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Food, Wine & Friends Page 240
Joseph Drouhin Wines & Some Vittles

 

 

 

The venue was San Francisco's Spruce restaurant and we gathered with some colleagues to taste a couple of vintages of various Burgundies of the Joseph Drouhin company.


Laurent Drouhin...

 


This feller had read something about "buttery Chardonnays," so he was apparently attempting to slather some on a piece of toast.

We began with a glass of a stellar 2011 vintage Drouhin Chablis.


Though this wine is viewed by experts as an entry level wine, don't be fooled into thinking it's not a wine of character or interest.
In fact the wine is a poster child for the Chablis appellation and if you want to experience a wine which connoisseurs describe as "stony" or having "minerality," this is a great bottle.

In our shop we have this bottle for $19.99 (March 2013) and it's a delight!

We then were asked to take a seat to commence a bit of kitchen artistry and enological savvy...


The Drouhin family has extensive holdings in virtually every nook and cranny of Burgundy.
Their wines are produced with an eye towards elegance and refinement.
You won't find the wines to be extremely leesy or the most lavishly oaked because that's not the style of wine Drouhin produces.
The house style is restrained and one of finesse.  They don't chase fashion and certainly are not making wines for the average point-scoring wine critic.
Instead the wines of this firm are intended to be accompaniments to food and this is where they can shine and shine brightly.

Two vintages of their Grand Cru Chablis from a 1.5 hectare parcel of Vaudésir.
The two wines were delightful and yet seemingly unrelated as the vintages produced wines of remarkably different character.
The 2009 was fairly woodsy at this juncture, while the 2010 had a shade more minerality and the most exotically fragrant quality...was that a note of papaya or guava or mango???




Someone suggested having Soup with Drouhin's wines...

...but we had a nice menu already planned.



Each sniff brings a different perspective as the wines warm and get some air...


"Oh my...!!"


Laurent Drouhin 
(who noted most people know him simply as "Veronique's brother").

Paired with the Grand Cru Chablis...

Next on display was Drouhin's Puligny-Montrachet from the Premier Cru site called Folatières.


Laurent mentioned his fondness (or lack thereof) for this Premier Cru site and its resultant wines...It's rare to hear a vintner speak quite so candidly about his products, but this was a refreshing as the wines!

 

At one point, then, Wilfred mentioned something about not being able to decide which vintage he preferred...So I put in my two-cents' worth:

...Suggesting that if he bought one, for a nickel more he could have the other, too.


A lovely little serving of Cavatelli with Ricotta with notes of Meyer Lemon and Hazelnut to dove-tail with the two Pulignys...

Then Wilfred showed Rebecca the score of the Giants' Spring Training game against the Seattle Mariners.

"Matt Cain is pitching and Brandon has Belted a home run that's nearly as long as the first Puligny."


Chambolle Musigny was next in the batter's box...
It's from a starting rotation of five premier cru sites, each fairly small, so they blend them together.


Roland Passot had his eye on some good wines and the great Hollis Nelson made some mental notes...
"It saves on paper." she commented.

The Chambolles were paired with Duck Confit.

Chambolle Musigny is a bit feathery and light, so these were not wines which are going to appeal to those looking for robust and potent New World reds...

And for a bit of contrast, Mademoiselle Nelson brought out some Beaune "Clos de Mouches."

"Being that Wilfred is such a die-hard Giants' fan, I figured he wouldn't mind shagging some flies this afternoon."
That's Our Hollis!

Rebecca shagged a few flies, too.

Wilfred and I hoisted a glass to toast the Giant's recent World Series Victory.


And next thing I knew, the two of them were texting their tasting notes and scores to each other...

"OMG!"

We were not quite finished yet.

We had a final treat in store, Hollis noted.


2009 and 2010 vintages of Drouhin's Montrachet...

Laurent spoke about the history of the Marquis de Laguiche and the Drouhin family's relationship to that family.  Their vineyard in Montrachet comes from the Puligny side of the appellation, rather than the Chassagne, and this parcel is the single largest holding within the 8 hectares of Le Montrachet.


Someone knocked over a glass of water into my lap.

"This isn't the first time I've wet myself at a Burgundy tasting." I mentioned.

Wilfred said "You're a real Marquis de la Pish."

Meanwhile, the two vintages of Montrachet were quite "Grand" indeed.
Unlike some of the other pairings, picking a favorite between these two vintages was like trying to pick between Mays and McCovey, the two great San Francisco Willies (apart from The Wongster)...

 

And we had more work to do on this lovely day, so we made tracks back to Burlingame!

Many thanks to Hollis Nelson for putting together such a lovely presentation of Burgundy.

And don't forget to stop by the shop for a bottle of that 2011 Drouhin Chablis.

 

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