Drouhin-Laroze

I have to admit, I don’t own much. I was there last week, very nice people. Had a lovely tasting and lunch, and was served a bottle of '06 Chambertin Beze. Wow, a surprise, really nice, good bottle of Beze, very ‘correct’ and tasty. Was it a Rousseau, no. But was it very good? Yes.
I checked Burghound notes for more recent vintages, they get good marks for '05, '09, '10 and even '11. So, what’s the story there? Did they have a turnover of winemaker a while back, or has the style just shifted over time?
I think at the prices that this estate commands, very reasonable prices IMHO, these are wines to seek out? Sub $150 for Chambertin CDB, Sub $125 for Bonnes Mares, and Sub $100 for the other grand cru wines based on CT? Only the small amt of Moose is priced ‘high’.

We’ve done the lunch there as well. I find the wines a bit oaky and “modern” but agree that they are excellent values. They are nice people too.
I think quality is constantly improving.

Hey Scott,
I didn’t find much of the '99-'02 Perrot Minot, say, in the '06 Beze that I had there, or the barrel samples. While not ‘old school, 100% stems and old barrels’ Burg, I’m wondering if there wasn’t some kind of regime shift here over the last 5-10 years that I just missed? Such good value given the vineyards…

We’re heading to Burgundy next June (we hope). Maybe it’s time for a re-visit

Keep reporting–we’re JEALOUS!

I’ve visited and had lunch there a couple of times. Charming people with eye-opening grand cru vineyard holdings.
The wines seem early maturing and good, and certainly fine value for money.
Heck, I even bought a bottle of their marc de Bourgogne!

Alex R.

peter - thanks for the report. eager to hear others’ opinions as i own a bunch of 2005s (haven’t tasted any)

Peter:

I’m not aware of any regime change, although Philippe’s son Nicolas did start working with his father a few years ago – I’m not exactly sure when. According to Meadows there’s been a noticeable improvement in the quality since 2005. Jasper Morris noticed it too. Prior to 2005, except for the occasional Musigny (e.g. 1999), I wasn’t impressed, even with the grand crus. I considered Drouhin-Laroze a C-level producer. But after tasting a very impressive 2005 Beze I bought a half dozen of them and a few Bonnes Mares. I have to admit that I was skeptical about the better scores from Mr. Meadows after 2005, which I thought was likely attributable to the fact that his average scores relative to Tanzer had jumped between one and two points in 2005 and thereafter stayed higher relative to Tanzer. But a recent bottle of 2010 Drouhin-Laroze Beze was extremely impressive too.

Meadows says they’ve dialed back the oak on the premier crus and don’t over extract. But the grand crus are still 100% new oak; they’re probably only medium toast barrels but that’s not clear.

Like Don, I considered them a C-level producer but haven’t checked back in recently and don’t plan to. I’ve got too many other producers I really like.

My last experience was their CdBeze 1988.

Thanks - Don. They are priced very reasonable in Quebec, Canada. Good news for me… [cheers.gif]

Hey, in the Land of Burg, where a good bottle of ‘Beze’ from Rousseau or Leroy can set you back $1000 or more, finding a good producer where you can pay $125 or so for good vintages is a rare gem…

I have had a couple really good bottles of 2006 1er.
Don’t remember which ones, and not really sure why I didn’t buy more.
But if I was browsing a shop and saw them, I would buy especially at their price point.

I will be tasting there at the end of September. We will “promenade through the most ancient cellars of Beaune followed by a tasting of 6 emblematic wines”.

Anyone know what I can expect? Any suggestions to improve on this visit?

…speaking of Droughin.

I thought the '08s that we had at the domaine were excellent, especially the Latricieres (though the Beze had a bit of rot). I’ve had a couple of others of recent vintages that I thought were quite good as well.

Thanks for the tip. Just got all of them… [cheers.gif]


'08s that we had at the domaine were excellent, especially the Latricieres

I have had some marvellous old bottles from here, in particular half a dozen magnums of Clos De Beze 76 whose demise I still regret.

It seems Drouhin-Laroze are still tarred with this old brush of over-oaking their wines, yet a stream of posters’ reports in the last few years have generally been very positive. A recent World of Fine Wine tasting covering either 2009 (or 2010?) red Burgundy placed the D-L Bonnes Mares and the C de Beze among the top 20 wines of the vintage (in a very wide sample). I think Jasper Morris was among the reviewers.

I have had a few from 2005 that I enjoyed, Recently bought a 6 pack of 2010 Bonnes Mares, after popping one I went back from another 2 dozen, the oak was there but the fruit stood up to it and handled it so well, a great wine in the making, I have a 09 Chambertin/CdB on my desk to pop over the next few days, keep digging Peter! MT

I’ve tasted only a few '08 and '09 D-L wines, and I found them good but not superlative. Nevertheless, the prices on the '08 D-L were so good that I couldn’t resist picking up some CdB for $80 or something.

Their website provides very good vintage reports with dates of bud break, floraison, veraison, and harvest, although they don’t specify from what vineyard the data is taken.