The grapes were hand-picked into small boxes of 25 pounds and generally de-stemmed. Each vat underwent thinning (saignee): some 10% of juice was eliminated in this way to increase concentration. Fermentation began with indigenous yeast and was conducted in the classical method of punching down the cap and pumping over the juice. Thanks to this thinning, better concentration and overall quality was achieved. 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.
1995 will be remembered by Oregonian growers and winemakers as particularly challenging. A normal summer was followed by a relatively cool early Fall. Warm, dry weather in September turned very wet in late September and a few outbreaks of botrytis were reported. Many vineyards were harvested during dry periods in the first week of October prior to a second major wet storm which occured on October 11. The grapes at Domaine Drouhin showed good fruit maturity and varietal character. The berries were healthy and ripe with normal thickness of skin.
Pretty ruby color. On the nose, seductive and refined aromas of red berries and cherry, still underdeveloped. The underlying structure is very pleasant and the soft tannins make this wine very easy to swallow. Good length on the palate: the wine should evolve very gracefully and open up all in due time.