The New Burghound - Issue 67

Maison Joseph Drouhin - 2015 whites
Allen Meadows

"I met this time with enologist and winemaker Jérôme Faure-Brac as well as Véronique Drouhin who collectively noted that the 2015 growing season "wasn't nearly as difficult as the prior seasons and particularly so with our parcels in the Côte de Beaune. You had to be really careful pruning the vines as the accumulated effects from three consecutive years of hail in the Côte de Beaune had made many of them quite fragile. We also had significantly different yields as they were normal in the Côte de Nuits but quite low in the Côte de Beaune. One of the really nice things about the vintage is how clean the fruit was and given that the harvest weather was so clement we could basically pick each parcel when we felt it was ready, a luxury that isn't always available. We were also super-vigilant about the pressing as we absolutely wanted to avoid the higher pHs that typically result from using the press juice. As such we vinified it separately and then, depending on the characteristics of the press wine, we incorporated it or, if we didn't like it, we sold it. We also did no lees stirring because it was clear from the beginning that the whites were going to be very rich. One of the interesting aspects of this vintage is how much the wines have changed over time as initially they seemed almost heavy and a bit flat at first but as the élevage progressed, they tightened up and actually became fresher and more focused. At that point we said that there was nothing further to be gained from keeping the wines in cask so we bottled the entire range between December 2016 and February 2017.” I found the quality of the Drouhin 2015 whites to be generally better than what I found on balance elsewhere".