Grape Variety :
Site: this very small vineyard (less than 3 hectares- 7.5 acres), in the shape of a square, is completely surrounded by the other Grand Crus of Gevrey (Chambertin, etc). A remarkable wine is produced here.
History & tradition: the name "Griotte" may recall the Morello cherry (a sort of wild or sour cherry used in cooking or preserves), which is part of the aromas often found in the nose of this wine. But in fact, "Griotte" comes from "Criots" (as in Criots-Batard-Montrachet) which has the same origin as the word "craie" (chalk in French). An interesting case where etymology sheds light on the geology!
Soil: chalky and thin with some brown-red coloration.
Drouhin estate: 0,52 ha. (1.3 acre).
Average of the vines: 27 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.
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
"Tasting Griotte-Chambertin is always cause for reflexion: the aromas are complex and subtle, with hints of cherry liqueur, preserved cherry, fine leather, nutmeg. When the wine matures, there are hints of truffle and venison. The flavours are also arresting in their own way and the tannins, although present, are never aggressive or coarse. Long and persistent on the palate, with a glorious aftertaste".
Temperature: 16-18°C (61-65°F).
Cellaring: 5 to 30 years.