Any Canadian lover of the wines of Burgundy will recognize the name Joseph Drouhin. This family owned and operated business was amongst the first Burgundy houses to offer their wares in Canada.The previous generation of great family firms like Drouhin along with the likes of Bouchard Pere & Fils, Bouchard Aine and select others traveled to Canada in the early days of our liquor industry when international travel wasn’t nearly as accessible as it is now. They brought their knowledge, passion and of course their wonderful wines and spent hours upon hours meeting with Liquor Boards and agents in order to become the well-known names we take for granted now.
These days it’s more fashionable to quote the names of tiny growers and buy the wines of upstart negociants who are surely producing lovely wines, while we neglect the very pioneers who helped us to grow our knowledge and love of wine in general. What wine education would be complete without the wines of the Cotes d’Or? How would any of us know about these great wines if people like Robert Drouhin had not had the idea to sell their wine in Canada in the early 1950’s and continued to support this market through the years?
Yesterday I was privileged to attend a lunch with Laurent Drouhin (the next generatioin of Robert Drouhin) and taste some of the wines available in this market. I can tell you that no matter how many tastings, lunches or dinners I take in, I am entranced by the depth of passion, history and knowledge that is there for the taking. Yesterday was no exception. I did take notes but they are very brief because after all, it was lunch.
Roserock Chardonnay 2015 (Oregon) – Shimmering golden hue. Elegant nose of lemon, pineapple and pine sap. Warm and round yet bright and fresh with a mouth-watering tartness.
Chassagne Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche 2013 – Lush nose of sweet pea, sunshine and wet stone. Grippy citrus attack. Elegant long finish.
Fleurie Hospice de Belleville 2014 – Insanely wild cherry nose, plush and layered with a salty minerality. Lovely bright attack. Clean and pretty. Young and expressive.
Roserock Pinot Noir 2014 (Oregon) – Super pretty lightly sandalwood nose of fresh plum and wet clay. Dreamy. (Clearly I was too busy eating and drinking to make notes!) ❤
Gevrey Chambertin 2013 – Oh yes! Earthy nose of dirty blueberry pie. Chewy insistent attack and a long ever-changing finish. With the pairing of salty confit duck, out come wild cherry notes and a firm blackberry-sage expression. ❤
I hope that one day some of you will get to sit at a table with a member of the Drouhin family to taste even a few of the wines they have to offer and listen to the voice of history echoing in the room. If you do, please give it your full attention. You won’t be sorry.