Our estate vineyards here in the Dundee Hills continue to surprise and delight us with the tremendous possibilities they offer. Our Cuvée Louise program, named for Véronique’s youngest child, is possible because Véronique has the chance to present something new and quite different from our Pinot Noir Laurène and Willamette Valley bottlings. In 2003, one perfect lot of Pinot Noir stood out from everything else that came in from our estate during harvest. Aged in French oak until bottling 15 months later, I kept these barrels aside, knowing that my 2003 Louise had been decided for me.
The 2003 vintage growing season was long and dry, culminating in an unusually warm harvest. Most of our estate ripened to perfection within a very narrow window, which necessitated picking the majority of our vineyard between September 26 and 28. Thank goodness we were prepared for the frenzy of activity at the winery, and that preparation shows in the wines.
A deep, luminous red with an almost bluish hue, the 2003 Louise is beautifully concentrated, with a super silky texture. The wine has great depth and balance, and a long, long finish. On the nose, the wine is complex and perfumed, with violets, blackberry and vanilla. Over the next couple years, the bouquet will develop even more and the structure will remain vibrant and smooth. This wine will be delightful for the next 8-10 years or more. It’s hard for me to believe that this is already the fifth vintage of Louise. Personally, I love that the wine has an identity of its own, possessing exquisite finesse, complexity and elegance, all of which I expect from the very best Pinot Noir.