2014 Beaux Frères Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Bright ruby-red. Suave, oak-spiced aromas of ripe dark berries, cherry cola and minerals carry a zesty floral overtone. Silky and expansive on the palate, offering juicy black raspberry, cola and lavender pastille flavors plus hints of mocha and spicecake. Shows impressive clarity and spicy lift on a very long, fruit-driven finish that's shaped by even, slow-mounting tannins. Mike Etzel told me that 2014 required "lots of work to keep the crop down" and that it was a vintage marked by "big clusters and big grapes" that produced wines that will deliver a lot of upfront pleasure and, made carefully, "will live a long time." He did some research and told me that he finds intriguing parallels between Burgundy’s 1959 growing season and the resulting wines and 2014 in the Willamette Valley. "Those ‘59s weren’t expected to age well," he pointed out, "but look at them now and through their lives..." I always feel compelled to point out that the winemaking style has been in constant evolution here...As for the ‘14s here, they are highly expressive, fruit-driven wines that should provide great pleasure on the young side, but I agree with Etzel’s assertion that they will be deceptively long-lived because of their sheer density of fruit. (JR)
Bright and tangy, with raspberry and cherry flavors that gain momentum as they push against fine tannins into a long and expressive finish. Best from 2018 through 2024. ( Insider 06/2016, HS)
Sourced from a variety of low-yielding, sustainably farmed vineyards around the region, Beaux Freres makes their Willamette Valley Pinot Noir with the same process as their estate wines. The main difference is that they intentionally utilize less new oak in the barrel treatment (about 1/3 new French oak overall) than that of their estate wines. From Beaux Freres: "A medium ruby color. On the nose, this wine has a lush fragrance of sweet dark cherries, baking spices and sandalwood. In the mouth, it is very savory, plush, medium acidity and irresistible. This may be the best Willamette Valley cuvée that we have made to date."