I was brought up to appreciate burgundy wine based on the fine expressions of Joseph Drouhin since the 1970s. The company has only been focussed on the wines of Burgundy and haven’t dabbled in other regions. I’d call Beaujolais part of Burgundy, and their venture in Oregon is based on Pinot Noir, so you could extend their reach to include these quite comfortably. They’ve stood the test of time and challengers who have made bigger, stronger, oakier wines that make more of a statement, but the beauty and the delicacy of the Drouhin wines – both red and white has remained true. They always express the appellation and terroir of site. And I love them for their stylishness.
The 2012 whites from Burgundy will be rare and should be of very high quality. An extreme growing season meant low yields and concentration. The Drouhin wines have this concentration, but keep their elegance and finesse. The 2012 Joseph Drouhin Meursault has a sweetness, roundness and creaminess, with ripe citrus fruits, butter, toast and a hint of flint. The 2012 Joseph Drouhin Puligny-Montrachet has intensity, white florals and stonefruits, a noticeable struck-match complexity and linearity. Both have a touch of malo, in the former adding richness, in the ltter adding flavour nuance. It’s most likely the winemaking was identical, so what you see is indeed terroir, and the classical expression of appellation character. And they sit above their station as village or commune wines. These were treats and bargains.