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.”
Pommard is a relatively large appellation of 1,655 vineyard acres just a few miles south of Beaune. Though it has no Grands Crus, Pommard’s 28 Premiers Crus are generally well regarded. The appellation produces only red wine, and wine writers often note that despite Pommard’s proximity to both Beaune and Volnay, its wines are very different from the Pinot Noirs produced in neighboring appellations. Robert M. Parker Jr. wrote that “The top Pommards are full-bodied, chunky, muscular, fleshy wines that impress one more for their power and expansive, mouth filling texture than for pure finesse.” The most famous Premiers Crus are Les Epenots and Les Rugiens.
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.