premier cru or grand cru, Maison Joseph Drouhin offers Burgundy lovers both quality and variety. Producing wines from nearly 90 appellations in the Côte de Nuits, Côte de Beaune, Côte Chalonnaise and Chablis, Drouhin captures the unique sense of place in each location, typically employing light extraction techniques and a moderate use of new oak.
Joseph Drouhin established the domaine in 1880 after taking control of a merchant business, itself dating back to 1756. Joseph prioritised improving the quality by investing in some of the best vineyards. Under the stewardship of Joseph’s grandson Robert, the domaine grew into the size it is today as Robert acquired land in many of the grand crus of the Cote d’Or as well as some in Chablis.
Introducing organic and biodynamic practices in the 1980s and 1990s, Robert’s four children have cemented Drouhin’s status with an impressive array of wines from village level on up. Drouhin cracked the Liv-ex Power 100 charts in 2014, the same year it auctioned off nearly 2000 ‘ex – cellar’ bottles that pulled in just under 1 million dollars ($930,694).
Demand for Drouhin wines remains fierce and this will surely be the case again this year with 2019 yields reportedly down by around 20%. In the past, we have focused on grand crus, and this year features some stunning options at the top as usual. Both Neal Martin (Vinous) and Jancis Robinson ranked the Musigny among their top rated 2019 Burgundy wines. However, Drouhin’s constant efforts to improve mean there are some great offerings at the premier cru and even village levels.
Cult Wines’ opinion:
Our Head of Fine Wine Lukasz Kolodziejczyk tasted Drouhin’s diverse range of 2019 wines, noting excellent balance between freshness and power. Below are Lukasz’s tasting notes of the 2019 premier and grand cru wines.
Chablis Bourgos Grand Cru 2019 94 points
The excellent Chablis gives off aromas candle wax spiced by cardamom, dry citrus peel, flinty minerals, oyster shells, and wet gravel. The wine has some weight but still leaves your palate refreshed.
Chablis Les Clos Grand Cru 2019 96 points
Here we are met with a ripe perfume of dry citrus, grape juice, yellow plums and mineral spice. The palate combines freshness with a raw mineral ending that lasts for an impressively long time. Great effort!
Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Pucelles 2019 94-96 points
This premier cru is ripe and generous with toasted brioche, butter, flint and candle wax aromas. The palate is expansive and creamy with great mineral tension and a hint of warm oaky spices.
Meursault 1er Cru Genevrières 2019 94 points
It is hard to be objective about this Genevrières due to personal preference but I found its generous citrus, nectarine and acacia flower aromas incredibly expressive. The palate was equally delicious with flint notes and a lively mineral spiciness.
Joseph Drouhin, Beaune 1er Cru Clos des Mouches (Blanc) 2019 94-95 points
This terroir has great capacity to withstand heat, meaning this 2019 managed impressive balance with flint, lime and citrus perfume supported by a hint of vanilla and complementary reduction. The palate is focused with a salty, bright intensity.
Joseph Drouhin, Montrachet Grand Cru 2019 97 points
This grand cru is matured in 50% lightly toasted new oak, which cannot yet be detected as wine is still shy with aromas of citrus and orchard fruit complemented by minerals. In the mouth, the wine is more expressive, mixing ripe apples, pears, nectarines, peach skin, cinnamon and toasty vanilla. It dances on your palate, delivering multi-dimensional depth and a long savoury finish.
Joseph Drouhin, Beaune 1er Cru Clos de Mouches (Rouge) 2019 92 points
Here we have a complex perfume of beetroots in balsamic vinegar balanced by blueberries, raspberries and spiced red cherry. The fine, ripe tannins set up a lively finish.
Joseph Drouhin, Chambolle - Musigny 1er Cru 2019 94-95 points
This blend of five of the finest Chambolle Musigny premier cru vineyards - Fuées, Combottes, Les Hauts-Doix, Les Borniques, Aux Combottes – is floral and intense. Aromas of sour cherries, fresh flowers, and intense soil notes create a luxurious savoury, silky finish.
Joseph Drouhin, Vosne - Romanée 1er Cru Petit Monts 2019 95 points
This Petit Monts gives a pure aroma of violets, raspberries, red cherries and blueberries alongside classic Vosne spice. The long finish harmonises refreshing minerality and a creamy mouthfeel.
Joseph Drouhin, Clos Vougeot Grand Cru 2019 94-95 points
Dark cherries and spiced plum aromas are enhanced by lifted floral notes. The wine’s lovely precision and dense texture leads to a spicy, invigorating finish.
Joseph Drouhin, Chambertin Clos de Bèze Grand Cru 2019 96-97 points
This begins with earthy, leafy notes alongside some spice and red currant aromas. A mineral freshness follows with a wonderful savoury, silky mouthfeel. Overall, it’s the great flavour delivery and tactile texture that standout in this Clos de Bèze.
Joseph Drouhin, Musigny Grand Cru 2019 97-98 points
This one is a real treat! A bright ruby colour gives off aromas of violets, red cherries, raspberries, flowers and earthy spices. The palate has a weightless intensity with a mix of sweet and savoury freshness supported by the gravelly minerality. Simply a fantastic wine with great ageing potential for three or four decades.