2014 Brooks Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1252933 90 points Vinous

 Brilliant red. Spice-tinged cherry and red berries on the fragrant nose. Taut and focused, offering bitter cherry and red currant flavors and a sweeter hint of candied rose on the back half. Clings with good tenacity on the finish, which is framed by gentle, even tannins. For many years, Brooks’ winemaker Chris Williams has been producing some of the finest bottlings of dry Riesling in the New World. His 2014s will only serve to bolster this winery’s already solid spot at the top of the shopping lists of those who love crackling, pure examples of the variety. The Pinot Noirs here aren’t that shabby, either - far from it, in fact, as recent vintages of Brooks’ graceful and often savory, Old World-esque versions of the variety have consistently been showing top-tier quality, in my book, for the last several years. Fruit for the Brooks wines is sourced from up to two dozen vineyards that range across the Willamette Valley, but pride of place goes to the 20-acre estate vineyard that surrounds the winery in the Amity Hills. This site provides roughly a third of Brooks’ fruit needs and it has vines that date back to 1973, which is quite old for Oregon. While the vineyard has been farmed biodynamically since 2002, official Demeter certification was conferred in 2012. In keeping with the house style, the 2014s here are surprisingly agile wines for the vintage, with red fruit and floral character to the fore. (JR)  (11/2016)

90 points Wine Spectator

 Broad and open-textured, with firm tannins around a generous core of cherry and spice flavors, lingering well. Drink now through 2020. 3,811 cases made.  (2/2016)

Wine Enthusiast

 Put this into the budget category (for Oregon Pinot Noir) where it shines. Fruity and forward, there’s plenty to like in the mix of orange flesh and rind, and strawberry and cherry hard candy. The fruit is backed with ample tannin, and a warm touch of mocha and toast fills in the finish.  (12/2016)

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Price: $21.99
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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.