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Red Burgundy - 2017 - Clos de Beze - Drouhin Joseph

  • Region: Red Burgundy
  • Producer: Drouhin Joseph
  • Vintage: 2017
  • Rating: 94
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Tasting Notes

Maison Joseph Drouhin
Chambertin-Clos de Bèze
Grand Cru Red barrel
Score: 91-94
Tasted: Apr 10, 2019
Drink: 2025+
Issue: 74
Note: 40% whole clusters
Producer note: As is usually the case, I met with Véronique Drouhin who noted that the 2017 growing season "was much less eventful than its 2016 counterpart though this is not to say that we didn't have some drama, mostly from a late April frost scare. And instead of the heavy mildew pressure we endured last year, we did have a significant attack of bud eating caterpillars that cost us some yield. While it's hard to estimate with precision, it was probably around 10% of the potential crop. [Known in Burgundy as mange bourgeons or literally, bud eaters.] Otherwise the season was clement and calm and the healthy yields were able to ripen without difficulty. Despite this the véraison was extended and this made harvesting tricky as each parcel had to be picked precisely when it was perfectly ripe. Thankfully the weather conditions in early September were ideal and just as importantly they held all the way to the end of what was an extended harvest for us. The fruit was super-clean and notably ripe with better volumes in red than white. We used a bit more whole clusters than usual because as I noted the fruit was clean and ripe with good phenolic maturities. One aspect of the 2017s that is worthy of note is how much they changed before and after the malos and I thought that they really improved. Moreover, the malos did not unduly degrade the acidities so there is good freshness and energy to the wines. For us at Drouhin, 2017 produced classically styled reds that are good to very good but I would describe the whites as genuinely great." I agree with Drouhin in terms of her description of the 2017s and overall I found the quality here to be impressive and particularly so among the big houses. (Dreyfus, Ashby & Co., www.dreyfusashby.com, NY, USA; Pol Roger Ltd., www.polroger.co.uk, UK).
Tasting note: While not quite as aromatically complex as the GE, it's close as this also features a panoply of spice elements along with exceptionally fresh and dense red currant, violet and plum aromas. Interestingly the mouth feel of the middle weight flavors is super-fine, indeed almost lilting and delicate, with a relatively pliant if sneaky long finish. This is lovely if a bit atypical.