Release Date: September 1, 2008 , Bottle. 0, Magnum. 5, Jeroboam. 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. 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 identifying barrels which have an extra complexity, length and depth, barrels which will work together as Laurène. In recent years, Laurène has been named one of the "Great Wines of America” by Paul Lukacs in his book of the same name, "World Class Oregon” (in 2006, by the Oregonian newspaper, the only wine included), and one of the "Top 25 Pinot Noirs” by Nick Passmore in Forbes.
The winter months were unusually dry & warm, which led to early bud break. A relatively cool, wet spring slowed the maturation process down and caused some uneven flowering over an extended period, which ultimately resulted in painfully low yields. But, the vines enjoyed a lovely, moderate summer, a fairly non-eventful September, & excellent ripening. For those who waited until October, harvest was calm and successful, and the wines are excellent.
True to the vintage, the 2005 Cuvée Laurène is a deep, densely knit, almost brooding wine. Complex and complete, the '05 has excellent structure and balance, and it is clear that patience will be very well rewarded. In contrast to the 2004, which was softer, more immediately floral, and tipped to the red-fruit spectrum, the 2005 Laurène is darker and carries a more serious air. Notes of black fruits and spice are clearly present. The body is rich and the finish long, suggesting a minimum ageing potential of 10 or more years. Véronique Drouhin-Boss, May 2008