2014beauxfrereszena2014 Beaux Freres, Pinot Noir, Zena Crown Vineyard, Eola/Amity, Willamette Valley, Oregon.
The Zena Crown, single vineyard series, from Beaux Freres is a wonderful example of year and place captured in bottle with glorious silky texture, light earthy/loam and deep fruit at it’s core. Usually a component part of the main base wine at Beaux Freres, the Zena Crown, was too good to be blended in, much like the Shea Vineyard has been in top vintages over the years for Beaux Freres, so was raised and bottled on it’s own. The vineyard has 48 distinct blocks and is at a pretty good slope with a beautiful surrounding of a conifer forest, it’s terroir is uniquely Eola/Amity with southly exposure, cool nights and has a loam/stony and Jory soil structure, which is excellent for Pinot Noir here in Oregon’s prime region. The volcanic iron and mineral plays itself subtlety into this fruit driven vintage with nice mixed spice and flinty notes that set off the blackberry, dark cherry and tangy plum fruits in Beaux Freres 2014 Zena Crown, along with hints of sweet leather, anise, cinnamon, peppered lavender oil and smoke adding detail to this seamless and beautiful Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, this is classy stuff from Mike Etzel and team. Brilliant ruby with an unfiltered/unfined opaque core this Zena Crown is one of the best yet from Beaux Freres non estate wines, it’s a more elegant wine than blockbuster at this stage, but should prove even better with 10 years of age, like a Burgundy (Gevrey-Chambertin especially) in many ways with a satiny core, but with hidden depth and charms, this is a wine of magical potential, impressive and well crafted, it gives just a few clues to it’s future greatness with lingering violets, rose petal, tangy currant and mild cedar/vanilla wood framing. The pieces all fit nicely together in Zena Crown, this Pinot is expressive and medium bodied with vibrant layers, it is a superb offering, just slightly under the estate wines that should go 20 years easy, and while maybe with a touch less glamour or flamboyance this wine is very seductive.
($75 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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