Founded in 1880 by the then 22-year-old Joseph Drouhin, this famous Burgundy Negociant is still family owned. Of the current, fourth generation, Veronique Drouhin is the wine-maker, Laurent is the brand ambassador in the USA, Philippe is in charge of the vineyards, whilst Frederic “conducts the orchestra". Maison Joseph Drouhin owns extensive parcels throughout the region and in Chablis (see Drouhin-Vaudon page) extending to 73 hectares, including the world-renowned Clos des Mouches, one of the earliest purchases made by joseph. From Montrachet Marquis de laguiche through Meursault to Corton Charlemagne in the Côte de Beaune, Echezaux to Clos de Vougeot in the Côte de Nuits, the domains produce a wide spectrum from Laforêt Bourgogne Blanc and Rouge to grands Crus in Musigny and Chambertin.
Drouhin's foremost concern is to express the exact character of each terroir. Since 1993 they have worked their vineyards to organic and bio-dynamic principles, “bringing natural answers to natural problems". Vine stocks are grown in their own nursery to preserve their genetic heritage and control quality, and vineyards are ploughed by horse with treatments based on herb infusions and the use of natural predators instead of synthetic products. Planting is dense and yields deliberately kept low.
Vinification is traditional using indigenous yeasts and as little technical interference as possible, varied according to the needs of each terroir. Ageing takes account of the origin of each wine: stainless steel vats to enhance fruit and freshness in Chablis and Maconnais, oak barrels to develop complexity and finesse in Côte D'Or. New oak barrels are made from oak trees individually selected by Drouhin which are then weathered for three years so that all coarse tannins can be eliminated. Their use and the time the wine spends in them are determined by the appellation and the vintage.
The progress of every wine is meticulously monitored and recorded at every stage: Drouhin were one of the first houses in Burgundy to apply bar codes on the barrels to ensure total traceability and every cork is stamped Joseph Drouhin, the appellation and the vintage, in order to guarantee the authenticity of the wine.
Site: located in the north of the Côte de Nuits, Gevrey-Chambertin is world-famous, not only for its superlative Grand Crus, but also for all its other vineyards.
History & tradition: Gevrey is of course the village where the Grand Cru vineyard Chambertin is located. Vines have been cultivated here since 630AD, when a certain Bertin decided to emulate the monks, his neighbors. The wine he made turned out to be spectacular - and the rest is history!
Soil: lean and chalky, with a red-brown cover layer of clayey marl.
Maceration and vinification take 2 to 3 weeks using indigenous yeasts. Maceration and fermentation temperatures under total control.
Joseph Drouhin seeks total control of the process of extraction; extraction gives colour and substance but should never be detrimental to the finesse and typical character of the wine.
The wine was aged for 14- 18 months in French Oak barrels (20% new oak)
Gevrey-Chambertin is a wine with a beautiful, bright ruby colour. Intensely fruity on the nose, the aromas are reminiscent of black cherry, wild blackberry and liquorice. The woody character is subtle and marries delicately with the other aromas. As the wine evolves, there are more complex notes, such as mild spice, nutmeg and leather. Later still, mushroom and damp earth nuances make their appearance. Although present on the palate, tannin is never astringent but blends itself harmoniously with the natural freshness and "gras" (velvety texture) of the wine. The same aromas encountered earlier on the nose are found again in the finish.