From France’s Bourgogne and Oregon’s Willamette Valley: Domaine Drouhin Does Pinot Noir #Winophiles

For December, the French Winophiles engage with Oregon and Bourgogne tied houses: Maison Joseph Drouhin‘s  Domaine Drouhin Oregon and Maison Louis Jadot‘s  Résonance Wines.   ‘Tied-houses’ means the wineries work in two places, making them tied together; in this case, Oregon and Bourgogne aka Burgundy. Both regions are known for fantastic Pinot Noir. My focus is on Drouhin.

In 1880, the Drouhin Family began making wine in Burgundy; 100 years later, in the 1980s, they established their winery in Oregon. 

“Skills get more refined, methods evolve, but what’s important is what is transmitted from generation to generation: The search for excellence, the intellectual curiosity, the sense of values, passion, the respect for terroir.”
says Robert J. Drouhin.

At DDO, Robert Drouhin wanted to create a winery to rival those of Burgundy, and it certainly seems he’s succeeded with sustainable farmed, densely planted vines that are L.I.V.E. certified, and tended and harvested by hand.

Drouhin winemaker Véronique Boss-Drouhin grew up in the heart of Burgundy and in a winemaking family. At an early age, she knew she wanted to make wine; to date, she has made over 30 vintages in the New World and the Old and she’s recognized globally for her work in wine. In 2019, she was awarded the Légion d’Honneur, France’s highest award of merit. Véronique currently makes every wine for Domaine Drouhin Oregon, and in Burgundy, she’s the “Guardian of the Drouhin Palate.” 

 “Each vintage is different, challenging, and interesting in its own way. I couldn’t imagine anything better!” says Véronique.

I received a sample of the Domaine Drouhin Oregon “Laurène” to participate in this month’s event.

What would have been REALLY interesting and valuable would have been to also taste the comparable wine from Burgundy. Hopefully that might happen in the future with Maison Joseph Drouhin and  Domaine Drouhin Oregon or with Maison Louis Jadot and   Résonance Wines.  Or possibly either tied houses like The Rhone’s Chateau Beaucastel and Tablas Creek which are both biodynamic.

After tasting the wine, we paired it with a cheese board suitable for opening a meal or ending it. Pinot Noir is a finicky grape and when pairing it likes what it likes. It likes mushrooms, it likes earthy flavors. It loves pate. Fantastic with pork. The cheeses that went best with the wine were the cheeses that had the earthy components.  Our Cheese Board included: White Stilton with Cranberry, Brilliant Saravin with Truffles, Cypress Grove Truffle Tremor, Emma Le Marechael Raw milk cheese aged 60 days or more, Taleggio, Rouge Creamery Oregon Blue, Isigny Ste Mere Aged Mimolette, LaTur, Truffle brie encroute, plus pate because I love Pinot and pate. 

2017 Domaine Drouhin “Laurene”  Pinot Noir Dundee Hills, Oregon
ABV 13.9% 
SRP $75
sample provided for my participation

This barrel selection of their Dundee Hills Pinot Noir is named after Véronique’s daughter “Laurène.” Véronique chooses barrels with extra complexity, length, and depth. In 2017 Drouhin celebrated their 30th Anniversary in Oregon; the 2017 Laurène marks the 26th release. 

Color: Very pale, translucent, ruby, platinum rim; possibly unfined and unfiltered.

Nose: Eucalyptus, mint, sage,  rhubarb, light raspberry, smells like a new world wine, complex nose.

Palate: Very dry, raspberry fruit, pomegranate, Sue felt the tannins on this wine. There is an oak presence, light and smooth, rich caramel like finish. The Dundee Hills are red red red and we could taste the iron oxide; it even hints at the iron in blood. 

Pairing: So fantastic with the Truffle tremor cheese, but it should be no surprise, we know from experience that pinot loves mushrooms and truffles bringing out such nice fruit in the wine. Wow with the Brilliant Savarin with truffle, then followed with truffle mousse pate and your senses are on a happy overload. LaTur is Sue’s favorite cheese in the entire world and there is good reason, it is so fantastic with this wine. Fresh and bright both the wine and the cheese dance together beautifully. We were not excited about this wine when it was on its own. With our cheese plate it is a game changer. So many amazing flavors burst from our taste buds when paired together. The mimolette and wine brings out a sweetness in the wine and a caramel nut flavor in the cheese. The tellagio makes the wine so sweet. Sue made a mushroom tellagio lasagne once that would be so fabulous with the wine. There is a textural quality that is amazing when the two are together. Sue really liked the wine with the cranberry stilton; she felt that the stilton would not have been as great without the cranberry, but it was great with. 

