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.
The middle part of the Côte de Beaune is famous for its great wines. Puligny-Montrachet, as one of the villages of the Côte des Blancs, is one of these celebrated appellations. Clos de la Garenne is a small vineyard (1.5 ha - 3.75 acres) located on the upper reaches of the appellation.
Pressing of the grapes is done very slowly, so as to respect fruit. Juices from the very last pressings are not retained. No yeasts or enzymes are used. The wine goes directly into barrels after débourbage (decanting of white wine to reduce sediment). Ageing takes place in barrels (25% in new oak) for a period of 12 months. Origin of the wood: French oak forests. Weathering of the wood: Joseph Drouhin insists on total control of the weathering for a period of 3 years, one of the contributing elements to the elegance of the wine.
Great finesse and breed in this wine. The colour, barely golden, is brilliant. On the nose, refined aromas of hawthorn, fresh almond and apricot, evolving towards candied fruit, hazelnut and grilled dried fruit. On the palate, a beautiful structure harmonizing nicely with fresh and velvety sensations. Long aftertaste, especially in the flavours.