Domaine Drouhin, Laurene, Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon, 14.4% abv, 2009

We visited the Domaine Drouhin Family Estate during an end of summer trip in 2013. Yes, they are ‘those’ Drouhins – the famed negociant family of Burgundy. Daughter Veronique Drouhin-Boss is the manager here and spends her time between France and Oregon.

Land is becoming almost impossible to purchase in Burgundy and it’s becoming moreso in the Willamette, so it’s not surprising that in December 2013, the Drouhin Estate doubled its holdings by buying “Roserock”, 122 acres planted to Pinot Noir with a tiny bit of Chardonnay 25 miles to the south in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA. Although they’re located southward, the hills have some altitude and these grapes will ripen slightly slower than those at the Dundee Hills Estate.

Roserock has a good reputation amongst the premium wineries in the Willamette and many have purchased grapes from the blocks in the past (Soter, Penner-Ash and Argyle, for example). As Veronique Drouhin-Boss puts it, they will likely vinify the harvest from each estate separately for now and have an Estate grown and bottled example for each property, “… just as we have a Gevrey-Chambertin in Burgundy to go with our Pommard”.

This wine is named for her eldest daughter, Laurene and since we have one of those too (a daughter named Lauren, but alas not a winery), it was an easy purchase to make.

This wine is clear and bright, medium garnet with legs. On the nose it’s a clean, subtle medium bouquet of soft cherry, raspberry, creamy vanilla and wood spice.

The palate is dry but with high acidity and medium plus silky smooth tannins. The body is medium and alcohol high, but not out of balance at all with the wine. The medium flavour characteristics include more cherry, raspberry and pomegranate along with vanilla and slight anise, clove, nutmeg and ginger. A long finish accompanies this wine.

WSET ‘very good’ – drinking beautifully now but may cellar another 3 years.

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I love wine...and finally decided to do something about it.
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