Volnay Clos des Chênes Premier Cru
Grape Variety :
Site: south of Beaune and Pommard, Joseph Drouhin owns this beautiful vineyard in the heart of Volnay.
History & tradition: the origin of the name is oak tree ("chêne" in French) and this area may have been planted with oak trees at some time. The Drouhin family has kept a close watch over this vineyard: some notebooks written by Robert's father and grandfather have been handed down to the present generation and contain a treasure trove of information on the vineyard itself and its history.
Soil: clay and limestone.
Domaine area: 0.25 ha. (0.6 acre).
Average age of the vines: 39 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.
Type: in barrels (20% in new oak)
Length: 14 to 18 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.
Follow-up: barrel by barrel.
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 wine full of charm. A beautiful, intense and luminous, ruby colour. A floral nose dominated by an aroma of violet, a signature of this wine. Other delicate notes can be detected, such as rose jam and wild strawberry (fraise des bois). Good structure on the palate, with refined tannins. Nice texture with floral and fruity flavours that seem to linger for a long time".
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 has very nice wines with a good concentration.
Temperature: 16°C (61-62°F).
Cellaring: 5 to 20 years.