Vintage 2008

BURGHOUND.COM January 2010

Par Allan Meadows


Philippe Drouhin described the 2008 growing season as "one that gave us normal hields but I'm not really sure as so many of my neighbors complained of bringing around one-third less crop. We Didn't have much of a problem with rot and rhe unripe berries were easy to sort out. I think that it might have been due to fact that unripe grapes usually came from the vine that were attacked by mildew or oidium, which usually result in the leaves falling off and obviously can't get ripe fruit when there's no photosynthesis going on. Overall, I really like the ‘08s as they're classic wines that clearly transmit their terroir and should age well as there's good concentration, acid support and ripe tannins.” Drouhin introduced also his daughter Caroline, who has begun a négociant operation called Laroze de Drouhin. This is obviously a play on words to suggest The Rose of Drouhin. The first vintage was 2007 and while not reviewed here. I tasted through the three wines presented and would comment to your attention the 2008 Villages Gevrey "Les Grandes Rayes”. In another change, Drouhin's son Nicolas has also formally joined the Domaine. For those who may not be familiar with the Drouhin-Laroze wines, the style is traditional in the sense that it is neither old school nor moderm with moderate extraction and clean aromatics and I've also noticed a meaningful moderation in the amount of oak influence. The wines are worth a look as they sell for relatively reasonable prices, particularly at the grand cru level.


Morey St Denis 2008 : (88-90)


Mild reduction is not sufficient to completely hide the airy and cool red berry fruit and earth notes that merge into detailed, supple and nicely pure middle weight flavours that possess good depth and length though there is presently a hair of dryness on the backend. Benefit of the doubt extended.


Gevrey Chambertin 2008: (87-89) 2014+.

A very pure and very Gevrey nose of red pinot fruit that speaks of a pungent earth and animale character, both of which can also be found on the detailed, precise and lightly minerally-driven flavours that culminate in a firm but balanced finish. This lively for is appellation and fashioned in an understated style.


Gevrey Chambertin 1er Crû Craipillot: (88-91) 2015+

Here there is enough reduction to render the nose impossible to evaluate though the medium-bodied are supported by more refined tannins on the supple yet precise finish that evidences a slightly rustic and austere finish that borderline strict at present. This is but my experience with this wine suggest that it will become more civilized with 7 to 8 years in bottle.


Gevrey Chambertin 1er Crû Au Closeau 2008: (89-91) 2016+

(From 60+ year old vines). This is clearly more elegant and refined an expressive nose that reflects some Gevrey character but high-toned and cool red berry fruit as well with good volume and detail to focused, vibrant and attractively persistent finish that also offers a touch of minerality.


Gevrey Chambertin 1er Crû Clos Prieur 2008: (89-91) 2016+

 This is also relatively elegant with an equally pure, cool and refined nose that is less Gevrey and more pinot fruit-influenced though the middle weight flavours are more obviously Gevrey in character while finishing with a balanced, firm and linear finale. Lovely and this too is quite understated


Gevrey Chambertin 1er Crû Lavaut St Jacques 2008:

There is more aromatic breadth with an ultra pure and very cool nose of both red and blue pinot fruit whose character is very much shaped by the wet stone aromas that continue onto the beautifully detailed and solidly powerful flavours that culminate in an energetic, balanced, austere and long finish. Patience will be required.


Chapelle Chambertin 2008: (90-92) 2018+

A discreet touch of wood frames elegant, dense and very pretty red berry and earth-infused aromas that introduce round, pure and finely detailed flavours that offer a subtle minerality on impressively long finish. This too will require due patience.


Latricières Chambertin 2008: (91-93) 2020+

This is more elegant still with extremely cool, airy and aqually pure stone-suffused red pinot aromas where the  minerality continues onto the driving and textured medium weight plus flavours that are supported vy dense but fine tannins and a firm acid spine on the strikingly long finish.


Bonnes-Mares 2008: (91-94) 2022+

This is also strongly reduced. The tautly muscled and imposingly sized flavours are very tight and backwards and it's clear that is going to be a long distance runner as finish is austere, strict and very serious. There is however excellent underlying material and impeccable balance but again, this is a "Buy and forget” wine.


Clos de Vougeot 2008: (90-93) 2020+

Strong reduction blocks an assessement of the nose but the supple yet powerful and broad-shouldered flavour possess plenty of the typically young Clos de Vougeot austerity. This is impressively long even though it is note quite as dense as the best of these grands crus. Still, ample patience is advised.


Chambertin Clos de Bèze 2008: (92-94) 2020+

An expressive and elegant melange of oak trimmed and very spicy red and blue pinot fruit aromas nuanced by hints of violets and the expected pungent Gevrey earth that is also picked up by the rich and particularly full flavour that possess a natural sweetness, which seves to buffer the firm tannins on the wonderfully persistent finish. A lovely and entirely classic Bèze that is built to age


Musigny 2008: (92-95) 2022+

A liberally spiced and ultra fresh nose of airy red pinot fruit complements the rich full and serious full-bodied flavours that possess a silky texture and gorgeously intense and huglely long finish that has ample amounts of underlying tension. This is a Musigny of focused power where the finish is presently on the austere  side and the overall impression ia an understated wine that built to age for several decades.




