Grape Variety :
Site: the Grand Cru vineyard of Charmes is located below Chambertin, next to Griotte-Chambertin.
History & tradition: were there "charmes" (beech trees) growing here at one time? Or were people just referring to the characteristics of the wine? A 19th Century official document does mention the "untilled land of charmes"...
Soil: outcroppings of limestone with thin topsoil; rocky soil with some marl.
Plantation density: 10,000 vinestocks/ha in order to extract as much as possible from the terroir and limit the production of each vine stock.
Yield: 38 hl/ha - purposely low, in order for the grapes to reveal every nuance of the terroir.
Grape Supply: grapes and wines provided by regular supply partners.
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.
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 generous and distinctive wine, often superb. The colour is intense and bright. On the nose, the first impression that arises is that of cherry. Then, woody and fine spicy aromas appear, with an elegant hint of musk in some vintages. The flavours are extraordinary in their richness and harmony, neither too rough nor too heavy. The architecture of the wine is held up by fine and noble tannins, giving the body a silky texture (called "gras"). Acidity brings energy and liveliness to the whole. The aftertaste is a pure delight".
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.
Temperature: 16°C (61-62°F).
Cellaring: 5 to 20 years.