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
"The oldest property owned by the Drouhin family has produced a wine that is inititally withdrawn, showing its herbal, earthy character, before releasing an explosion of sweet berries, spice and irresistible freshness and acidity. The aftertaste is firm, and the fruit is very much in place."
"Shy, waxy aromas of stone fruit pit, anise and honey. Nearly oily flavors of lime peel, gravel and flint remain youthfully citric. Orange marmalade peeks out in the close, suggesting the richness of the wine to come."
The Wine News
"Bright and fruity, featuring spring blossom, citrus and apricot notes matched to a fleshy texture. Beautifully balanced and very appealing now, but should also age well. Best from 2008 through 2015. 600 cases imported."
"Intriguing, soil-inflected aromas of pear, grilled nuts, smoke and flint. Rich and tactile, with more obvious depth and sweeter fruit than the Chassagne villages Sweet flavors of pear, nut oil and clove are complicated by a liqueur-like note of amaretto. Finishes very long, with strong powdered stone and a hint of marzipan. Very distinctive, rich wine with the stuffing and balance to age slowly."
International Wine Cellar