Beaune Clos des MouchesPremier Cru
Grape Variety :
Site: at the southern end of the Beaune appellation, next to Pommard. The Drouhin vineyard is at mid-slope, on a mild incline with an east/south east exposure. It is the largest parcel of the Clos des Mouches (14 hectares - 35 acres), one half planted with chardonnay, the other with pinot noir.
History & tradition: the name "mouches" means flies. There were once bee-hives in this sun-drenched "clos" (vineyard enclosure); the bees in the local dialect were called "mouches à miel" (honey flies), hence the name Clos des Mouches. It is one of the first vineyards acquired by Maurice Drouhin (the founder's son) in the 1920's. With great determination, he bought 41 different parcels from 8 proprietors. It is planted out in equal quantities of red and white grapes and both wines have achieved mythical status for the House of Joseph Drouhin.
Soil: clay and limestone. Rocky soil in the upper part of the vineyard. At the center, the soil is limestone and marl. This light composition favours the great finesse of the wine.
Domaine area: 6.82 ha. (17.05 acres).
Average age of the vines: 45 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.
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 the terroir and character of the vintage.
Tasting note by Véronique Boss-Drouhin
"An outstanding wine. Pale yellow colour. Complex floral nose of white lilac and white rose. Once open, fruity aromas come to the fore, evolving towards grilled hazelnut and almond. When the wine is more mature, the nose is surprisingly strong and fifteen minutes of aeration produce wonderful notes of white truffle, citron (cedrat), honey and nutmeg, elegantly meshed together. Very lively on the palate. Its rich texture is in evidence, but also its structure and minerality. It is round, but never heavy. Harmonious fullness in the aftertaste. This wine allies remarkably the complexity and elegance of a Bâtard-Montrachet with the power of a Corton-Charlemagne".
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: 14°C (57°C).
Cellaring: 5 to 30 years.