The grapes were picked by hand and placed into small boxes of 25 pounds and generally de-stemmed. Fermentation began with indigenous yeast and was conducted in the classical method of punching down the cap and pumping over the juice. As is customary, the wine was aged in barrels sent from Joseph Drouhin's inventory. New oak content was restricted to less than 20% so as not to hide the wine's true character. Malolactic fermentation was completed naturally in barrels without inoculation.
The grapes were harvested between September 20th and October 7th.
1997 was indeed a challenging vintage for vinegrowers and winemakers. It is probably not a vintage that gave potentially long aging wines but some lovely fruity Pinot Noir to enjoy now or in the next two years. The wine was tasted in June 2000, 1 and a half years after the wine was bottled. Laurene 1997 has kept its nice ruby color. The bouquet is young, fresh, fruity and also has a delicate freshly cut grass aroma. On the palate there is good structure, tannins have softened over the year (this is why we like to keep the Laurene cuvee at the winery for some time before we release it.) It doesn't quite have the depth of previous vintages but it has the length and an overall balance unexpected in 1997. Although I believe the wine could be kept for 10 years, it is maybe in the next two or three years that it will show its best development. Worth trying! As usual, this wine was made from a careful selection of grapes, all grown on the Estate. We select those most suitable for long-term aging. It should be noted here that such a small bottling allows the quality of DDO to remain unchanged. The production of Laurene 1997 is limited to 2000 cases.