In what was surely one of the final portfolio tastings in Beaune before the virus closed everything down, Burgundy expert LM Archer visited Maison Joseph Drouhin for a full portfolio tasting of the impressive 2018 vintage. In the company of Frédéric Drouin 10 whites and 11 reds were tasted showing an impressive array of terroir, deft winemaking skills, consistency of quality and surprising affordability.
2018 was not an easy vintage but the weather came good in the end – and the success of the final wines very much depended upon when the vigneron chose to pick the fruit.
Fine wine producer Maison Joseph Drouhin unveils 2018 vintage wines from prestige appellations in Burgundy.
In early March, Frédéric Drouhin of hosted a private tasting of 2018 vintage wines to a small group of wine journalists. Held in the family’s historic Beaune premises, the setting underscores the noble heritage of this wine region.
“The 2018 vintage proved warm and bountiful, after years of struggle,” noted Drouhin. The family claims fame as early adopters of biological and biodynamic farming, and early investors in Chablis during the 1960s.
Wines represented every quality level and region. Bourgogne blancs ranged from Chablis to Mâcon, Bourgogne rouges from the Côte d’Or. Overall, these Maison Joseph Drouhin 2018 wines show a deft touch, true-throated terroir, consistent quality… and surprising affordability. Some impressions of this comprehensive wine tasting below:
Bourgogne Blancs 2018
A cuvée of wines from Mâcon, northern Chablis, and Côte de Beaune. Stainless steel aged. Pale straw robe, balanced acids, tropical and citrus notes, refreshing, pleasant finish. Excellent quality-to-value.
Chablis Réserve de Vaudon 2018
Vines planted to Kimmeridgian soil with a cooler micro-climate in the Valley of Vauvillien. Pale lemon robe, light body, tense acids. Lemon zest attack, textured, mineral mid-palate, salty finish.
Chablis Premier Cru Mont de Milieu 2018
Steep, deep soils. Stainless steel aging. Pale lemon robe. Light body, pineapple nose. Acacia and lemon curd attack, orange peel mid-palate, elegant finish.
Chablis Grand Cru Vaudésir 2018
This unusual site’s large ampitheatre creates two major exposures; due south in the northern section, and southwest in the southern section. Aged in large casks (500 litre barrels), yielding richer wines with more depth and length. Pale lemon robe. White floral nose, light body, lengthy, discrete saline finish.
“Little brother” of Pouilly-Fuissé. Aged in 500 litre barrels. Pale lemon robe. Mineral nose, rich, ripe yellow fruit on the palate. “Vin gourmand” – this wine leaves one wanting more.
Pale golden robe. Sunny, yellow fruit aromas. Golden apple attack carries through to the finish. Solid structure, well-balanced.
Pale golden robe. An interesting juxtaposition of fine-boned finesse and ‘broad shoulders.’ White flower, baking spice and nutty aromas, perfectly poised acids and tannins, nuanced finish.
Pale lemon robe, hazelnut nose. A wine of tension, energy, and texture.
Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru Morgeot Marquis de Laguiche 2018
The aristocratic Burgundian family of Marquis de Laguiche dates back to 1393. Pale golden robe. A fragrant, woody nose. On the palate, hints of lemon and spice carry through to a redolent finish.
Beaune Premier Cru Clos des Mouches 2018
One of the first vineyards purchased by Maurice Drouhin in the 1920s, the name nods to the bees (mouches de miel, or ‘honey flies’) that still buzz about the former orchard. Pale lemon robe, white florals, toasty nut nose. A pleasant melange of lemon zest, white pepper, and truffle on the palate.
East-facing parcel. Pale golden robe. Aromatic citrus and honey nose. Light body, harmonious structure and balance, with notes of candied pineapple and white rose on the finish. Impressive tension and length.
Bourgogne Rouges 2018
Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2018
A cuvée of a dozen sites within Bourgogne’s allowable villages. Clear ruby robe. Floral rose nose. Light body. An elegant, energetic, fresh wine. Excellent quality-to-value.
Clear ruby robe. Violet, peony, licorice nose. Bright acids, supple tannins, rich body, fine finish.
Savigny-les-Beaune Clos des Godeaux (Monopole) 2018
Clear ruby robe. Rose, red fruit, spice nose. Light body, refined tannins, coquettish finish.
Côte de Beaune 2018
Clear ruby robe. Perfumed, raspberry nose. Superb structure and balance. Raffiné. Excellent value red blend.
Beaune Premier Cru Clos des Mouches 2018
Maison Joseph Drouhin begins and ends each harvest with Clos des Mouches. Biodiversity abounds in this vineyard planted to both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay – including bushes, fruit and cherry trees, contributing to the wine’s complexity. Deep ruby robe. 50% whole cluster contributes to the green pepper on the nose, with a hint of rose on the back note. Cerise, red berry notes carry through from attack to finish.
Clear ruby robe. Feminine nose, masculine palate. Dark fruit, mushroom, cinnamon notes, muscular body, brooding finish.
Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru 2018
Clear ruby robe. Floral nose. Elegant, cashmere-like tannins, soulful finish.
Vosne-Romanée Premier Cru Petits Monts 2018
Dark ruby robe. Floral, spice nose. Light body. A harmonious balance of acids and tannins, with an energetic finish.
Dark ruby robe. Dark cherry and floral nose. Light body, elegant structure, harmonious finish. A linear wine, not rounded.
Clos de Vougeot 2018
Dark ruby robe. Notes of spice, red fruit. Subtle, ethereal, lingering finish.
Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru Amoureuses 2018
The name refers to many bushes that once dotted the site, providing the perfect place to hide lovers. Clarion ruby robe. Notes of roses and cherry. Light body, balanced acids and tannins, and a haunting finish.
This tasting was made possible by the Bourgogne Wine Board and Maison Joseph Drouhin.
The wines of Joseph Drouin are imported into the UK by Pol Roger Portfolio.