According to winemaker Jerome Faure-Brac, there was tremendous variability in maturity by parcel in 2016, owing to frost, mildew and grillure. Joseph Drouhin started harvesting on the Cote de Beaune on September 19 with their Meursault Perrieres, “but mostly started two or three days later” and finished some reds on the Cote de Nuits as late as October 11. There was some blockage of maturity for Chardonnay but not for Pinot Noir, he told me. And losses to frost also ranged widely. For example, the estate’s Beaune Clos des Mouches, which has been hit hard by extreme weather events in recent years, was barely touched by frost in ’16 and enjoyed what Faure-Brac described as “a normal maturation. ” The estate did more manual picking in 2016, as it would have been very difficult to pick mildewed parcels by machine. “It’s vintage of sacrifice,” he summed up, referring to the careful selection that was required to make good, balanced wines. Potential alcohol levels in the 2016 grapes ranged from 11. 8% up to 13% or even a bit higher, according to Faure-Brac, who noted that some of the wines are very ripe owing to the summer heat. “Some cuvees are fresher than others,” he told me. “In general, the ‘16s had higher acidity at the beginning than the ‘15s, but more of it was malic and thus there was an important drop in acidity during the malolactic fermentations even if the pHs are healthy. ” Faure-Brac finds the 2016 whites “pretty classic,” but noted that some of the ’16 reds are showing a dip in the middle palate.
Site: this very small vineyard (less than 3 hectares- 7. 5 acres), in the shape of a square, is completely surrounded by the other Grand Crus of Gevrey (Chambertin, etc). A remarkable wine is produced here. History & tradition: the name ”Griotte” may recall the Morello cherry (a sort of wild or sour cherry used in cooking or preserves), which is part of the aromas often found in the nose of this wine. But in fact, ”Griotte” comes from ”Criots” (as in Criots-Batard-Montrachet) which has the same origin as the word ”craie” (chalk in French). An interesting case where etymology sheds light on the geology! Soil: chalky and thin with some brown-red coloration.
The most refined cuisine is of course a must with Griotte-Chambertin: the highest grade of prime meat, the finest sauces and the ripest cheeses. The age of the wine is, of course, a determining factor: more subtle dishes are preferred with an older wine, for instance, eight-to-fifteen years of age.
In 1880, Joseph Drouhin, who was from the Chablis region originally, chose the city of Beaune to found the business that bears his name. Over the years and with each generation, the vineyard estate grew. At the same time, the founder’s passionate search for excellence and knowledge was handed down like a family heirloom; Maison Joseph Drouhin continues to ensure this valuable family heritage. Dedication to the diversity of Burgundy has always been the sole focus and vocation of Maison Joseph Drouhin, as vineyards - mostly premier and grand crus - were acquired in all major areas. Out of firm conviction, Drouhin has adopted a biological and biodynamic approach to viticulture. Listening to nature: from vine to glass, at every step in the elaboration of the wine, a profound respect and deference to nature prevails. From its very beginning, Maison Joseph Drouhin has aimed for an ideal of perfection and elegance. The style of Joseph Drouhin combines balance, harmony and character, providing infinite pleasure. Thanks to its open-minded world view, Joseph Drouhin introduces the best of Burgundy to all continents. Its active presence in many countries is the surest proof of its desire to get acquainted and understand other cultures and styles of living.