2011 Domaine Drouhin Oregon Pinot Noir Laurene

Hello friends. Thursday offers are rare for us. We’re usually too busy dealing with Thursday pickup traffic to make Thursday a wise day for sending offers, so you know when we hit your inboxes on a Thursday, something’s up.

In this case, it’s weeks of scratching and clawing, pleading and cajoling, and ultimately working with a pair of wine pros who share the same first name (thanks, J and J) to piece together an allocation just barely large enough to warrant an offer of one of Oregon’s benchmark Pinot Noirs:

Can you believe the year was 2012 the last time we were able to offer Laurene? This is a wine with a devoted – and national – following (come to think of it, an international following, considering the Drouhin family’s deep connections on the Continent), and there’s never very much of it. Also, considering the stratospheric pricing of some Oregon Pinot (I’m looking at you, Archery Summit), and considering the solarsystemic pricing of Grand Cru Burgundy (even from this very Drouhin family), Laurene suddenly seems like a comparative value.

Laurene is DDO’s flagship Pinot Noir, a selection of the finest barrels from the Domaine’s estate vineyards. Veronique Drouhin never gussies Laurene up with too much oak (it’s just shy of 20% here); it’s always the fruit and the Dundee Hills land that come to the fore.

Here are Veronique’s notes on this vintage of Laurene (13.9% listed alc): 2011 was Oregon’s latest growing season with a cool and wet September turning into a dry and moderately warm October. Harvest lasted into November, allowing for full maturity and excellent flavor development. The 2011 Laurène is an essay in balance. Its color is both brilliant red and deep ruby. The nose has the spice character of 2011 – anise, clove & tea – with further notes of baked fig, rhubarb and pomegranate. On the palate, the texture is both light & viscous, with mouth coating tannins, and flavors of spice & ripe raspberries with a touch of tartness. The exceptionally long finish leaves you with sweet, lush fruit & wonderfully bright layers. While intensely woven now, a couple years of cellaring, or decanting, will reveal silk, elegance and an expressive depth of texture. Enjoy now, and over the next 8-10 years.

Please note: I have not had a chance to sample this yet, but the track record of the winery and Laurene particularly gives me plenty of confidence. And this offer just won’t wait. Please limit order requests to 6 bottles, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wine should arrive in a week or two, at which point it will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.

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