The 1988 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir was the first wine produced in Oregon by the Drouhin Family. With the 2008, which marks the 21st release, the Willamette Valley Pinot Noir has become a foundational element of many great wine lists and personal cellars. 95% of its fruit is produced on the family's estate in the Dundee Hills, and the wine is vinified as all Drouhin wines are, with an eye towards elegance, balance and finesse. Once grapes achieve the ripeness and complexity that the Drouhins look for, the fruit is hand-picked and brought to the winery in small totes for sorting (though virtually no sorting was required in 2008). Fermentation begins without inoculation, and in this case, moved along easily and uneventfully. The was moved into barrel, and as always, only 20% new oak was used. The wine was racked once before bottling, and has remained in bottle waiting for release until now.
Some years make you work very hard for what you get, others, like 2008, let you breathe a bit and appreciate how wonderful it is to make wine in Oregon. One might have wished for higher yields given the incredible quality, but we won't complain!
The 2008 is gorgeous, complex, intense, and very youthful. Aromatically expressive, I find notes of red and black cherry spice box and cedar. Already elegant and lovely, this cuvée has excellent weight, balanced with firm acidity and a very long finish. Though enjoyable now, it will develop substantially in the years to come, and should easily age for 10-15 years. - Véronique Drouhin-Boss, January, 2010