2014 Brick House "Cuvée du Tonnelier" Ribbon Ridge Pinot Noir (1.5L)

SKU #1289320 92 points Vinous

 Vivid ruby-red. Complex aromas of ripe red and blue fruits, candied rose, cola and oak spices. Sweet and broad on the palate, offering juicy black raspberry, boysenberry and spicecake flavors that are given spine and sharpened by a jolt of zesty acidity. Round, even tannins shape the sweet, velvety finish, which hangs on with impressive tenacity. Doug Tunnel is an organic and biodynamic farming pioneer in Oregon, having achieved organic status in 1990 and Demeter certification in 2005. He lives on the 40-acre property, which is planted to just under 29 acres of vines, and his cozy winery, a former horse barn with much of the original tack still in place, is literally out the back door of his home. Tunnel produces a little under 4,000 cases a year, on average, of elegant, precise, Old World-inspired wines that are made with a good amount of whole clusters, native yeasts and no fining or filtration before bottling... The 2014s here are, as one might expect, more powerful expressions of Pinot than usual, but they stop short of overt ripeness. While their fruit is definitely to the fore, I also find the requisite balance to reward a decade or so of patience and I might be underestimating their capacity to age. (JR)  (8/2016)

92 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Editors' Choice* What differentiates this offering is the block selection-all Pommard clone-and a higher (30%) proportion of new cooperage. Warm and generous fruit flavors bring strawberry and cherry in a lushly textured wine that refreshes as it delights. The finish adds extended notes of lemon custard, orange flan and a lick of caramel. (PG)  (10/2016)

92 points Wine Spectator

 Lithe, supple and expressive, layered with cherry, cinnamon and floral flavors that come together seamlessly on the long, elegant, mineral-accented finish. Drink now through 2022. (HS)  (5/2016)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2014 Cuvée du Tonnelier Pinot Noir is a barrel selection from a Pommard clone block matured in around 30% new oak. It has a very earthy, slightly stemmy bouquet that has a touch of green pepper underlying the well-defined red berry fruit. The palate is fresh and clean, peppery in the mouth with crisp, fine tannin, a keen line of acidity and a foursquare but fresh finish that is very satisfying. Not one for those seeking plenty of juicy fruit, but a classy wine for sure. (NM)  (4/2016)

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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.


- 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.