Founded in 1880 by the then 22-year-old Joseph Drouhin, this famous Burgundy Negociant is still family owned. Of the current, fourth generation, Veronique Drouhin is the wine-maker, Laurent is the brand ambassador in the USA, Philippe is in charge of the vineyards, whilst Frederic “conducts the orchestra”. Maison Joseph Drouhin owns extensive parcels throughout the region and in Chablis (see Drouhin-Vaudon page) extending to 73 hectares, including the world-renowned Clos des Mouches, one of the earliest purchases made by joseph. From Montrachet Marquis de laguiche through Meursault to Corton Charlemagne in the Côte de Beaune, Echezaux to Clos de Vougeot in the Côte de Nuits, the domains produce a wide spectrum from Laforêt Bourgogne Blanc and Rouge to grands Crus in Musigny and Chambertin.
Drouhin’s foremost concern is to express the exact character of each terroir. Since 1993 they have worked their vineyards to organic and biodynamic principles, “bringing natural answers to natural problems”. Vine stocks are grown in their own nursery to preserve their genetic heritage and control quality, and vineyards are ploughed by horse with treatments based on herb infusions and the use of natural predators instead of synthetic products. Planting is dense and yields deliberately kept low.
Vinification is traditional using indigenous yeasts and as little technical interference as possible, varied according to the needs of each terroir. Ageing takes account of the origin of each wine: stainless steel vats to enhance fruit and freshness in Chablis and Mâconnais, oak barrels to develop complexity and finesse in Côte d’Or. New oak barrels are made from oak trees individually selected by Drouhin which are then weathered for three years so that all coarse tannins can be eliminated. Their use and the time the wine spends in them are determined by the appellation and the vintage.
The progress of every wine is meticulously monitored and recorded at every stage: Drouhin were one of the first houses in Burgundy to apply bar codes on the barrels to ensure total traceability and every cork is stamped Joseph Drouhin, the appellation and the vintage, in order to guarantee the authenticity of the wine.
The vineyards are close to the village of Chablis, on the south west side. It is one of the seven Premier Crus due to its excellent exposure and kimmeridge soil concentration, giving it the easily recognizable character of Chablis. The Kimmeridgian limestone contains millions of tiny marine fossils embedded in a kind of whitish mortar which may have been once the bottom of the sea...hundreds of million years ago. This marine origin gives the wines of Chablis their unique flavour.
Harvesting is done by hand. Pressing is done very slowly so as to respect the fruit. Juices from the last pressings are not retained. Ageing takes place in oak barrel (0% new wood) for 12 months. The origin of the wood is from French oak forests. 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.
A dry and brisk wine, typical of Chablis. Brilliant yellow-green colour with green reflections. On the nose mineral and complex aromas are reminiscent of lemon and white flower, together with vegetal hints such as asparagus or artichoke and marine notes. On the palate, the first impression is clear-cut and sharp. Long on the aftertaste, with fruity as well as mineral flavours; becomes slightly honey-scented when the wine is more evolved
- Additional Information
Name Joseph Drouhin Chablis 1er Cru Vaillions Country France Region Chablis ABV% 12.5% Vintage 2017 Grape Variety 100% Chardonnay Size 750ml Dietary Information Organic, Biodynamic