Each month the French #Winophiles post on a predetermined theme to discuss varying wine regions, producers and food pairings on the third Saturday of the month, and then participants contribute to a virtual wine tasting

Check out chat on the topic on Saturday Dec. 19 by following the hashtag #Winophiles. As you can see, we will be hearing from one of the winemakers as we discuss the following topics: 

8 a PST/ 11:00 a.m. EST
Welcome to the French #Winophiles chat on #Ré sonanceWines + #DomaineDrouhinOregon @resonancewines @ljadot @ddowines @jdrouhin Introduce yourself & where you’re tweeting from. Feel free to share a link to your site! #Winophiles #OregonWines #WillametteValley #Willamette- Valley + #BourgogneVins

8:05 a PST / 11:05 a.m. EST
Q1: Guillaume, any similarities / differences between #MaisonLouisJadot #Bourgogne and #Ore- gon vineyards? Anything you care to share about #farming methods? #Winophiles #OregonWines #WillametteValley #BourgogneVins @resonancewines @ljadot @ddowines @jdrouhin

8:10 a PST/ 11:10 a.m. EST
Q2: Guillaume, if Oregon classiXied vineyards similarly to #Bourgogne, how might Ré sonance vine- yards rank? Or does Oregon require a longer history to develop such a system? #Winophiles #Ore- gonWines #WillametteValley #BourgogneVins @resonancewines @ljadot @ddowines @jdrouhin

8: 15 a PST / 11:15 a.m. EST
Q3: Guillaume, how do you see climate change affecting both regions? e.g., harvest date differences between Oregon + Bourgogne? @resonancewines @ljadot @ddowines @jdrouhin #Winophiles #OregonWines #WillametteValley #BourgogneVins

8: 20 a PST / 11:20 a.m. EST
Q4: Guillaume, any differences in #MaisonLouisJadot production methods between Oregon + Bourgogne? e.g., fruit handling/native yeasts, etc.? @resonancewines @ljadot @ddowines @jdrouhin #Winophiles #OregonWines #WillametteValley #BourgogneVins

8:25 a PST / 11:25 a.m. EST
Q5: Guillaume, can you explain the relationship between @CadusFrance tonnellerie + #Maison- LouisJadot? How/does this impact aging protocols in both cellars? @resonancewines @ljadot @ddowines @jdrouhin #Winophiles #OregonWines #WillametteValley #BourgogneVins

8:30a PST/11:30a.m.EST
Q6: Finally, Guillaume: What’s your greatest joy as a Bourgogne vigneron working in Oregon’s #Willamette Valley? Greatest challenge? @resonancewines @ljadot @ddowines @jdrouhin #Winophiles #OregonWines #WillametteValley + #BourgogneVins

17:35 a CET   Q7: Did you know that #DomaineDrouhinOregon + #MaisonJosephDrouhin #vineyards farm #biodynamically? #Winophiles #OregonWines #WillametteValley #BourgogneVins @ddowines @jdrouhin @resonancewines @ljadot


17:40 a CET   Q8: BONUS QUESTION: What #DomaineDrouhinOregon wine did the White House serve at the 2018 diplomatic dinner honoring visiting #French President Emmanuel Macron? #Winophiles #OregonWines #WillametteValley #BourgogneVins @ddowines @jdrouhin @resonancewines @ljadot


8:45 a CET Q9:Any new food and wine pairings you discovered while sampling these wines? @resonancewines @ljadot @ddowines @jdrouhin #Winophiles #OregonWines #WillametteValley #BourgogneVins #Food #WinePairings


17:50 a CET  Q10: Any final thoughts about #RésonanceWines + #DomaineDrouhinOregon wines? @resonancewines @ljadot @ddowines @jdrouhin #Winophiles #OregonWines #WillametteValley #BourgogneVins


17:55 a CET  Join #Winophiles next month (January 2021 ) for “What’s New in Bordeaux” with host Jeff Burrows @foodwineclick. Stay tuned for his invitation! #Winophiles


18:00 a CETThanks for joining the December 2020 #Winophiles chat discussing #RésonanceWines + #DomaineDrouhinOregon wines. Thank you again to #sponsors @resonancewines @ljadot @ddowines @jdrouhin for providing wine samples to French #Winophiles ! #OregonWines #WillametteValley #BourgogneVins


9:01 CET/ 12:01 p.m. EST A shoutout to #Winophiles participants who posted today about #RésonanceWines + #DomaineDrouhinOregon @resonancewines @ljadot @ddowines @jdrouhin Cheers! [List Participant Twitter handles]



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