A very dry summer resulted in exceptionally ripe and darkcolored grapes. We were blessed with perfect weather during harvest. The grapes were picked by hand into small 25-lb capacity boxes, which is a lot of extra work in the field and in the winery – but very important for preserving the quality of the fruit we’ve worked so hard to grow all year. We did not inoculate with cultured yeast, preferring to rely on the indigenous yeasts present on the grape skins to conduct the primary fermentation. Fermentation was conducted in the classical Burgundian manner, with punching-down of the cap and tasting of the juice two to three times per day. The wine was aged in French Oak barrels, of which less than 20% were new. Malolactic fermentation was completed in the barrels naturally, without inoculation. The wine was racked by gravity after malolactic fermentation was complete in the late spring and early summer, and was bottled in January 2001.
In addition to a beautiful color, the wine offers a delightful aromatic bouquet which shows a kaleidoscope of fruits, spices, and flowers. These flavors unfold on the palate one after another in perfect harmony (a blend of Nuits-St. George and Vosne-Romanée might give a similar result!) 1999 was a vintage where the flavors were there from day one, and never went away. Full-bodied with refined texture, the wine has great dimension and very good balance. Cuvée Laurène is aimed to be age-worthy and complex, like all great Pinot Noir should be. Whenever a bottle is opened, even when young, the wine should give pleasure. If consumed in the next five years, decanting for one hour prior to drinking will enhance the bouquet. Véronique DROUHIN – August 2002