Beaune Clos des Mouches blanc 2009
An outstanding wine
Grape variety: Chardonnay
Located at the southern end of the Beaune appellation, next to Pommard, the Drouhin vineyard is at mid-slope, on a mild incline with an east/south east exposure. It is the largest parcel of the Clos des Mouches (14 hectares - 35 acres), one half is planted with chardonnay, the other with pinot noir.
The name "mouches" means flies. There were once bee-hives in this sun-drenched "clos" (vineyard enclosure); the bees in the local dialect were called "mouches à miel" (honey flies), hence the name Clos des Mouches.
It is one of the first vineyards acquired by Maurice Drouhin (the founder's son) in the 1920's. With great determination, he bought 41 different parcels from 8 owners. It is planted out in equal quantities of red and white grapes and both wines have achieved mythical status for the Maison Joseph Drouhin.
Soil: clay and limestone. Rocky soil in the upper part of the vineyard. At the centre, the soil is composed of limestone and marl. This light composition favours the great finesse of the wine.
Domaine area: 6.82 ha. (17.05 acres).
Average age of the vines: 45 years.
Vinification and ageing:
Harvesting by hand, in small open crates in order to preserve the integrity of the fruit.
If necessary, the grapes are sorted twice : once when being picked, the second time on the sorting table at the winery.
The grapes are pressed very slowly so as to respect fruit. Juices from the very last pressings are not retained.
The wine goes directly into barrels after débourbage (decanting of white wine to reduce sediment).
The wine ages in barrels (25% in new oak) for 12 to 15 months. The barrels are made from oak trees individually picked in the best French oak forests.
Joseph Drouhin insists on total control over 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 evaluation by careful tasting. The data obtained is then completed by technical analysis. As with every other Joseph Drouhin wine, absolute priority is given to the true expression of the terroir and character of the vintage.
Tasting notes by Véronique Boss-Drouhin
"An outstanding wine. Pale yellow colour. Complex floral nose of white lilac and white rose. Once open, fruity aromas come to the fore, evolving towards grilled hazelnut and almond. When the wine is more mature, the Beaune Clos des Mouches 2009 Premier Cru nose is surprisingly strong and fifteen minutes of aeration produce wonderful notes of white truffle, citron (cedrat), honey and nutmeg, elegantly meshed together. Very lively on the palate. Its rich texture is in evidence, but also its structure and minerality. It is round, but never heavy. Harmonious fullness in the aftertaste. This wine allies remarkably the complexity and elegance of a Bâtard-Montrachet with the power of a Corton-Charlemagne".
The winter of 2008/2009 lingered in Burgundy. The temperature only started rising during the first two weeks of March. Spring moved in for good at the beginning of April and the weather at that time became unseasonably warm. The amount of rain was normal.
With such mild conditions prevailing, bud break spread to all the vineyards. In the space of four days, there were green shoots all over Burgundy.
The recorded dates of this bud break are in many ways identical to 2005, on the whole 10 days earlier than for 2008. At the end of April, you could count up to four or five fully developed leaves on the vines.
In May, the growth was slowed down by some light rain and a cooler temperature, but by the middle of the month, the weather had turned warmer and sunnier than usual. The vines then grew at a faster pace, with 2 to 4 new leaves unfolding every week.
Flowering occurred on May 21st in the Chardonnay areas as well as on a few Pinot Noir vines.
The dates for mid-flowering were May 28th for Chardonnay in Côte de Beaune, The setting of the berries ("nouaison") began during the first week of June. June and July were more humid than usual, with heavy rainfalls at times but of short duration. As a result, the growth of the vine was slowed down and "véraison" (turning of the colour) got under way only at the end of July. The summer, both hot and sunny, came in early August, providing ideal conditions for maturation which by August 24th was practically over.
The grapes were ripe, healthy and homogeneous, without any trace of rot. Picking began on September 7th in excellent conditions.
The wines are very aromatic with a lot of style and balance. They already show some sweet aromas which make them quite attractive in their youth.
2009 is showing its breed and will rightfully take its place among those vintages ending in "9" in the last century, as well as 2005, 1978, 1961...
Temperature: 14°C (57°F).
Cellaring: 5 to 30 years.