2019 Kelley Fox Wines, Pinot Noir, Mirabai, Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon.
The brilliantly vivid and gemstone ruby hued 2019 Mirabai Pinot Noir from the hugely talented Kelley Fox is just gorgeous in the glass with radiant flavors, spices and aromatic florals that all seduce the senses, highlighting a sense of place, in this case the iron rich Jory soils and hillside old vines of the Dundee Hills as well as the lighter framed lift of the vintage, fabulous from start to finish. There’s some whole bunch juiciness and crunch that adds to the exotic side that comes trough with a touch of earthiness and mineral tones that go beautifully well with the core cherry and strawberry fruit and the subtle neutral wood, making for, as Fox says, a transparent, luminous and uplifting Pinot Noir that I suggest is a Pinot for Pinot lovers with a nice cut of acidity and absolute purity, no pretense or make up on this natural beauty. In recent years I have come to really love these Kelley Fox offerings, especially this bottling, which is always a fantastic value, but I also must say, Fox’s Freedom Hill Pinot Blanc is exceptional and should not be missed either. The delicate and medium bodied Mirabai opens open to real bright, but silky layers of the cherry and strawberry led fruits along with a touch of pomegranate, plum and brambly red berries along with orange tea, dusty red spices, including a bit of shaved cinnamon and pepper, cedar and rose petals.
This 2019 vintage of Mirabai was crafted from two vineyards in the Dundee Hills, 75% from the old vines at the Maresh Vineyard, with some of the blocks dating back to the early 1970s, one of the top cru sites in the region and then about 25% from the Webber Vineyard, which is all self rooted Pommard clone that was planted back in 1983, both of which add pedigree, fruit density and complexity to this oh so good wine. Fox, who has been a top consultant and winemaker in Oregon for many years, including a decade at the Scott Paul winery, used about 30% whole cluster and native yeast fermentation for this Mirabai, which saw a gentle maceration and was aged close to nine months in well seasoned French oak barrels. This is wonderfully fresh in style with just 12.5% natural alcohol, though (it) has impressive depth and texture, but is easy to enjoy in its youth, somewhat Cru Beaujolais like and it is very nice with a slight chill as well. The Mirabai selection is great way to get started with the Kelley Fox collection before digging into her more precious bottlings, such as her single vineyard versions from Webber, Maresh and Hyland, all of which are a bit more serious and age worthy. That said, this Mirabai, for the price is one that is light on the wallet for the quality on offer and one to stock up on. Fox made 972 cases of this rewarding Mirabai Pinot, so it is readily available, so there is no excuses to not get some, you’ll be happy you did.
($37 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive