2004 Domaine Drouhin "Laurene" Oregon Pinot Noir

SKU #1033821 92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Dark red. Suave, finely etched bouquet of wild strawberry, fresh raspberry, rose and pungent magnolia, with hints of cocoa powder, cola and orange zest. A silky, poised midweight with deep, youthful, mineral-tinged raspberry and cherry-cola flavors that grow sweeter with aeration. Finishes supple, vibrant and long, picking up notes of cinnamon and candied rose. A beautifully understated Pinot that could be from a swanky Vosne vineyard. (JR)  (5/2006)

92 points Wine Spectator

 Smooth and round, with a pretty sandalwood note mingling with ripe cherry, toast and spicy oak flavors, deftly balanced to let it all sing while the finish rolls on and on.  (12/2007)

91 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

 This is a distinct step up in both elegance and overall aromatic finesse with impressively pure red pinot fruit nuanced by hints of violets and plum that continue onto the rich, full, sweet and very stylish flavors underpinned by more sophisticated yet slightly firmer tannins, all wrapped in a sappy and dusty finish that delivers admirable length. This is a seriously lovely wine that will remind Drouhin fans, stylistically speaking, of several of their better Côte de Beaune offerings. Domaine Drouhin was hardly the first Oregon winery (the land was purchased in 1987 and the winery built in 1989) but it was the real ground breaker in terms of bringing instant credibility to the region's existing wineries as well as those who have followed. DDO, as it's known, tries to emulate the elegant and pure style of the Domaine Drouhin Burgundies while working with the different ripeness and fruit characteristics that Oregon produces.  (10/2006)

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Price: $59.99
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Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- Highly touted for its Pinot Noirs, Oregon is part of the up-and-coming winemaking industry in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Most of Oregon is directly affected by the climate coming off of the Pacific Ocean, giving it mild winters and wet summers. This makes it a difficult place to ripen grapes, but some say that the harder grapes have to struggle, the more complex they will turn out to be. Chardonnay and Pinot Gris are two important and successful grapes grown in Oregon.