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 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 Cote de Beaune, Echezaux to Clos de Vougeot in the Cote de Nuits, the domains produce a wide spectrum from Laforat 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 Cote 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.
This site is located in the north of the Cote de Nuits, Gevrey-Chambertin is world-famous, not only for its superlative Grand Crus, but also for all its other vineyards. On the south part of the village, the Clos Prieur is close to Mazis-Chambertin.
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 neighbours. The wine he made turned out to be spectacular - and the rest is history!
The "Clos Prieur" belonged to the Prieurs de Cluny who used to live in the old castle of Gevrey.
The soil is fairly deep and compact marly earth.
Plantation density is 10,000 vinestocks/ha in order to extract as much as possible from the terroir and limit the production of each vine stock.
Grapes are pruned in the Guyot system with a yield of 40 hl/ha - purposely low, in order for the grapes to reveal every nuance of the terroir.
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 is aged 14-18 months in French Oak barrels (20% in new oak).
Joseph Drouhin insists on total control of the weathering of the oak for a period of 3 years, one of the contributing elements to the elegance of the wine.
Throughout the ageing process, decisions are taken only after careful tasting evaluation, barrel by barrel. The data obtained is then completed through technical analysis. As with every other Joseph Drouhin wine, absolute priority is given to the true expression of terroir and character of the vintage.
The wine shows a beautiful deep garnet colour. The nose exudes intense scents of candied black fruits. On the palate, aromas of Morello cherry mingle with hints of vanilla, and the soft tannins offer a nice silky texture. Very long aftertaste.