Joseph Drouhin Clos des Mouches Premier Cru Blanc 2006
Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
Admirably situated on a hill between Pommard and Beaune, with a direct southern exposure, Clos des Mouches is one of the most famous Premier Cru vineyards of Beaune. The name "Clos des Mouches" probably goes back to the beginning of the Middle-Ages (around 1550) because of its slopes facing South/South-East: a very favourable place for keeping bees. The word "Mouches" (Flies) was actually the local name for bees. As bee keepers started to set up their bee-hives, the area became known as "Clos des Mouches" (i.e. the Enclosure of the Honey Bees).
After the destruction of the Burgundy vineyards due to the phylloxera epidemic of 1875-1880, Clos des Mouches was entirely replanted with Pinot Noir. Having fortunately come across some ancient documents which revealed that the vineyard had previously produced an excellent white wine, Maurice Drouhin, in 1921, began replanting with some Chardonnay. The result was of exceptional quality. To-day, there is an almost equal balance between white and red.
Some of the stocks he planted are still alive to-day. They constitute a precious genetic pool, especially when grafted onto superior root-stocks. They are not vigorous and produce tiny berries with a thick skin. The density of plantation is high and the yield is low.
Soil doesn't change much in the Clos. Lighter and stony at the top, coloured with broken stones at the bottom, with a good variety of chalky marls bringing complexity. Once harvested, the white grapes are crushed in a pneumatic press. The juice obtained is then fermented in oak barrels for a year during which the malolactic fermentation will take place.
Clos des Mouches white is a generous wine combining the body of Corton Charlemagne and the elegance of Montrachet. Its hue is bright, limpid, and pale golden. It has an elegantly perfumed nose of smoky citrus with tinges of vanilla. On the palate, the aromas are reminiscent of honey, almond, lemon and, as the wine gets older, grilled almonds.
It is best served at 12°C (53F) and is perfect with fish or white meat in sauce. It needs at least two years in bottle to fully develop and can last 8 to 12 years.
"Pale lemon; persistant, light, lemon-zest and oak-scent nose; well balanced, supple, fruity middleweight; ripely juicy, moderate complexity, stylish..."
-The World of Fine Wine
Wine Enthusiast - "As rich and opulent as its red wine pair, this is ripe and soft, a swirl of velvet tempered by citrus and sweet and fresh acidity. The toast of the wood is only just evident, its presence felt as much as tasted. Despite its richness, it does remain wedded to Burgundy, as evidenced by the tight, steely finish. "
International Wine Cellar - "Musky, reduced aromas of flint, almond and ginger, plus an element of exotic fruits. Fat, sweet and layered, with a riper fruit quality, stronger spiciness and less obvious minerality than the 2005 version. A very ripe, supple style, finishing with strong stone fruit flavors. The underlying stony quality of the vineyard emerges on the back end, but without bringing any austerity. 90-92"
The Wine Advocate - "Honey, bees wax, peach, grapefruit, diverse flowers, and chalk dust in the nose of Drouhin’s white 2006 Beaune Clos des Mouches usher in a palate of striking delicacy, poise, and refinement for the vintage, yet for all that flatteringly creamy in texture and quite capable of supporting and complimenting a significant element of new oak, which shows up as toast and vanilla. There is an underlying sense of almost stony firmness that seems to be typical for this site, even in such a rich vintage. This wine should benefit from at least 6-8 years of bottle maturation. The 2005 is similarly promising, though less charming today."
Wine Spectator - "High-toned oak aromas segue into a tightly wound, lemon- and hazelnut-flavored white. This has density, but needs time to balance the bracing structure. Best from 2010 through 2016. 600 cases imported."
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Joseph Drouhin Winery
Since 1880, Maison Joseph Drouhin has built a reputation for wines that primarily reflect their individual terroir and vintage. Faithfully preserving the individuality of each appellation, the Drouhin firm constantly strives for wines of breed, finesse and elegance.
A balance of tradition and modern techniques characterizes Joseph Drouhin winemaking and vineyard management: on site nursery, plowing, leaf removal, 100% hand harvesting, open fermenters, fermenting and aging in oak.
As a result of its historic location deep in the heart of Beaune, the quality of its vineyards and the expertise resulting from years of experience in the cultivation of vines and traditional vinification, Maison Joseph Drouhin is uniquely placed to uphold authentic Burgundian style.
Starting with Joseph Drouhin, who founded Maison Joseph Drouhin over a century ago, a great estate has evolved with important holdings in Côte de Beaune, Côte de Nuits, Chablis and, most recently, Oregon.
MAISON JOSEPH DROUHIN AWARDED ORGANIC CERTIFICATION Estate-grown Grapes of 2009 Vintage and later Now Officially Organic. Twenty years after Philippe Drouhin first began introducing organic practices to the vineyards making up the family company’s domaine (estate), Maison Joseph Drouhin (MJD), has been awarded organic certification for all grapes grown within its vineyards beginning with the 2009 vintage. View all Joseph Drouhin Wines
About BurgundyView a map of Burgundy wineries
Burgundy is a small region, only about a fourth the size of Bordeaux. The narrow thread of vineyard land stretches from the city of Dijon to Lyon. The five main districts of Burgundy are – from North to South - Chablis, Côte d'Or, Côte Chalonnaise, Maconnais, and Beaujolais. Chablis is far removed geographically (above Dijon) and adheres to its own classifications. Beaujolais is its own region due to grape variety, vinification methods and regulations. Leaving us with the Côte d'Or, Côte Chalonnaise and Maconnais as the heart of Burgundy.
Grapes of the region are easy to remember - Pinot Noir for reds, Chardonnay for whites. Burgundy can be called home for both varietals, despite their increasing presence in every winemaking country. In this area red wines out number whites, although the quality for both is unparalleled.
A bit of History...Once owned and run by the church and nobility, the vineyards of Burgundy were seized during French Revolution and sold off piece by piece. Further separation occurred with Napoleonic Law, which ordered that inherited land be divided among children equally. These two factors put Burgundy where it is today – a myriad of vineyards and villages, each with a number of growers and producers.
NégociantsBurgundy is organized by plots of land and labeled as such. About half of Burgundy works on a négociant system. Growers of small plots sell grapes, or more often, barrels of already made wine, to négociant houses who then blend it with other wines from that region and put it under their label. While the négociant system may sound like a way to produce mass amounts of anonymous wines, that is, luckily, not the case. Wines are labeled with a sense of place, so you know what land you are getting. There are some négociant houses that are much more renowned and consistent than others, and for the most part, the system works. But times are changing. Some growers are purchasing more land and making the wine on their property, under their label, for more consistency. On the other side, négociant houses are buying up their own vineyards so they will have more control over winemaking.
Classification SystemThe classification system is similar to a pyramid. At the base of the pyramid is the most basic of the classifications, the Burgundy AC, meaning grapes can come from anywhere in the Burgundy region. Next up is a village wine, such as Côte de Beaune or Côte de Nuits, or the villages within these regions, like Givery-Chambertin or Puligny-Montrachet. The label will say Appellation Puligny-Montrachet Controlée. At the next level is the premier cru. A wine that says Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru will still be Appellation Puligny-Montrachet [premier cru] Controllée, but may include the premier cru vineyard name, such as Les Pucelles. At the tip of the pyramid are the grand cru vineyards. There are only 30 in the Côte d'Or and the name of the vineyard is the appellation name.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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