2017 Kelley Fox Wines, Pinot Noir “Mirabai” Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon.
The sultry and snappy whole cluster 2017 Mirabai Pinot from the talented Kelley Fox, who was until recently the winemaker at Scott Paul Wines is completely focused on her own label and these 2017’s are lovely wines, with this one in particular being wonderfully expressive with bright fruits and with stemmy and earthy tones. Fox’s Mirabai is 50% whole cluster, native yeast fermented and aged in only neutral French oak coming off the Maresh Vineyard in the Dundee Hills AVA, which she acutely notes is, classically rose petal perfumed saying that the new Mirabai 2017 is an utterly transparent, light red with youthful, fuschia highlights at the edges and is far deeper in flavor than its color might suggest. The 2017 is less ripe in weight, but maybe even more complex than the 2015 and 2016 versions, and the normal yields at Maresh Kelley was able to employ various older block into this Mirabai including Block 1/Red Barn (planted in 1970), the Long Rows (1970) the Old Block (1970), Block 8 (1978), Block 10/Star of Bethlehem Flower Block and Block 7 (1991) all of which adds to the excitement of flavors and depth in this vintage.
This 2017 shines and thrills the palate with tons of energy and a cascade of red fruits that range from brilliant bing cherry, wild plum, raspberry, strawberry to forceful pomegranate and blood orange along with zippy spices including cinnamon, mineral notes, leather/porcini, light cedar, tea notes and volcanic rock elements that reflect the Jory soils and terroir, adding the briar, red pepper, dried cinnamon and minty herbs. Fox adds, the own-rooted and non-irrigated Maresh Vineyard, which was first planted to Pommard and Wädenswil clones in 1970 by Jim and Loie Maresh, at the urging of Dick Erath, on Worden Hill Road above Dundee, and it is situated on a mostly south-facing slope between 500 and 700 feet above sea level, these old vines planted in Jory soil produce Pinot noir with the most seductive texture. I love this 2017 Mirabai, one of the best values in Kelley Fox’s lineup, which is named after the 16th century Indian poet, seer and saint who was known for his beautiful and wild-hearted nature, that reflects the style of this wine too and at 12.5% natural alcohol is lively and brilliantly focused, it should be good ager too, drink now through 2027.
($35 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive