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 pretty village of Savigny-les-Beaune is nestled in a small valley north of Beaune. The Clos des Godeaux vineyard is favoured with an ideal south exposure. It is located at an altitude of 360m (1180 feet), next to the Clos des Laviéres Premier Cru. It draws photographers from various parts of the world, attracted by the superb Burgundian « cabotte » (hut). Soil: marl and limestone from the Bathonian age; light soil with a reddish coloration, strewn with sharp stones.
Harvesting: by hand, in small open crates in order to preserve the integrity of the fruit.Sorting of the grapes: in the vineyard and at the cuverie (winery) if necessary. Maceration and vinification take 2 to 3 weeks using indigenous yeasts. Maceration and fermentation temperatures under total control. Ageing takes place in barrels (20% in new oak) for 14 to 18 months. Origin of the wood: French oak forests (Troncay in particular). 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.
Supple and feminine wine with a ruby colour. Elegant nose of small red berries and flowers possibly suggesting roses and spices. On the palate, the wine offers a ravishing and subtle intensity of blackcurrant and raspberry aromas lingering on spicy notes. The mouth remains supple, the silky tannins contributing to its delicate finesse.