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.”
Corton is a Grand Cru vineyard for red wine within the Corton appellation. It is a long, slender, stony limestone site that wraps part way around the top slopes of Montagne de Corton, a hill that reaches to 1,150 feet. The 234-acre vineyard primarily faces south, west and east, and is sheltered by a windbreak of trees while also receiving excellent exposure to sun. Corton is the Cote de Beaune’s only red Grand Cru. The largest producers are Louis Latour, with 37.5 acres; Hospices de Beaune, with 16 acres; and D'Ardhuy, with 11.85 acres. The names of smaller vineyards within Corton are frequently added to the names of Corton wines, resulting in names such as Corton Les Renardes, Corton Les Chaumes, Corton les Perrieres, etc.
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.