Domaine Drouhin-Laroze Chambolle-Musigny (375ML half-bottle) 2017
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Barrel Sample: 89-92
Five generations have been running the Domaine for 163 years, Caroline and Nicolas, Christine and Philippe's children represent the sixth. In 1850, Jean-Baptiste Laroze started a vineyard operation in Gevrey Chambertin. He was later succeeded by Felix LarozeAROZE.
In 1919, Suzanne, the daughter of Félix, married Alexandre Drouhin, who owned vines in Chambolle Musigny and the estate was henceforth called Drouhin-Laroze. The Estate is currently run by Philippe and Christine Drouhin, assisted by their children Caroline and Nicolas.
Each successive generation continued to develop the Estate with the sole objective of investing in hillside vineyards, which was a visionary and risky choice. At the time, those vineyards were already very expensive and not very productive. The bet paid off and today, thanks to the sacrifices and risk-taking of the previous generations, the 11.50 hectare Estate is one of the most prestigious in terms of diversity, quality and the surface area of its appellations.
Chambolle-Musigny represents the charm of the Côte de Nuits district of Burgundy. But you’ll find that term mainly in reference to the vineyards in its southern stretches, which border Clos Vougeot: the Grand Cru of Le Musingy and in part, its neighboring and most exceptional Premier Cru, Les Amoureuses. Some producers argue for the primacy of Les Amoureuses and its eligibility for Grand Cru status given its wines can sometimes surpass other Grands Crus.
Le Musigny ranks on par with the most acclaimed Grands Crus for Pinot Noir: Romanée-Conti, La Tâche, Richebourg, Chambertin, and Chambertin-Clos de Bèze. It is also the only Grand Cru in Côte de Nuits for Chardonnay. All of the others are in Côte de Beaune.
This village can in fact claim only two Grands Crus vineyards and—in the context of breaking down the minutiae—they are markedly different. Bonnes-Mares, the other one at the far northern end above the village, bordering Morey-St-Denis, offers power, strength and great aging potential. But Chambolle-Musigny includes a nice handful of exceptional Premiers Crus, as noted above with Les Amoureuses as the finest. Le Fuees and Les Cras are other noteworthy Premiers Crus.
Overall, a top Chambolle-Musigny offers pure aromas of violets, dark cherry and damp earth, coupled with a velvety elegance, supple mid-palate, an abundance of black and red berry, and finesse and power through a long and fine-grained finish.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”