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Domaine Drouhin-Laroze Chambertin-Clos De Bèze Grand Cru 2017

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This is another sensational offering from the domaine. The vineyard was planted soon after the end of World War 2 and is now in maturity offering terrific fruit from which to craft superb wines albeit in minute quantity. The bouquet is really intense with red and black fruits dominant and the palate is crafted to offer precision and length. A truly superb wine from this elegant vintage. It will drink soon (now 2020) but it will develop over the coming 15 years and then hold for about the same length of time. 

  • Country: France
  • Region: Burgundy
  • Subregion: Côte De Nuits, Chambertin-Clos De Bèze
  • Vintage: 2017
  • Colour: Red
  • Grape Variety: Pinot Noir
  • ABV: 12.5%
  • Bottle Size: 75cl
  • Closure: Natural cork
  • Style: A sensational Burgundy
  • Drink With: Only the greatest of friends

Although vines were first planted here as early as 630AD by the monks of the Bèze abbey, Drouhin-Laroze's 1.5 hectares of Chambertin-Clos De Bèze was planted in 1949. In his book "Le Vin De Bourgogne" of 1920, Camille Rodier noted that Chambertin-Clos De Bèze contained all of the qualities of great Burgundy. It's nice to see that some things never change.

About the grower

Domaine Drouhin Laroze is based in Gevrey-Chambertin where it has holdings in many of the best Premier and Grand Cru vineyards including Clos Vougeot, Musigny and Bonnes Mares. It is an old estate, begun in 1850 when Jean-Baptiste Laroze established a vineyard in Gevrey. He was succeeded by his son, Félix. The Drouhin side of the name was added in 1919, when Alexandre Drouhin (who owned vineyards in Chambolle Musigny) married Suzanne Laroze, Félix's daughter. Phillipe Drouhin Laroze is the present owner and winemaker, although he is in the process of handing over the running of the estate to his children Caroline and Nicolas, the sixth generation of their family to take the reins.

Each successive generation continued to develop the estate by investing in hillside vineyards, which was a visionary and risky choice one hundred years ago. At the time, those vineyards were already very expensive and not very productive. The bet paid off and today, thanks to the sacrifices and risk-taking of the previous generations, the 11.5 hectare property is one of the most prestigious in terms of diversity, quality and the surface area of its prestigious appellations.

The use of chemical fertilisers is avoided wherever possible, yields are limited even in prolific years, and wine-making techniques which retain the maximum fruit quality are employed. All of the Grand Cru wines are matured in a high percentage of new oak barrels, whilst the rest of the wines are a minimum of 50% new oak. Wines are not filtered or fined before bottling, leaving them as fully and as finely flavoured as possible. Drouhin Laroze boasts 46% of its vineyard holdings as grand cru, an enormous percentage given the size of their vineyard portfolio. I'd never seen a wall of Bonnes Mares barrels stacked two high before, and I was quite overcome on my first visit to the cellar!