Editor’s Note: This Pinot Noir review is part of our value wine series. Discover easy drinking, delectable wines that won’t break the bank.
Domaine Loubejac Pinot Noir 2014 Review from Dundee, Willamette, Oregon, USA
Drinking Pinot Noir from the 2014 vintage in Oregon is a good idea if you enjoy the Pinot Noir grape variety. 2014 is offering some of the most expressive Pinot Noir’s in recent memory, and Domaine Loubejac’s version is no exception. You can find this wine for the more than modest price of $14.99 at Total Wine and some other major retailers.
Pinot Noir is a fickle grape variety that is notoriously difficult to grow. Its thin skins make it easily susceptible to rot and disease, while it also requires a cooler climate to grow. The climate can’t be too cold though, otherwise it won’t be able to produce sugar within the confines of the grape skin.
According to Domaine Loubejac…
“The 2014 vintage has the richness and power of 2012 but the restraint and balance of the classic 2013 vintage. Fresher and more balanced than 2009, and every bit as powerful, this vintage of a lifetime may be Oregon’s best harvest to date. From bud-break throughout harvest, growers and winemakers statewide experienced almost ideal growing conditions that delivered a record amount of exceptional, balanced fruit.”
I don’t always like to quote the producer, because wine tasting is for the most part a subjective practice, but here I largely agree with them. This particular wine is everything I would have expected from a New World Pinot, especially one from the Willamette Valley.
For this particular vintage, Pinot Noir grapes were harvested from the Domaine Loubejac Estate Vineyard. They were soaked for two days before being fermented, with 19 days of grape skin contact. Malolactic fermentation occurred over 5 months and was then aged for 8 months in French oak barrels.
Background on Domaine Loubejac
Domain Loubejac lies at the Southern end of the Willamette Valley in Oregon. Approximately 70 miles South of Portland and about 40 miles inland from the Pacific.
Many New World Pinot Noir producers draw their inspiration from the most famous Pinot Noir growing region in the world — Burgundy, France. Domaine Loubejac is no exception, however the difference with this producer is that the micro climate for their particular vineyard properties lays on the 45th parallel in the Southern Willamette Valley in Oregon. That’s almost exactly in line with Burgundy in France. Coincidence? I think not. These similarities in climate only help to enhance the flavor profile of Pinot Noir grown across Willamette.
At the same time, the unique soil composition across their vineyards offers a refreshing hint of mineral flavors. This, in conjunction with the consistent winds that persist across the vineyard, allow for additional refinement and complexity commonly only seen in the Old World.
Domaine Loubejac Pinot Noir 2014 Tasting Notes
In the glass, this wine has a clear bright red ruby hue with a pale translucency. The nose is of a medium intensity, with red fruits along the lines of raspberry, cherry and red currant.
The palate is dry with a light body and elevated but refreshing acidity. The open begins with raspberry, red cherry, red currant and little hints of cranberry. The mid-palate allows for the acidity to shine through while toning down the ripe red fruit and bringing out more reserved, overripe strawberry. Towards the close, brightness rises again with elements of dragon fruit undertones, red cherry and soft raspberry over a medium finish. Little to no evidence of herbaceous, spice or vegetable tones in this wine that I’m able to detect. Medium length on the finish.
Overall, this is a nice quality wine available at a great price from one of the regions best vintages of all time. It’s a great any occasion wine, and will go nicely by itself or as an aperitif.
Domaine Loubejac Pinot Noir Food Pairings
Given the light-body, acidity and bright red fruit in this wine, consider seafood dishes, light game or poultry with a citrus base. Cooked mussels in garlic and citrus sauce, tomato-based pasta and ground chicken or cedar-planked salmon fillet will all work quite nicely.