Seattle Wine Blog

This blog is dedicated to commentary on all aspects of wine, especially short entries to help you find the best wines without the usual hype and spin. These are my frank, independent opinions, usually based on tasting wine at a public event, off the shelf or at the winery. "All creative acts must arise out of a specific soil and flicker with a spirit of place" -D.H. Lawrence

Monday, May 22, 2006

New France- Domaine Drouhin

New France – Domaine Drouhin

In 2002, we opened a bottle of 1992 Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir to drink with King Salmon, a classic Northwest pairing. Our only regret was the thought that perhaps we had just committed infanticide. Several years later we did a comparison tasting of Oregon Pinot, French Pinot and California Pinot. We tasted with Bob and Kathy Tovey and the tasting was blind. In the end we came up with a statistical rarity. All four tasters ranked the wines in the exact same order. The Oregon Pinot Noir ranked first, the California Pinot second and the French Burgundy third. In reality all three wines were outstanding. .It is cheating a little to say the winner was the Oregon Pinot Noir because it was from Domaine Drouhin -  perhaps a win for Franco-American cooperation, perhaps a win for Franco-American relations, perhaps a win for French tradition and Oregon soil, a win nevertheless. And the  Domaine Drouhin was half the price of the Kistler from California and one quarter the price of the French Burgundy

On my most recent visit to Oregon, the 2004 “Arthur” Chardonnay was deliciously fresh and mineral cool, just like an exceptional Meursault from Burgundy. The 2003 Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir was fresh and clear, elegant, with excellent fruit flavors. Sort of the essence of Pinot Noir in a clean fresh style. As usual I preferred this wine to the Domaine Laurene.  

Since Domaine Serene was just across the road we couldn’t resist a visit to the pretentious palace. For fifteen dollars we got to taste overpriced wine after passing through the “reception.” I asked for a room with a canopied King sized bed, but they didn’t get it. I guess it’s a good idea to have a wannabe across the road. It just highlights the elegance of the real thing.


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