Joseph Drouhin Macon Lugny Les Crays White Burgundy 2017
Joseph Drouhin was a daring and enterprising young man who—over 130 years ago—left his family home in Chablis. His goal: to make wine in the great capitol of Burgundy – Beaune. At the tender age of 22, he founded a négociant business – one dedicated to negociating, purchasing, and selling fine Burgundy.
Now in their fourth generation, Joseph Drouhin’s descendants are all active in running the winery. They can make a strong claim to being one of Burgundy’s most historic and important domaines. What started as a humble shop has grown to encompass a domaine and maison business across all of Burgundy, including the historical cellars of the dukes of Burgundy and the generations-old family estate of Moulin de Vaudon in Chablis.
The Drouhin family honors their heritage by continuing to innovate. They realize that much of Burgundy is getting priced to a level where most people cannot enjoy it even on special occasions, let alone as a Tuesday night wine. They want to change that, and to offer everyone a chance to be introduced to the Drouhin family, their traditions, and their joie de vivre.
So, they decided to explore new areas in Burgundy where they have not always traditionally made wine – in this case, south of the Cote d’Or in Macon. The Macon is not unexplored territory: Its most famous wine is Pouilly-Fuisse. The Drouhins managed to suss out a very special vineyard there.
While complicated, the name Macon Lugny Les Crays says it all. First planted in 916 by the Abbey Cluny, the vineyard’s title was later shortened to Luny. The Les Crays refers to the Celtic term “cracos” meaning stony hill. This medieval Burgundian term can be traced up and down the Cote d’Or through its premiers crus vineyards – Les Crâs in Vougeot, Les Criots in Meursault, Les Cras in Beaune, Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet in Chassagne-Montrachet. Basically, the Drouhins have found a source for premier cru-quality white Burgundy for a fraction of the cost.
As Veronique Drouhin describes it, “The wine reveals an appealing freshness. It combines the maturity of the fruit and freshness over an almost salty structure. It shows a shining colour, a nose reminiscent of flower and peach, and a full mouth with a mineral finish.” I would add that the wine is outstandingly delicious and to this palate, it clearly competes at a premier cru level.
I first tasted it with the Drouhins last year and bottle after bottle, my enthusiasm has not waned. It is shocking to get this level of quality in Burgundy at this price – it’s not going to last. Don’t hesitate, snap it up now while we’ve got it!