Maison Joseph Drouhin is one of Burgundy’s most venerable estates. It was founded in 1880 by Joseph Drouhin, who bought a 100-year old negociant business and began acquiring parcels in such legendary appellations as Clos des Mouches and Clos de Vougeot. By the mid-20th century the 148-acre estate was being run by Robert Drouhin, who continued to acquire vineyards and improve the quality of the wine. (Robert also purchased 100 acres in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, where his daughter makes Oregon Pinot Noirs under the Domaine Drouhin label.) The maison makes Grand Cru, Premier Cru and villages wines in Chablis, Cote de Nuits, Cote de Beaune, Cote Chalonnaise, Maconnais and Beaujolais. Noted Burgundy expert Clive Coates has called the maison “one of the most perfectionist” of the Burgundy producers, and Robert M. Parker Jr. notes that Drouhin’s wines “are among the very best of the modern style of red and white Burgundies.”
Les Epenots, also known as Les Petits Epenots, is a 38-acre Premier Cru vineyard in Pommard, in Burgundy’s Cote de Beaune. It is in the central part of the Pommard appellation, to the east of the village. There is a gentle slope to the vineyards in this part of Pommard, and the Burgundy expert Clive Coates notes that “the presence of pebbles in the soil ensures good drainage and contributes to the considerable elegance which you find in a good Epenots…” Because Pommard has no Grand Crus, its Premier Crus are especially noteworthy. Pommard is an appellation of red wine only.
This red wine is relatively light and can pair with a wide variety of foods. The grape prefers cooler climates and the wine is most often associated with Burgundy, Champagne and the U.S. west coast. Regional differences make it nearly as fickle as it is flexible.