Beaune ChampimontsPremier Cru
Grape Variety :
Site: at mid-slope, on the hillside above the city of Beaune.
History & tradition: the name "Beaune" comes from "Belen", the Celtic god, and "Belena" the river that crosses the city. Some of the vineyards, surrounded by small walls and paths still extant today, were already cultivated at the time of the Gallo-Romans. A document dating from the beginning of the 19th Century mentions a place-name called "champs de M. Pimonts" (the fields of Mr. Pimonts).
Soil: clay and limestone.
Drouhin estate: 0,30 ha. (0.75 acre).
Average age of the vines: 11 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 of the grapes: in the vineyard and at the cuverie (winery) if necessary.
"Pigeage" (punching down of the cap during fermentation): once a day until half of fermentation is done; one pumping over (remontage) per day till the end of the fermentation.
Pressing: separation of free run juice from pressed juice.
Type: in barrels (20% in new oak).
Length: 14 to 18 months.
Origin of the wood: French oak forests (Tronçay in particular).
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 .
Follow-up: barrel by barrel.
Fining ("collage", to clarify the wine): light, after careful tasting.
Throughout the ageing process, decisions are taken only after careful tasting evaluation, barrel by barrel. 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
"An elegant and seductive wine. Intense ruby colour. On the nose, aromas of small red berries such as raspberry or red currant. With age, the aromas acquire hints of clove and a slightly smoky note. On the palate, the tannins are elegant and supple; there is a harmonious balance between acidity and texture. Flavours linger a long time in the aftertaste".
As every year we sorted the grapes at once to select the most beautiful bunches that were to be kept in whole clusters and to remove berries that could present a lack of maturity. The sanitary state was very satisfactory with almost no rot. Very quickly at the beginning of the fermentations the colours were released and gradually the varietal character of Pinot Noir was expressed. We favoured this aromatic expression to look for balanced wines without too much power. The tannins are nicely melted, the acidity levels from normal to low. The fermentations and macerations lasted about 3 weeks. In the course of the winter, the malolactic fermentations were triggered and proceeded sometimes rather quickly. The Côte de Beaune, in particular the Clos des Mouches, has very nice wines with a good concentration.
Temperature: 16°C (61-62°F).
Cellaring: 8 to 15 years.