2011 Jean-Paul & Benoit Droin Chablis Grand Cru "Grenouille" (Pre-Arrival)
Allen Meadows - Burghound
(from 55+ year old vines aged in 60% wood). This is completely different from the prior two wines with an admirably pure nose of mineral reduction, tidal pool and floral notes that offer plenty of Chablis character. There is good ripeness to the rich, round and generous flavors that display excellent intensity and punch on the saline-infused and wonderfully persistent finish. This should be lovely and I particularly like the delivery.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2011 Chablis Grenouilles emerges from the glass with white flowers, stone fruits and beautifully integrated oak. As is often the case, the Grenouilles does not have the pedigree, polish or finesse of the best wines in the lineup, but it is one of the best wines from this overrated vineyard. In other words, this is about as good as it gets for Grenouilles. Anticipated maturity: 2013+.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(this began in 50% new oak, including a bit of new wood): Bright yellow-green. Aromas of orange, spices and white truffle, with a high note that reminded me of eau de vie. Large-scaled, ripe and powerful, with a saline quality and a slightly exotic character to the flavors of orange, lichee and spices. Strong fruit here, with equally strong acidity. Finishes quite long but a bit youthfully disjointed and phenolic. This is 13.7% alcohol.
Since the year 1620, fourteen generations of the Droin family have passed their winemaking tradition on to the next. Since 1999, all vinification has taken place at a modern wine facility built below the Grand Cru vineyards in Chablis, where they hold more than 4 hectares of vines. Grape clusers are handled very gently before pressing and the wine is matured in vats and neutral oak before bottling almost exactly one year after harvest. Once again, my tasting with Benoit Droin was one of the highlights of my trip to Chablis. Vintage 2011 was characterized by an early, easy and even flowering, which resulted in a generous crop...Droin doesn't seem to get a lot of attention in the press, but in my opinion, this is one of the very finest producers in Chablis. I have also had great luck with older bottles, as these are typically wines that age beautifully. (Keith Wollenberg, K&L Burgundy Buyer)