Early last evening we had an excellent pinot noir with dinner. It was so good that I had almost half a bottle, even though I had to work! (Am at work right now, as a matter of fact.)
You may have read one or more previous posts where I sang the praises of Domaine Drouhin Willamette Valley pinot noir. I really like that wine, because it has a very mellow yet complex taste and a long finish. Domaine Drouhin is the Oregon "branch" - vineyard and winery - of the famous Maison Joseph Drouhin in Burgundy. Their pinots are naturally fermented and gravity flowed. Supposedly, this minimal handling is essential for a good pinot noir. Don't ask me why because I have no idea. I'm just repeating what I was told a few months ago.
Anyway, earlier today Bill bought a bottle of their Laurène. It is also pinot noir, but this one is made from select grapes and is bottle aged one year longer than the standard wine. It commands a $15 per bottle premium over the standard pinot, so we never really thought about buying it before. It was just too damned expensive, especially given the fact that the "regular" version was already excellent. But then he saw it being sold for less than $50/bottle at a local wine store, so he bought one.
Hot-diggity-damn! It is GOOD! I always feel really stupid when I try to describe wine beyond saying "it's good" or "it's swill", because I have absolutely no illusions about being a wine expert. Having said that, I still want to try to describe Laurène. I think it is more rounded than the regular Drouhin pinot. It has slightly softer mouthfeel and a longer finish. It also tastes stronger (as in stronger in alcohol), but that might not have anything to do with alcohol content. It just tastes that way. I went through my half of the bottle in fairly short order. Wanted to make like Oliver... Please sir, may I have some more? But alas, we had no more. And anyway I had to go to work. Ugh.
So here I am, sitting at my desk, still inwardly smiling as I think about that wonderful, fantastically delicious pinot noir. Try some if it's available in your neighborhood. Alternatively, you can order direct from the winery, but of course you'll have to pay full retail price, plus shipping.