One of the founding Oregon wineries, Domaine Drouhin Oregon, the estate has created Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines for more than 25 years. The Oregon estate was established in the late 1980s, but the winemaking roots were planted in Burgundy a century earlier, when Joseph Drouhin moved from Chablis to Beaune, and in 1880 founded Maison Joseph Drouhin. He was succeeded by his son, Maurice Drouhin, who dedicated his life to making fine wine. In 1957, Robert Drouhin became the third generation to run the business. He first “discovered" Oregon terroir in the 1960s. Then in 1987, Robert Drouhin was invited to participate in the first International Pinot Noir Celebration, and on that trip, he decided to purchase land in the Dundee Hills. Where there had only been Christmas trees and wheat, the Drouhin's began planting their first vineyards in Oregon. At the same time, Robert nominated his sister, Véronique, to be the newly christened DDO winemaker, and her brother Philippe Drouhin took responsibility for viticulture. In 1988, DDO produced its first vintage, from purchased grapes, and in 1989 built the landmark, four-story gravity flow winery.
I've visited the estate on many occasions, as the winery has sweeping views of the Willamette Valley and is the perfect spot to sit outside on a warm summer day. The expansive tasting room pays homage to its sister winery in France, as you can even purchase some of their Burgundy estate wines there. The new release wines from Domaine Drouhin were highly impressive. Look foer their simply awesome 2015 ‘Arthur’ Chardonnay (WWB, 92) which shows marvelous richness and minerality. For a spurge, check out the 2013 ‘Laurene’ Pinot Noir (WWB, 93) which impresses in this challenging vintage, showing wonderful structure and rich red fruit flavors. Learn more about this storied Oregon estate at http://www.domainedrouhin.com/ Here are the awesome new releases from Domaine Drouhin.
2015 Domaine Drouhin 'Arthur' Chardonnay- Partially fermented in French oak barrels,This golden hued Chardonnay opens with a bouquet of ripe pear, honeydew melon, nutmeg, brioche and starfruit accents. The flavors are ripe and largely citrus based, showing candied white grapefruit and lemon zest with buttered toast, and vanilla cream suggestions. Overall, this is a lovely effort from this estate. With its dense mouthfeel and striking minerality, this will cellar beautifully well into the next decade. Drink 2017-2026- 92
2014 Domaine Drouhin 'Dundee Hills' Pinot Noir-Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir wine was first produced in 1988. This release begins with aromatics of black cherry, black truffle oil, with hints of Mandarin orange rind. There are flavors reminiscent of black cherry, black raspberry cordial, lemon zest, white truffle and hints of forest floor and cranberry. This shows impressive weight, range and texture, as the finish glides on for half a minute. Drink 2017-2027- 92
2013 Domaine Drouhin 'Laurene' Pinot Noir- Named after Veronique Drouhin's daughter, the elegant 'Laurene' Pinot Noir wine was aged in 20% new French oak and bottled in February 2015. The wine begins with an aromatic profile of red raspberry, red currant, red cherry, and black truffle accents. The palate is rich, displaying a wonderful texture and yielding ripe flavors of cran-pomegranate, Bing cherry, orange rind and hints of forest floor. Structured and balanced, this Burgundian style Pinot will cellar well past the next decade. Drink 2017-2030- 93