95% of the Willamette Valley Pinot Noir comes from the Domaine Drouhin family estate, with the remaining 5% drawn from two neighboring sites and a third in the Eola Hills. All Pinot Noir was hand-picked into 25-pound totes, then hand sorted and de-stemmed at our four-level gravity flow winery. Fermentations were generally long and smooth, and from the earliest days it was clear that these wines would have rich, full flavors and remarkable texture. By the middle of November, the entire 2002 vintage was safely in barrel. As is our custom, there is never more than 20% new oak, which allows the character of the wine and vintage to shine through. Barrels are custom made for us in Burgundy, using Oak from France’s best forests.
2002 is already considered one of the all time great vintages in Oregon. A long, warm growing season produced ideal conditions for ripening Pinot Noir, particularly here in the Dundee Hills. Harvest began with the younger vines on September 28th and remained uninterrupted by rain through October 14th, when we concluded picking by bringing in our oldest blocks. Yields were less than two tons per acre and physiological grape maturity was ideal, as was evident in the wonderful balance between sugar ripeness and acidity. Simply put, 2002 was a year for Oregon’s top winemakers to make extraordinary wines.
The 2002 Classique is a delightful wine laced with aromatics of intense fruit, cherry and red berries. True to the varietal and vintage, this Pinot displays ripe but refined tannins. This, combined with a hint of oak, lends to an opulent texture of elegance and lingering finesse. Pair this wine with any number of Burgundian specialties (Boeuf Bourguignon or Coq au Vin) and/or a selection of artisanal cheeses (Comte, Epoisses, Gruyere.) This wine is excellent now, but may also be enjoyed for another 10 years.