Joseph Drouhin’s 2002 Vero Pinot Noir is yet another wine in the recent slew of French pinots that are varietally labeled and attractively packaged intended for the “New World” wine market. Joseph Drouhin is a very well-known and highly respected negociant and producer of Burgundy. This particular bottling is named after his great-granddaughter Véronique Drouhin, winemaker for Domaine Drouhin Oregon, and is packaged with a chic and minimalist label. I had the pleasure of meeting Véronique last October in Oregon at the family’s beautiful hillside winery in the Red Hills of Dundee. Her father Robert and mother were busy taking must samples as I quickly walked past on my way to the men’s room. I was a bit awestruck by their presence but with my French limited and my need to visit the bathroom pressing…well I think you understand.
2002 Vero Pinot Noir is simple and straightforward to a fault. This pinot noir has very little to offer and though traditionally made is not very interesting. In the nose the wine is strawberry fruit with some Brettanomyces and dusty oak. God love a little “brett” character when a wine lacks real mojo! Vero’s palate is lean and light and best suited as a quaffer with dinner. Trouble is, I can think of other French pinot priced far less that I would much rather drink with my mid-week meal. Forget about uncorking this wine on the weekend for this pinot would surely disappoint: it is far too simplistic given its price-point.
In fact, when considering Vero’s posted retail price it becomes painfully obvious that Vero Pinot Noir represents very poor value indeed. Luckily, this pinot had been given to me so with its uncorking I did not suffer any financial loss, only an acute sense of frustration as I searched for something more interesting to have with dinner. Not recommended!