Grape Variety :
Site: Bâtard Montrachet straddles Puligny and Chassagne. It lies right below the famous Montrachet vineyard. Bâtard is one of the greatest white wines of the Côte de Beaune.
History & tradition: according to the often told story, the lord of Puligny in the Middle Ages divided his estate between his children: the eldest was the "chevalier" (knight), the daughters were the "pucelles" (young virgins) and the son born out of wedlock was the "bâtard".
Soil: located on a mild slope, the soil is a brownish limestone mixed with gravel. The secret of this exceptional terroir comes from the unique interaction between the deep layers of limestone and the roots of the vines.
Drouhin estate: 0.1ha. (0.25 acre).
Average age of the vines: 69 years
Biological cultivation since 1990; biodynamic cultivation a few years later.
Vine stocks: "sélection massale" (propagation of new vine stocks from a number of selected vines) done at the Drouhin nursery; also clones of recognized quality.
Soil maintenance: compost of manure and white wood, sometimes guano (seabird manure used as fertilizer). Soil is ploughed either by tractor or by horse to manage spreading of weeds.
Treatment: only authorized products for biological cultivation are used: infusions and macerations of plant materials, sulfur and copper, powdered rock. Natural predators are not eliminated.
Plantation density: from 10,000 to 12,500 stocks/ha in order to extract all possible nuances from the terroir and limit the production of each vine stock.
Yield: we aim to keep our yields low, more in line with the previous regulation, around 20% less than allowed by the current law.
Supply: grapes and wine purchased from regular suppliers.
Harvesting: by hand, in small open crates in order to preserve the integrity of the fruit.
Sorting: if necessary, the grapes are sorted twice, once when being picked, the second time on the sorting table at the winery.
Pressing: very slow so as to respect fruit. Juices from the very last pressings are not retained.
The wine goes directly into barrels after "débourbage" (decanting of white wine to reduce sediment).
Type: in barrels (25% in new oak).
Length: 12 to 15 months.
Origin of the wood: French oak forests.
Weathering of the wood: Joseph Drouhin insists on total control of the weathering for a period of 3 years, one of the contributing elements to the elegance of the wine.
Throughout the ageing process, decisions are taken only after careful tasting evaluation. The data obtained is then completed through technical analysis. As with every other Joseph Drouhin wine, absolute priority is given to the true expression of terroir and character of the vintage.
Tasting note by Véronique Boss-Drouhin
"Tasting a wine of this stature is always cause for emotion. The golden colour has bright reflections. After some aeration, the aromas reveal their rich intensity: grilled bread, almond, honey, exotic wood...What is striking is the structure of the wine, its "monumental" grandeur. There is even a touch of tannin that provides an added dimension. A voluptuous finale, seemingly without end, with precious notes of preserved and ripe fruit.".
The wines from the Côte d'Or had excellent levels of maturity, good sugar/acid balance and a satisfactory health status. The potential degrees were normal to high. We took advantage of the excellent state of the grapes to use indigenous yeasts during alcoholic fermentations. They lasted about 3 weeks during which we practiced light "batonnage” (lees stirring). The oak ageing is very soft, the lees are of good quality and the ageing will continue in good conditions.
Temperature: 13°C (55°F).
Cellaring: 8 to 25 years.