Joseph Drouhin Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche 2006
Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
The 1986 vintage of this wine was ranked #10 on the Wine Spectator's Top 10 Wines of 1988
"An authentic masterpiece! This wine should be regarded as the yardstick by which all other Burgundies should be judged. The color has a splendid golden sheen. On the nose, a multitude of aromas are a pleasure to discover: floral notes of lily of the valley, peach blossom, exotic fruit, honey, grilled almonds, even exotic woods at times. On the palate, the structure is dominated by a harmonious roundness which never imparts any heaviness. The aftertaste is exceptionally long and enhances the finesse of the whole. A glorious symphony of sensations!"
This world-famous estate belongs to one of the oldest and most aristocratic French families: the Marquis de Laguiche. Out of the 14 different owners, the Marquis de Laguiche family is propriétaire of the largest portion of Le Montrachet, entirely located in Puligny (according to many authorities, the better side). It has been in their hands since 1363.
It is ironical that the hillside of Montrachet, producing Burgundy's most prestigious white wine (and in some say the world's most complex), should look so unprepossessing. The etymology of the place-name is actually instructive : the word rachet refers to a poor type of soil where only scrawny bushes can grow. It is therefore on this "poor, hard, infertile" soil, which geologists call Bathonian limestone, that the Chardonnay grape develops this unique "terroir" character.
Montrachet is full bodied and luscious, yet elegant. It is only after a few years in bottle that it will develop its famous complexity and richness. Nose and aftertaste are reminiscent of exotic fruit, honey, liquorice, grilled almond and many other flavours which wine lovers over the years have attempted to analyse. But it is perhaps a musical word which can best describe this glorious wine: a symphony of sensations.
Burghound.com - "As good and refined as several of the foregoing wines are, this is the clear class of the cellar with moderate wood notes framing a fresh, intense and airy nose that sports impressive aromatic breadth while merging into exceptionally rich and intense full-bodied flavors that possess seemingly buckets of dry extract which gives the finish a textured and naturally sweet character. A wine of power yet excellent energy and focus and this too is both quite primary and youthfully austere at present. A potentially great Drouhin Montrachet. 94-96"
The Wine Advocate - "The 2006 Montrachet Marquies de Laguiche (about to be bottled when I tasted it) is predictably richer and creamier than the other wines in Drouhin’s 2006 collection, but also more penetrating, vibrant, and thought-provoking. White peach, nut oils, bittersweet hyacinth and iris floral notes, along with hints of wet stone and bitter notes of fruit pit that compliment its sense of sweet ripeness, make for an exceptionally complex and harmonious whole, whose layering reflects the eight surgical passes over this vineyard that constituted its 2006 harvest. Even here, there is a relatively obvious toasty, spicy note of oak, but it is well-integrated into the long, enveloping finish. No doubt this will evolve fascinatingly over the coming decade."
International Wine Cellar - "Reticent, pure aromas of stone fruits, crushed rock, minerals and violet, plus a whiff of dried fruits. Large-scaled, rich and sweet, with lovely inner-mouth floral character lifting the flavor of perfectly ripe peach. A thick, broad, wonderfully harmonious wine with very well-judged oak (one-third new) for its fruit. The long, perfumed finish throws off notes of minerals and spices. This was bottled in April of 2008, whereas the previous wines were all bottled last fall. 93(+?) points"
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Maison 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 Maison 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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