Fine late weather saved the vintage, but how good is it and where? Although the results are inevitably variable, the best wines, both red and white, may be most exciting since 2005. Michael Edwards introduces the vintage and recent tastings, supported by Neil Beckett, Margaret Rand and Michael Schuster

 Extract of article:"Of the tow halves of the Côte d'Or, it was, however, the Côte de Nuits that shone more brightly at the 27 eb primeur tasting in London in January, due to both later harvesting and sheer number of fine producers”. "... and the full range of Drouhin-Laroze is essence of elegance -none more so than the magnificent Bonnes-Mares.”

Chambolle-Musigny: 16.5/ 20

ME: Aérien, fine wafting Chambolle aromas that are also present in the mouth. An elegant delicate, fine-drawn, but long and persistent finish-as it should be.



Gevrey-Chambertin: 17/ 20

ME: A perfect village Gevrey showing all that is best in the appellation: meat, leather, iron-like strength, all beautifully contained in a seductive elegeance of flavours that include the licorice typical of this very fine producer. Great value for exceptional quality.


Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Crû Clos Prieur 16.5+:

ME: Very tight and linear for the moment, but with an underlying finesse and strength that should open up with a racking in cask and fill out splendidly after bottling.


Bonnes-Mares: 18/ 20

ME: The Drouhin-laroze style fits like a glove the ampleness and balanced greatness of Bonnes-Mares in '08. Superb harmony of Morey/Chambolle aromas and flavors, and a spicy complexity. Heavenly cask sample.


Burgundy 2008 by Jancis Robinson

Gevrey-Chambertin 16.5 drink 2011-2015: Looks quite pale crimson, very luscious nose. Racy and lively. Crackling fresh fruit. Well judged. No fighting of the vintage character.


Chambolle Musigny 16 drink 2012-2016: Autumnal nose, light bodied with a bit more fruit than their village Gevrey. Solid but tarter than most other producers' versions.


Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru Clos Prieur 16.5 drink 2013/2018:Pale crimson. Very juicy fruit though not very focused. Sweet start and then a hint of sweet liqueur about thid. Fine tannins and very racy. A lightweight but pretty.


Bonnes Mares 2008 18 drink 2012-2020: Pale ruby. Sweet and mossy but the acid is pretty marked. A little yeoman-like and stolid.


Chambertin Clos de Bèze 18 drink 2012-2020: Smoky charry nose with great balance and no ersatz sweetness. Real energy and great balance.



56 Clos de Vougeot 2008s 28 July 2010 by Jancis Robinson

Clos de Vougeot  17.5 Drink 2016-2018:

Mid crimson. Sweet and lively and a little punchy and raw but there is real energy here. Quite luscious and the finish. Well done!


From Neal Martin for

Clos de Vougeot 2008  88/100.

Very clean ruby colour. Good lift on the nose with raspberry, rose petal and a tinny element more pronounced with the aeration. The palate is medium-bodied, tensile, good acidity, a touch of green olive, a touch of tart red cherry and sloe, firm structure towards the finish that finishes better than the nose suggests. Fine, if a little "chunky” .Tasted July 2010.


Chambertin Clos de Bèze 2008

Les vignes de plus de cinquante ans ont donné un vin à la robe pourpre intense et au nez très ouvert sur des notes de fruits rouges (groseille) et de boisé. L'attaque en bouche se montre nette, franche et riche. La bouche équilibrée, accompagnée de tannins fondus, épicés, se conclut sur une finale ronde et légère. Dans un style plutôt friand qui ne cherche pas la démonstration de puissance, Philippe signe un vin élégant à déguster dans cinq ans




Philippe et Christine Drouhin dirigent cette belle propriété, qui possède un impressionnant patrimoine de vignes avec de belles parcelles sur les célèbres Chambertin Clos de Bèze, Bonnes Mares, Clos de Vougeot, Latricières  et Chapelle Chambertin. La propriété a, depuis quelques années entièrement repensé les vinifications avec la complicité de son oenologue conseil Kyriakos Kinigopoulos et les vins ont encore gagné en couleur, en intensité de constitution et en homogénéité, sans rien perdre de leur raffinement aromatique.

Les vins : Un style délicat pour ce Gevrey Chambertin aux notes de queue de cerise, plutôt sur le cuir et le végétal sans verdeur. Un bouche «en demi-chair» mais d'une belle intensité. Avec ses notes de petit fruit rouges, Au Closeau offre une matière plus épurée et intense mais toujours en demi-corps. La structure est plus en relief, l'acidité plus marquée. Le Latricières Chambertin offre un joli nez combinant une bonne fraicheur végétale et une multitude de fruits rouges. La bouche est ciselée, pure, la trame fine. Un vin délicat, nuancé, d'une belle persistance. Le Bonnes-Mares est puissant et massif, il aura besoin de temps pour s'affiner. Plus large d'épaules, le Clos de Vougeot offre un supplément de fruit, et un bon équilibre. Racé, le Chambertin Clos de Bèze conjugue puissance et distinction. C'est le vin le plus complet du Domaine.

  • Bonnes Mares 2008 16/20

  • Chambertin Clos de Bèze 2008 17/20

  • Clos de Vougeot 2008 16.5/20

  • Gevrey Chambertin 2008 14/20

  • Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru Au Closeau 2008 14.5/20

  • Latricières Chambertin 2008 16/20