Grape Variety :
Site: a famous vineyard, recognized as one of the best Premier Crus of Beaune, Grèves is at mid-slope, at the northern end of the appellation. Joseph Drouhin owns a large parcel on a steep slope dominating the city of Beaune.
History & tradition: the name is derived from "graviers", small pebbles or gravel found on the soil of the vineyard. The Romans had already recognized the potential of the hillside overlooking Beaune and planted vines there. Some of the vineyards were separated by small walls and paths which are still extant today.
Soil: small rocks mixed with brown earth.
Drouhin estate: 0,81 ha. (2 acres).
Average age of the vines: 24 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.
Joseph Drouhin seeks total control of the process of extraction; extraction gives colour and substance to a wine but should never be detrimental to its finesse and typical character.
"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
"A great wine, one of the most representative of Beaune, the capital of Burgundy. Intense and bright red colour. The nose displays aromas of red currant with some spicy notes. With age and in some vintages, the aromas become even more marked by spicy and smoky touches, such as tobacco. On the palate, the tannins are refined and create a seductive harmony. In the aftertaste there is a marked flavour of "crème de cassis" (cream of black currant) and delicate touches of wood".
Temperature: 16°C (61-62°F).
Cellaring: 8 to 20 years.