Jospeh Drouhin, Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru 2011, Burgundy

Drunk@home December 2015

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The wine

This Joseph Drouhin wine is made from Pinot Noir at the heart of the famous Chambolle-Musigny vineyard, with an East exposure. The name of the village Chambolle is probably derived from the Celtic "cambola", already reputed for its vineyards in Gallo-Roman times and cultivated by the monks in the Middle Ages.  

Drouhin owns several Premier Cru parcels in the appellation and since they are too small, these vineyards (Noirots, Hauts Doix, Borniques, Plantes, Combottes) are harvested and vinified together.  The total area is 1.3 ha. (3.25 acres) with average age of the vines of 32 years.The name given to this wine is therefore Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru (since the components of this "cuvée" are all Premier Crus). The vineyards have been organic since 1990 and more recently use biodynamic cultivation techniques so only authorised products for biological cultivation are used: infusions and macerations of plant materials, sulfur and copper, powdered rock. Natural predators are not eliminated.

Yields are kept low, around 20% less than allowed by the current law. Harvesting is by hand, in small open crates in order to preserve the integrity of the fruit. Maceration and vinification take 2 to 3 weeks using indigenous yeasts
"Pigeage" (punching down of the cap during fermentation): once a day until half of fermentation is done; one pumping over (remontage) per day until the end of the fermentation.

The wine was aged in French Oak barrels (20% in new oak) for 14 to 18 months and the finished bottle can be cellared for 8-25 years.

Fermented Grape tasting notes

Burgundy's 2011 vintage was pretty poor quality rot, storms, hail and changeable temperatures.  Compared with the excellent 2010 vintage, Pinot Noir quality was variable and careful selection by producer is key. 

Fortunately this Jospeh Drouhin, Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru 2011 was very good. The nose was strong with cherry and the forest floor which continued on the palate with plum, black cherry and spice with fine tannins and a nice level of acidity.  Fruit, acidity, tannin were finely balanced and with a light style. Expensive but this was top Burgundy and shows the quality of the Chambolle-Musigny area with its highly fragranced wines. 

Chambolle Musigny 2009, Domaine Drouhin Laroze, Burgundy, France

Drunk JivaHill Resort, Crozet, France, August 2015 


The winery


Five generations have been running the Domaine Drouhin Laroze for 163 years, Caroline and Nicolas, Christine and Philippe's children represent the sixth.

In 1850, Jean-Baptiste LAROZE started a vineyard operation in Gevrey Chambertin. He was later succeeded by Félix LAROZE.  In 1919, Suzanne, the daughter of Félix, married Alexandre DROUHIN, who owned vines in Chambolle Musigny and the estate was henceforth called Drouhin-Laroze. 

Philippe and Christine Drouhin

Philippe and Christine Drouhin

The wine

The name Chambolle comes from the French word describing the aspect of the foaming Grône stream in the wake of storm showers. Original name: "Campus Ebullien"  (bubbling field).

Vine variety: Pinot Noir
Surface area: 95 hectares
Altitude: 250 to 350 m
Soil: Limestone lightened by gravel and numerous pebbles.
Exposure: Facing East, South-East

This village appellation is obtained from two lieux-dits: Les Baudes in Premier Cru appellation directly below Bonnes Mares - surface area 0.18 hectares - and Les Véroilles in Villages appellation situated immediately above Bonnes Mares - surface area 0.04 hectares. These two parcels were planted in 2000 and 1981 respectively.

The Chambolle-Musigny is matured in 20% new oak barrels and barrels previously used for one wine made from wood from the Allier and Nivernais regions (favour light to medium-plus toasts).

Budburst: April 15, Flowering: May 4, Harvest: September 10

 With the exception of January, 2009 was a hot year. The rest of the year had higher-than-normal average monthly temperatures. As for rainfall, the months of June and July saw heavily excessive average monthly precipitation compared with normal departmental values, while August was very dry. The year was partly sunny, except in July.

Budburst was rapid, with dates close to those of 2005. Flowering occurred during two periods: A first, rapid spell with dates similar to those of 2003, a second spell, delayed by a drop in temperatures.

The weather in the spring and early summer was, as in these last years, an obstacle to the peace of mind of the vine grower, who had to follow phytosanitary risks very closely. The grapes were well formed and shiny, with all the right factors in place for an excellent vintage.

July's repeated and   substantial rainstorms bloated the grape bunches, giving rise to concern over the development of Botrytis. Fortunately, the hot dry weather in August and September put a stop to this and concentrated the structure of the grape bunches. This favourable weather produced early véraison and excellent ripening.

The harvest began on September 10, as planned. It was both abundant and of excellent quality; natural degrees were more than satisfactory. It was green light for the birth of an exceptional vintage. 

FermentedGrape.comTasting notes

2009 was a class Burgundy vintage and this Chambolle-Musigny expresses this feminine style, elegant wine, perfectly . Nice ruby colour in glass. Strong oakey and fruity aromas with a silky smoothness on the palate. The classic flavours of Pinot Noir with raspberry and cherry, great balance with refreshing acidity with lovely earthy, forest floor notes and a liquorice finish. Despite being a villages, this really was excellent.