2017 Brick House Vineyard, Pinot Noir “Select” Willamette Valley, Oregon.
One of my favorites from the legendary Doug Tunnell and team at the all biodynamic Brick House Vineyard in Oregon’s Willamette Valley is their most approachable of the Pinot Noirs, the “Select” which is a moderately priced, estate grown wine that is only produced in exceptional vintage, like this one. The “Select” is a selection of barrels representing all the vineyard blocks on the farm, in the Ribbon Ridge AVA, all of which were picked at the discretion of the winemaker. The lively nature and expressive personality of the vintage is captured wonderfully in the Select Pinot and it shows the house style and terroir to near perfection with layers of dominate blue fruits, delicate spice, mineral tones and a touch of earthy charm to go with a lifted bouquet that is pretty in floral detail and is echoed on the dreamy aftertaste. The Select delivers a medium bodied, smooth textured palate of blackberry, cherry, blueberry and strawberry fruits along with a bit of briar spiciness, refined oak notes as well as wilted roses, loamy/woodsy chanterelles and orange marmalade. This is a stylish and satiny wine, but one that has a sophisticated structure, vigorous energy and inner (acidity) vibrancy, especially in its youthful form.
Brick House Vineyard, which was founded in 1990 and was an early adopter of organics, believes biodynamic agriculture holds particular appeal for winegrowers to achieve better quality, and became totally certified in the practice in 2002, making it one of the first in the region. Tunnell, who was clearly influence by the top domaines in Burgundy that use biodynamic techniques calls the methods holistic, regenerative for the soils and adds a positive spiritual approach with its close attention to nature’s cycles it harnesses energies not always obvious to the naked eye. The winemaking is traditional and like others of this generation gives a nod to the old world, in particular the Cote de Nuits classics. Brick House Vineyard has a collection the modern Dijon clones as well as blocks of Pommard and Wadensvil, two of the mainstay old clones in Oregon. Brick House also does one of the finest new world Gamay Noirs, it is a lovely wine itself and holds its own with this estate’s great Pinot Noir offerings. Along with Cameron Winery, Beaux Freres, St. Innocent and Ken Wright Cellars, to name a few, Brick House Vineyard is part of the generation that put Oregon wine where it is now, and for that we are grateful. Don’t miss these 2017s from Oregon, like this Select from Brick House!
($40 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive