Cult Site: Rare Back-Vintages: Drouhin Clos des Mouches Rouge 99 & 96

Posted by Ian McFadden

Cult Site: Rare Back-Vintages
Drouhin Beaune 1er Cru
Clos des Mouches Rouge:
96 MAGS & 99 750mls

Clos des Mouches is a special vineyard, a special Drouhin.

It's high-definition Red Burgundy. It can go head-to-head with many Grand Crus that cost two or three times as much.

Like Fourrier's Clos St. Jacques, Lafarge's Clos des Chênes or Dujac's Combottes, Drouhin's Mouches is a wine that transcends its "official" classification.

This is one of those secrets of the serious Burgundy fanatic. Drouhin's Clos des Mouches is a wine that nearly always has some space in those glossy cellars filled with Grand Cru Burgundy and First Growth Bordeaux.

Clos des Mouches is a cult wine and finding older bottles is extremely difficult. These are the only bottles available in the country.

Clos des Mouches is simply one of the gems in the Drouhin stable. It is, in fact, one of the first sites that Joseph Drouhin bought in the 1920s. The site itself is situated in a choice mid-slope location smack against Beaune's border with Pommard. The old vines claw into hard limestone.

If Beaune is known for being somewhat sturdy and rustic, Clos des Mouches is something of an anomaly; the wine is strikingly elegant, suave and silky in texture. It is a wine that brings the force and heft of Beaune, yet does so with incredible composure (a composure that only increases with 5, 10, 15 years in the cellar) and always, always, an incredible snap of limestone and mineral.

Simply put: Clos des Mouches is a very special site and the wines have a reputation for making old bones - the Burghound has notes from recently tasting a great 1964.

The two vintages offer beautiful contrasts: The 1996 is a mineral and acid driven vintage. Not to mince words, 96 can be a tricky vintage. There are plenty of wines that are dominated by their structures and are a bit unyielding. Drouhin's 96's have come out of their shells wonderfully. The wines have a gorgeous silken quality. They are some of the most striking wines of the vintage. In the past six months, I've tasted Drouhin's 96 Chambolle Amoureuses, Bonnes-Mares and Clos des Mouches. All have been in glorious form.

The 1999 vintage has more power with a layer of fruit over the minerality. Along with 02, 05 and 10, 99 is one of the best recent vintages. Drouhin's 99s have a huge and well-deserved reputation. They are impressively complete and detailed wines.

The delicate, transparent style of Drouhin showcases these differences beautifully. Of course, Drouhin's shimmering jewel-box signature is on display.

Naturally, these are very limited. We're only sending this out to a small group of Burgundy fanatics. Still, we'll likely sell out fairly quickly. Please give us your ideal order and we'll try our best.

To order, reply to or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Ian McFadden
Director, Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits

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