I was fortunate that Maison Joseph Drouhin president and CEO Frédérick Drouhin could see me last Friday afternoon. It was the last appointment I confirmed. As I approached Drouhin's offices on the Rue d’Enfer, I anticipated tasting through a range of 2006s.
I thought Drouhin made an excellent lineup in 2005, capturing both the best of the vintage and individual terroirs, while retaining the elegant house style.
The 2006 vintage is now the second for Drouhin’s young enologist, Jêrome Faure-Brac, and it clearly looks like he is settling in well.
"It's a very seductive and aromatic vintage, with intensity of fruitiness, and our vinification tried to privilege this quality of fruit," explained Frédéric Drouhin. "It’s not as structured as 2005, so we preferred to emphasize the fruit by bottling early."
"Regarding the whites, the key that struck me was that in a couple of days, the situation changed dramatically. Within two days, the sugars soared and acids were dropping," he added, noting that for the first time in his experience, Chablis was harvested before the Côte d’Or.
All the wines had been bottled except the Montrachet. The following are some of my favorites from the tasting. Drouhin also noted that the crop is, on average, 10-15 percent less than a normal year.
The Chablis Les Clos dished up gorgeous aromas of lemon cake, mineral and a hint of the seashore on a ripe, complex frame (90-93). The Puligny-Montrachet stood out against its peers from Meursault and Chassagne, offering richness, refinement and a chalky minerality (88-91).
In the premiers crus, the Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatières was a step up, with an exotic nose of flowers, apricot and butter and a distinctive orange blossom note on the finish (89-92). Drouhin’s flagship Beaune Clos des Mouches white showed ample ripeness, along with apricot, white pepper and mineral notes (88-91). The Meursault Perrières was straight and tensile, showing lemon, flint and chalk flavors and a long finish (91-94).
Among the grands crus, the Corton-Charlemagne displayed baking spices on a full, rich profile, backed by a firm structure and mineral element (91-94). The Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche, from barrel, delivered a sumptuous nose of honey, apricot and citronella matched to a creamy texture. Overall, it was a very harmonious, balanced, complete wine (93-96)
Concerning the reds, Drouhin said, "Across the range, sorting was the key and to extract enough fruit but to have the right balance, so they are not too tannic and dry."
As good as the Beaune Grèves is, with its cherry note and austere personality (88-91), the Beaune Clos des Mouches offered more refinement, fine tannins, cherry, licorice and spice flavors (89-92). The Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru, from many small parcels vinified together, was accessible, silky and layered its floral and berry notes on the palate (88-91).
The Clos Vougeot was special, exhibiting a mix of red cherry, black currant and licorice that was concentrated, sweet and long (92-95). The Bonnes Mares had delicious fruit, like dark, sweet macerated cherry and plum, yet was firm and masculine with a mineral underpinning (91-94). The Musigny was very aromatic, sleek and stylish, showing floral, red berry and spice flavors, fine intensity and length (92-95).
Anacleto Ludovic — paris france — February 8, 2008 4:57pm ET
Jonathon Wagner — San Francisco, CA — March 19, 2008 1:07pm ET
Bruce Sanderson — New York — March 19, 2008 1:13pm ET
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