Had a very casual lunch with Laurent Drouhin today at Rye Grill & Bar, which used to be my next door neighbor at our old store. Happy to report that “heart attack” (petit filet sandwich) is back to being more than Petit. I did not have it, but I convinced Laurent to give it a whirl.
Anyways, Joseph Drouhin is now 100% organic, FYI. All of their Domaine wines are 100% effective 2009 vintage, although most of it was already.
They are changing the packaging on their Chablis lineup effective 2008 vintage. They are separating it from the Joseph Drouhin labels, since everyone assumes they are a negoc Chablis producer, while 90% of their Chablis production in Estate Bottled!
2008 vintage in Chablis is the best of this decade (better than 2004, Laurent says).
2008 reds are great according to Laurent, Veronique and their father. The other 2 brothers (Philip and Patrick, I think) are not as enthusiastic.
If you have ever met Laurent, you would know that he is a very honest business man that pulls no punches. I never take anything he says with a grain of salt, because I have never had to.
FYI, it was a casual lunch, so I had a soda, he had iced tea.
I heard something about the ever popular “prevailing winds”. Lord knows I’m crossing my fingers since it’s my son’s birth year. Hoping to go check out the goods for myself. When I was there in March and July, the weather was suspect. I hear that the norm for March though. July was wet and windy.
While I haven’t tasted many 2008’s the ones that I did taste were at the Hospice de Beaune. Now, don’t get me wrong, these wines are/were very young when I tasted them. The whites should be extremely nice…if not great, so I do not disagree with Laurent there…but as for the reds, there were some spotty ones to be had at the tasting. I’ll have to go back and look at my notes…but there were some wines that I was not impressed with.
My take on 08 is that it will be, like 07, good for whites (hard to say if it will be good as 07, which appears to be shaping up nicely, but it produce nice wines across the board it seems). For reds, I think it will be a bit spottier than 07. A bit tougher year and some people feel they made better wines, some worse. I think the better 08s look to be more concentrated and structured than the better 07s, but the worse ones will have more problems.
So far, for me, the take away has been that those producers with estate holdings who do a good job in the vineyard should have made nice wines in both 07 and 08, reds and whites.
My understanding through the top domaines that in the Cotes Nuits is that those that cropped back did very well, but made tiny amounts of wine. No word on CdB. Hoping the whites are good, that would be 5 good years in a row, 7 if you like the 2003s.
Dan - I think you mean Frédéric instead of Patrick?
My experience with the family is that they are all top notch and completely honest, even if they don’t all agree among themselves (which is good – no party line).
In addition to organic, a substantial portion of the estate wines are biodynamic.
Re: 2008, based on what I picked up last fall in Burgundy when tasting 2007s and in many cases retasting 2006s, 2008 meshes with what Josh says – generally outstanding whites, variable reds depending on whether you did the work in the vineyard. We’ll see when I taste after the malos are finished. Hard to believe that the picking of 2009s will begin as soon as a month from now, and I’ll be over to taste the 2008s and retaste 2007s in 2-1/2 months.