Cheers To You

An exploration of all things wine with local wine expert Mary Earl.
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What we’re drinking: 2008 Domaine Drouhin Estate Chardonnay

October 3rd, 2012 by brynn grimley

Brynn writes:

I’ve wanted to drink this wine for a few months now, ever since my editor gave it to me as a “baby” gift, meant instead to be a reward for making it through the 9 months and of course the marathon of delivery.

Since I only drink one glass a wine at a time these days, and usually over the course of an hour or more, it’s often hard to find the time to sit back and truly relax. But a couple Friday’s ago I lucked out.

I put the baby to bed and seeing as I didn’t have to get up before the sun Saturday morning, I decided to treat myself to a glass of chardonnay while I caught up on the television shows I’d missed all week. (Yes this is what becoming a parent has done to me).

Looking through the wine rack, the  2008 “Arthur” Drouhin Family Estate Chardonnay caught my eye. It’s a wine from the Dundee Hills of Oregon, where Domaine Drouhin took up residence in 1987 with its first plantings.

The family operates in Oregon and also France’s Burgundy region, where it all started. The Oregon plantings are located between 400 and 800 in elevation, on top of the Dundee Hills. This location is similar in climate and latitude to Burgundy — which is why it appealed to Robert Drouhin, in charge of Burgundy’s legendary Maison Joseph Drouhin, when he visited Oregon for the first time in 1961.

The similarity in climate means the wines that are produced rival those made in Burgundy. That was certainly the case with the 2008 Arthur estate chardonnay. The juice is aged in half stainless steel and half oak.

The blended result is a medium-bodied wine with fruit-forward flavors, warmth in the middle from the hints of oak and minerality on the finish. For those who want to try a true chardonnay that hasn’t been over manipulated, or “over oaked” this is a perfect example of this grape’s potential.

A bottle is $30; half-bottle is $15. Domaine Drouhin wines are available at the local supermarket, but you can also purchase wine from the website.

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