Named after Véronique Drouhin's elder daughter, Laurène is our flagship wine, and is produced entirely from Pinot Noir grown on the family's estate in the Dundee Hills. In recent years, Laurène has been named one of the "Great Wines of America" by Paul Lukacs in his book of the same name and "perennially one of Oregon's best wines" by Portland Monthly Magazine (Sept. 2009). In 2008, celebrated writer Matt Kramer presented Laurène in his Wine Spectator seminar, "21st Century Pinot Noir Greatness."
All of the fruit is handpicked into small totes, destemmed, fermented with indigenous yeasts, and then placed into barrels (French oak, never more than 20% new). Once the vintage is safely in the cellar, Véronique begins the process of selecting barrels which have an extra complexity, length and depth — barrels which will work together as Laurène.
By any measure, 2012 is an extraordinary vintage. After the cool, late 2010 and 2011 harvests, nobody knew what to expect in 2012, and certainly, we could not have predicted such a spectacular growing season. Harvest began on October 3 under clear skies, and finished 15 days later. Day after day, we were amazed by the uniformly exceptional quality of fruit. An experience to remember!
The 2012 Laurène has a lovely, intense, bright ruby color. On the nose, the wine is a vibrant mix of red and black berries, red and black cherries, fresh spice and wild herbs. There is a delicate touch of oak, which integrates nicely. On the palate, the 2012 Laurène is rich, complex and layered, with excellent structure and a beautiful long finish. There is no question that it is a powerful vintage, but there is focus and a sense of refinement. Overall, I think this Laurène has the energy and definition to age easily for 10 to 15 years.