A graceful Charmes-Chambertin from the glorious 2002 vintage

Domaine Joseph Drouhin let the carefully selected grapes from this vineyard endure 2-3 weeks of maceration and raises this wine in 20% new wood that has been dried for a long time. This vineyard sits just below the grand cru Chambertin and has a very thin top soil of marls over a bed of lime stone and stones.2002 is an exceptional vintage in Burgundy and one of the few vintages that combine even ripeness of fruit and tannins as well as high level of fresh acidity for long ageing. Some say it remarkably combines the freshness of 1996 with the ripeness of 1999, but less structure of the latter.

2002 Charmes-Chambetin grand cru, Domaine Joseph Drouhin

Sir Galahad:

The colour is almost transparently orange-blood orange in the middle and the edges are brick stone red-orange.

The nose starts off with prominent fine, dark chalky notes, gravel, medicine cabin, oven baked bread and loads of dry herbs at the base. This is an intriguing, very complex and careful wine and it continues with rowan berries, dry mint, notes of salubrin, oil paint, savoury notes and dried flowers. After three hours, its inner perfume emerges slowly from underneath but with grace and impeccable aristocracy that plays sensitive tunes on the piano. A deep and very complex nose for the explorer.

On the palate, the fruit is dominated by ripe, concentrated red currant that is coated by dark lime minerals. This is an aromatic wine with loads of dry herbs and we also notice anise seeds, gravel and delicate minerals. The texture is unexpectedly super soft and smooth with not yet fully polymerised tannins that still spurs in the quite long; narrow, but pure and a little saline finish. The acidity is the one that stands out here as incredibly fresh and energetic wrapping lime fruit and grape peel. Not a huge body and its structure is a little disappointing.

The wine may lack structure, but its balance, precision, silky texture as well as the amazingly fresh, vivid acidity are impressive. This wine will certainly have a very long life ahead.




The nose is dominated by chalk and floral notes, mainly roses. In the beginning, the fruit stays in the background, is quite dry and dominated by strawberries, some plums and red current. After a while, the nose gets more generous, the fruit moves forward and the floral notes increase.

The wine is quite consistent when moving to the palate, but the fruit is more dominated by cherries and plums. There is also an abundance of herbal chalky notes. Tannins are quite sandy and a bit dry. The acidity starts off carefully, then increases and provides direction and energy to the wine, which indicates a long life ahead. In the finish, we end up with acidity and some saline notes which were not present earlier.

This is a very well balanced wine with good energy. Still it lacks some personality for a top score.


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