“French Soul, Oregon Soil”

Keep It In The Family

Drouhin Family

The Drouhin Family’s winemaking roots run deep, having taken hold in Burgundy’s best vineyards more than a century ago. Through the years, there has been a very clear link, a continuum, that inhabits Maison Joseph Drouhin, and now Domaine Drouhin Oregon.  On the left is the daughter of Robert Drouhin, Veronique Drouhin who is the winemaker at their Oregon Property and on the right is her brother Phillipe Drouhin who is the viticulturist for the Oregon Property. That’s the way the Drouhins do business. They keep it in the family for centuries and keep their winemaking tradition in France and Oregon going with the same techniques and style. In fact, their wines in Oregon are as close as you can ever get to Burgundy , France in America. The Oregon Estate was established in the 1980’s with Maison Joseph Drouhin being established in the 1880’s nearly a century prior. When they purchased their estate land where these wonderful Pinot Noir and Chardonnay Grapes are grown, there was nothing but wheat and Christmas Trees growing. In 1988 Domaine Drouhin produced their first vintage but from purchased grapes and in 1989 they built their now famous landmark 4 story Gravity Flow winery. And here we are in 2015 Reviewing their Oregon Estate Bottled wine.

2015 Domaine Drouhin, Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills

Drouhin Vintage

Drouhin Front

Drouhin Back

Their Pinot Noir is handpicked into 25-pound totes, then hand sorted and de-stemmed at the landmark four level gravity flow winery. Fermentations are long and careful and by November, all of their Pinot is safely in barrel.

Really cool that All of their barrels are custom made in Burgundy, using oak from France’s best forests, allowing the character of the soil and vintage to show through.  They use usually 80% Neutral Oak that was used in their French Property and shipped to Oregon and 20% New. 2015 was in the middle of 3 consecutive warm vintages 2014-2016. Spring came early, and the vineyards enjoyed the warmer and drier weather. This helped maintain small clusters and berries that could mature evenly between bloom and harvest. In fact, harvest began during the last days of August, but a cooler September allowed them to achieve an overall balance of flavor

My Review

Drouhin Glass Alone

Drouhin Bottle And Glass

Just like their wines in Burgundy, this one needs time. Not as much time as a Pommard or Grand Cru but …time. In fact what always amazes me about this producer is that is is very difficult for even a trained nose and palate or somm to differentiate this from a wine from the Beaune in it’s youth or Oregon. That’s a good thing.  Color is a deep, dark ruby with slight variation to pink on the rim. This is a little shy for the first hour but pokes it’s youthful head out with aromas of strong floral orchids and rose petals, bright red fruits such as cherry and crushed raspberry with a hint of Twizzlers, nutmeg and baking spices and some faint mushroom and herbs in the back. Medium to full body with 14.1% ABV. On the palate, a very restrained but vibrant red raspberry coulis, with dark cherry, hints of light mocha and coming to the finish line with a burst of cranberry and spices with very soft ,elegant and polished tannins., The finish lasts 20 seconds on the palate, What can I say? I love this wine. Any Burgundy Lover would. This is real Pinot Noir that I believe in 5 years or more will even show deeper layers of complexity and outgrow it’s shyness. Its a solid 94 out of 100 Point wine.

My Summary

This is the answer to a Burgundy Newbie who doesn’t have the time or the money to buy  wine from the Beaune. I love to compare all Oregon Pinot Noirs with the French Burgundies. They are more affordable, ready to drink at a younger age and more of a crowd  favorite on the palate of Pinotphiles. At $46.99 it’s not your everyday drinking wine but with Wild Salmon, New York Strips, Duck Breast Seared or just a special someone who appreciates great juice… Madame Veronique and Monsieur Phillipe Drouhin are making their family proud with this very special Oregon Pinot Noir. It’s the best of France and America in one bottle. Sainte

Grape-fully yours, Larry

Their Slogan Says It All

Drouhin French Soul

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