2014 Beaux Frères "Beaux Frères Vineyard" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Attractive spice, rust and stone aromas here with plenty of ripe fruit, too. Medium to full body, firm yet velvety tannins and a long, flavorful finish. Seriously seductive. Gorgeous. Drink or hold.
**#3 ine the Top 100 Wines of 2016** Supple, expressive and multilayered, exhibiting flavors of plum, currant, pomegranate and violet that come together harmoniously, persisting into the long and exceptionally well-balanced finish. Drink now through 2024. (HS)
Ruby-red. Heady, deep-pitched aromas of black raspberry, cherry cola and candied flowers, plus an Indian spice nuance and a hint of vanilla. Sappy and expansive on the palate, offering cherry liqueur, dark berry and spicecake flavors complemented by suggestions of mocha and licorice. Manages to be rich as well as lively, with no rough edges that I can detect. Tightens up very slowly with air and finishes sweet and extremely long; smooth tannins add gentle grip to the sappy fruit. 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)