Founded in 1880 by the then 22 year old Joseph Drouhin, this famous Burgundy Negociant is still family owned. Of the current, fourth generation, Veronique Drouhin is the wine-maker, Laurent is the brand ambassador in the USA, Philippe is in charge of the vineyards, whilst Frederic “conducts the orchestra”. Maison Joseph Drouhin owns extensive parcels throughout the region and in Chablis (see Drouhin-Vaudon page) extending to 73 hectares, including the world-renowned Clos des Mouches, one of the earliest purchases made by Joseph. From Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche through to Meursault and to Corton Charlemagne in the Côte de Beaune, Echezaux to Clos de Vougeot in the Côte de Nuits, the domaines produce a wide spectrum from Laforêt Bourgogne Blanc and Rouge to Grands Crus in Musigny and Chambertin.
Drouhin’s foremost concern is to express the exact character of each terroir. Since 1993 they have worked their vineyards to organic and biodynamic principles, “bringing natural answers to natural problems”. Vine stocks are grown in their own nursery to preserve their genetic heritage and control quality, and vineyards are ploughed by horse with treatments based on herb infusions and the use of natural predators instead of synthetic products. Planting is dense and yields deliberately kept low.
Vinification is traditional using indigenous yeasts and as little technical interference as possible, varied according to the needs of each terroir. Ageing takes account of the origin of each wine: stainless steel vats to enhance fruit and freshness in Chablis and Mâconnais, oak barrels to develop complexity and finesse in Côte d’Or. New oak barrels are made from oak trees individually selected by Drouhin which are then weathered for three years so that all coarse tannins can be eliminated. Their use, and the time the wine spends in them, are determined by the appellation and the vintage.
The progress of every wine is meticulously monitored and recorded at every stage; Drouhin were one of the first houses in Burgundy to apply bar codes to the barrels to ensure total traceability and every cork is stamped with Joseph Drouhin, the appellation and the vintage, in order to guarantee the authenticity of the wine.
Site: at the heart of the Côte de Nuits, the town of Nuits has its own Hospices, world-renowned vineyards and, of course, ancient traditions.
The Premier Cru Damodes is located in the north part of the Nuits-Saint-Georges vineyard, above the “Boudots”, near Vosne-Romanée, with an east exposure.
History & tradition: the name “Nuits” may come from “noyer” (walnut tree), a not very frequent tree in this region. As a matter of fact, the hillsides in Burgundy were covered with oak trees at the time the Romans arrived.
“Damodes” might evoke a divine feminine trinity protecting earthly fruit.
Soil: on clay mixed with limestone pebbles, this area produces wines of great finesse.
Plantation density: 10,000 vinestocks/ha in order to extract as much as possible from the terroir and limit the production of each vine stock.
Yield: 40 hl/ha – purposely low, in order for the grapes to reveal every nuance of the terroir.
Grape Supply: grapes and wines provided by regular supply partners.
– maceration and vinification take 2 to 3 weeks
– indigenous yeasts
– maceration and fermentation temperatures under total control.
Joseph Drouhin seeks total control of the process of extraction; extraction gives colour and substance but should
never be detrimental to the finesse and typical character of the wine.
Type: in barrels (20% in new oak)
Length: 14 to 18 months
Origin of the wood: French oak forests
Weathering of the wood: Joseph Drouhin insists on total control of the weathering for a period of 3 years, one of the contributing elements to the elegance of the wine.
Throughout the ageing process, decisions are taken only after careful tasting evaluation, barrel by barrel. The data obtained is then completed through technical analysis. As with every other Joseph Drouhin wine, absolute priority is given to the true expression of terroir and character of the vintage.
TASTING NOTE by Véronique Boss-Drouhin
The Nuits-Saint-Georges Damodes displays a beautiful deep dark ruby colour and aromas of red fruit and spices. It is generous ont the palate, evolving towards smooth tannins.
Very good ageing potential”.
Beautiful crop. The reds are colourful, structured and very expressive aromatically. The balance between alcohol and acidity is satisfactory.
Temperature: 16°C (61-62°F).
Cellaring: 5 to 25 years.