I have been in somewhat of an Oregon state of mind. So when time came to select a wine for Thanksgiving Day dinner, I gravitated toward the 2003 Domaine Drouhin Laurène Pinot Noir that I had brought back with me from the Wine Dine With Us visit to the Willamette Valley. Our visit to Drouhin and the guided tour solidified our interest in Oregon and its Burgundian-inspired wines. And you really couldn’t have a stronger Burgundy-Willamette Valley connection than Domaine Drouhin, which was founded by the Robert Drouhin of Maison Joseph Drouhin.
I had looked longingly at the bottle countless times, but held off opening it since I thought that it would only improve with some age. I was right…for the most part. The first word that comes to mind for the Laurène is elegant. It is not a wine that will overwhelm you by being overly ripe or heavily oaked. An enticing combination of black cherry, herbs, light cedar, and spice are present in the nose and on the palate. On its own, the acidity is still bright, lingering for quite some time, while the tannins have mellowed and are soft. At the dinner table, however, the wine loses out a bit to food and doesn’t stand up as well as I had hoped. So we set it aside to enjoy after the meal. It remains a wonderful wine!