2023 Brooks Winery, Gemischter Satz, Eola-Amity AVA, Willamette Valley, Oregon.
The rare Austrian inspired Brooks Gemischter Satz Willamette Valley white wine is unique blend of varietals and done is a zesty crisp mineral driven style with loads of zippy acidity and restrained ripeness and subtle aromatics, showing off racy citrus and stone fruits on the lighter framed palate, making for a lovely and refreshing Summer wine. Brooks does a collection of alternative whites and are famous for their incredible range of Rieslings, along with Alsatian classics Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and Gewürztraminer which get blended and or made into single varietal bottlings depending on the vintage, with this one being a debut release. Unlike the Austrian Grüner Veltliner led version which can see as many as 19 different grapes, this one wasn’t co-fermented, but rather was a winemaker selection of separate varietal lots, mostly done in small stainless tanks. This precise, steely and finely detailed ultra pale straw/greenish gold white has lots of personality with an array of lemon/lime, quince, unripe apricot, mango, gooseberry, sour green apple and pithy orange fruits along with subtle florals, Asian spices, a sea shore element, wet rock and verbena accents. I was luckily enough to taste this pre-release special Brooks offering with owner Janie Brooks Huek recently along her tasty pure Pinot Blanc and a set of Pinot Noirs, including the Rastaban and the Temperance Hill, both of which were exceptional. Brooks is one of the greenest wineries and most award winning in Oregon, and are committed to sustainable practices including only organic grapes from mainly volcanic mineral rich soils and have full estate biodynamic certification by Demeter.

Janie Brooks Heuk, who runs this innovative Oregon winery that specializes in Pinot Noir and Riesling and who just announced her long time assistant winemaker, Claire Jarreau, is taking the lead role here and comes into this with tons of passion, experience and precision. As Claire looks to raise the bar here at Brooks after finishing her first harvest in charge with the 2023s, I got a chance to sample through the current releases, all of which are delicious and soulful examples. The Brooks Winery, as I’ve noted in my prior reviews, was founded by the late Jimi Brooks, who tragically passed away much too young, and is based in the Willamette Valley’s Amity-Eola Hills with an inspirational tale starting with passion, leading to heartbreak, then to love of family and responsibility to community. As I’ve said before I’m honored to have had an early look in on this great journey in American wine and it was a pleasure to catch up with Janie Brooks Heuck recently and taste through the new releases. The Brooks wines, up until this vintage have been made by Chris Williams, who as a winemaker believed in low intervention and traditional methods, and the wines are lovely, dynamic and filled with life, they have plenty of acidity to keep their fans happy, especially in the Riesling, as seen here. Originally inspired by his time in Burgundy, Jimi Brooks focused on a rustic whole cluster style with his Pinots that showed a Nuits-Saint-Georges personality and old world charm, something that has continued at Brooks, especially with the captivating Rastaban bottling, always a favorite of mine, and the Rieslings are also distinctively old world versions, both in dry and sweet styles. As I’ve said many times, this is an exciting winery to follow and I highly recommend getting on their mailing list and visiting them when you are in the Willamtte Valley.
($30 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

By admin