It was a real treat to spend time with Laurent Drouhin of Maison Joseph Drouhin, the iconic name of Burgundy wines. My story on Palate Press has been up a couple of days with two videos but I had some left over material.

So here is Drouhin on a couple of additonal topics!

Grape Sense: You are in Indianapolis to pour your 2008 White Burgundy, Chablis, and Burgundy. Talk for a bit about the 2008 vintage.

Drouhin: It’s very exciting, there’s always something new. I have to tell you I tasted those wines in September out of barrels and then went back to Beaume in December and tasted a few out of barrels and a few from bottles. I was in New Orleans on Monday (Mar. 22), and I opened the bottles and tasted them and have been blown away by these wines. We have achieved a great, great, great thing with the 08s. First speaking about the Chablis, we’ve been producing wines out of our own vineyards for 40 yrs in Chablis. My father who is retired, but he still comes and likes to taste the wines; he’s still involved in that because that’s his passion, said ‘that’s the best vintage I’ve ever seen in 40 years.’ Coming from my father that is a big statement, he is very demanding.

Speaking about the whites and the reds Cote de Beaume, whites first, they have precision … very terrior driven, they have great fruit or very floral for some of the appelations … they are pure … but they might not have a tremendous complexity. I mean the different layers and fine flavors, a hint of this or a hint of that they do have, but they’re not that deep.

Reds, pretty much same thing, they’re very terrior driven. When you taste the entire line you can see the difference (between appellations).

What we have been able to achieve in 08s,I haven’t tasted many of my collegues’ wine from burgundy but I having tasted all of our wines, they’re pure and precise. They have great fruit, good intensity. They’re charming and approachable right now and it’s a great vintage to enjoy next few years.

Overall we are very very pleased with the quality and what we achieved. Are we at the top of the top, no but we’re not that far off.

Grape Sense: Anyone who has followed Grape Sense at all knows I love Oregon Pinot Noir. Drouhin bought property in Oregon in the 1980s and opened Domaine Drouhin. So they are producing world class Pinot in Oregon and France. I just had to ask Laurent this question …

Grape Sense: You moved to West Chester, New York four years ago from France. How Much time do you spend on the road promoting Joseph Drouhin wines?

Drouhin: I’d say 60 percent of my time I spend traveling around United States and Carribean. The rest of time in Beaume or working from New York. I do travel a lot and sometimes that’s a challenge. One of the main reasons I came to live in the U.S. four years ago is my daughter came to me and said, ‘Daddy, you’re always traveling and I miss you.’

So I said to my wife why don’t we all move to the United states, it might be an experience. She said it would be a great opportunity for the kids.

I’m in touch now with this market morethan ever. I talk to people, meet people, in contact with the market. I can go back and say this is what’s going on here or there. It’s great to have someone in the country.

I truly love being in the U.S. and been adopted so far and been treated very well. Hopefully I’ll be able to get more people to drink the Burgundy and Joseph Drouhin wines.

Photos by Drew Casey.

Send comment or questions to: hewitthoward@gmail.com

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