Domaine Jean-Paul et Benoit Droin
1er Cru White barrel
Tasted: Oct 10, 2019
Note: from Montmains proper; 40% 2 and 3 year old oak
Producer note: Benoît Droin told me that 2018 was a vintage “of excess in every sense, which is to say growing season, yields and unexpectedly good results! After dodging some early season frost damage the summer was seriously hot and dry yet for the most part the vines avoided much hydric stress. Moreover there was no disease pressure to speak of so we were able to roll into the harvest largely stress free. I chose to begin picking on the 1st of September and brought in impeccably clean fruit with good sugars and acidities. One of the biggest surprises though was the yields as I thought that we would have around 40 ha/ha but it turned out to be more like 60 to 80! It’s one thing to be off in your yield calculations by 10 or 20% but I have never been off 50 to100%! What is all the more surprising given the yields is how dense the wines are thanks to the abundant levels of dry extract. I don’t like to fine but in 2018 there was so much protein in the wines that I had no choice. As to the wines, they clearly respect the appellation hierarchy but stylistically they don’t really remind me of any other recent vintages. You’d have to go back to vintages like 2009 or even 1990 to find something comparable to 2018.” Droin continues to bottle all of his wines under Diam corks with a mix of Diam 5 and Diam 10 depending on the level of the wine. He further noted that the 2017s, revisited below, were bottled in July 2018. (European Cellars/Eric Soloman Selections, www.europeancellars.com, NC, USA; Berry Brothers & Rudd, www.bbr.com, Goedhuis & Co., www.goedhuis.com and Uncorked Ltd, www.uncorked.co.uk, all UK).
Tasting note: This is also quite cool with its restrained, airy and more elegant nose that features notes of mineral reduction, oyster shell and white flowers. The racy and beautifully well-delineated middle weight flavors deliver excellent persistence on the clean, notably dry and bracing finale where a hint of bitter lemon appears.