Joseph Drouhin, Clos de Vougeot 750ml 2012France, Burgundy
Producer note: I tasted this visit with Véronique Drouhin who noted that 2012 was "one of the smallest vintages we have ever seen in the modern era as some of our parcels yielded even less than they did in 2003. For example we realized between 6 to 8 hl/ha in Clos des Mouches, which is obviously pretty dramatic. We had every problem imaginable except for botrytis. Yields were generally better in the Côte de Nuits than the Côte de Beaune as there wasn't any hail. Better though does not mean generous as the problems of poor flowering, mildew, oidium and sunburned fruit affected the entire Côte. The good news is that good weather in the second half of August and September allowed the little fruit that was left to ripen to perfection as sugars were good and the acidities correct. Plus the heat wave thickened the skins to the point that we had excellent solid to juice ratios. We used vibrating sorting tables that were especially effective at removing dried berries that resulted either from being affected by hail or sunburn. Given that the fruit was clean and ripe we didn't change much in terms of the vinifications. With only a few exceptions we used a small percentage of whole clusters, which is to say between 15 and 20%. One change that we did do was to allow for a slightly longer post-fermentation maceration because we felt that we hadn't obtained everything that the fruit had to offer. The malos were quite long but that's fine as the wines really seemed to improve during the élevage in the sense that they really fleshed out. The ability to allow them to do that while being protected by the carbon dioxide was a good thing. I like the 2012s a lot, particularly in the Côte de Nuits." I agree with Drouhin's take as the domaine's wines in the Côte de Nuits are generally excellent while those from the Côte de Beaune are good to sometimes very good but clearly not outstanding. Within the Côte de Nuits, with the exception of a good but not great Clos de Bèze, I found the best wines came from Gevrey and Chambolle and a good value play is the Rully as it offers fine quality within the context of its appellation. I indicated which wines were destemmed and as Drouhin noted in her comments, the other wines saw from 10 to 20% whole clusters. Lastly the Corton-Bressandes, Grands Echézeaux and the Bonnes Mares were not presented for evaluation. (Dreyfus, Ashby & Co., www.dreyfusashby.com, NY, NY; Pol Roger Ltd., www.polroger.co.uk, UK).
Tasting note: A discreet but not invisible application of wood highlights markedly earthy aromas of both red and dark berries, sauvage hints and underbrush. There is good verve to the delicious, intense and broad-shouldered flavors that possess very solid density as well as plenty of dry extract that does a fine job of buffering the very firm tannic spine on the impressively long finish. This would not be a good candidate for early drinking as the finish is classic Clos de Vougeot with its youthful austerity.- Allen Meadows
|Drink To||Long-term cellar|
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AG: Antonio Galloni of Vinous.com | AM: Allen Meadows of Burghound.com | CE: Christian Eedes of Winemag.co.za | DEC: Decanter | GS: Greg Sherwood MW | JR: JancisRobinson.com | JD: Jeb Dunnuck | NM: Neal Martin of Vinous.com OM: Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show | PG: Platter's Guide | ST: Stephen Tanzer of Vinous.com | TA: Tim Atkin MW | VIN: Vinous.com | WA: Wine Advocate | WE: Wine Enthusiast | WM: Winemag.co.za Report | WS: Wine Spectator