2006 Beaux Frères "Upper Terrace" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1037472 94 points Wine Spectator

 Elegant and refined, with a plush underpinning to the lucsious raspberry, blackberry and black plum fruit, shaded with subtle hints of peppermint and a whiff of char as the finish sails on smoothly. (HS)  (6/2008)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Brilliant red. Fresh and spicy aromas of wild strawberry, raspberry and Asian spices. Clean, energetic red fruit flavors are underscored by zesty minerality and framed by silky tannins. Seductive and juicy, with enticing finishing sweetness and cut. This vineyard is planted to five different Dijon clones. (JR)  (6/2008)

K&L Notes

Want to know what kind of wine influential writer Robert Parker Jr. really likes? Try this wine from Oregon's Beaux Frères, which he co-owns with his brother-in-law Michael Etzel and Robert Roy. The 2006 Beaux Frères "Upper Terrace Vineyard" Pinot Noir has a darker fruit character than its Beaux Frères Vineyard counterpart. Its bouquet is also marked by aromas of fresh-cut spring flowers and forest floor. Ripe fruit tending toward blackberry and black currant nobly expresses itself along with those same spring flowers. Less flamboyant, too, this wine is wonderfully elegant with excellent aging potential.

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Price: $74.99
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Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- Highly touted for its Pinot Noirs, Oregon is part of the up-and-coming winemaking industry in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Most of Oregon is directly affected by the climate coming off of the Pacific Ocean, giving it mild winters and wet summers. This makes it a difficult place to ripen grapes, but some say that the harder grapes have to struggle, the more complex they will turn out to be. Chardonnay and Pinot Gris are two important and successful grapes grown in Oregon.