2009 Beaux Frères, Pinot Noir, The Beaux Frères Vineyard, Ribbon Ridge AVA, Willamette Valley, Oregon.
The beautifully mature 2009 Beaux Frères BFV Pinot Noir is, especially this bottle, peaking now and I would highly recommend popping corks on any that people might have tucked away, as to not miss the best and most pleasing features of this special Oregon wine. The color is still ruby/garnet with just a hint of brick and the nose is just starting to fade into dried flowers and fruit with a gorgeous medium bodied palate of black cherry, poached plum, raspberry, burnt orange and Mission fig fruits, along with a touch of rose petal porporri, truffle, grilled herbs, black tea, loamy earth, shaved vanilla, sous bois and a faint autumn leaves. This is excellent and silken Pinot that is wearing its age and tertiary elements very well and the graceful textural quality make it a joy in the glass, it lingers on and on with a complex and dreamy delicacy, a big thank you to my friend Germain, who dug deep into her cellar to share this wine in a tasting of Oregon wines recently. One of Oregon’s most coveted and prized wineries, Beaux Frères, founded by Mike Etzel, on an old pig farm in the Ribbon Ridge appellation back in the late eighties, it’s an area that has ancient marine sediment Willakenzie soils and picturesque hillside vineyards, perfect for deep, vivid and expressive Pinot Noir. The original Beaux Frères vineyard, at close to 400 feet of elevation, is a mixture of own-rooted Pommard and Wädenswil clones, along with a selection younger Dijon clones which were planted later on phylloxera-resistant rootstocks.

As mentioned in my prior reviews, Beaux Freres, established back in 1986, though their estate first bottling was released in 1991, is one of the Willamette Valley’s most admired wineries that is focused mainly on terroir driven Pinot Noirs, which have become legendary efforts. The Pinots here are made in traditional Burgundian methods and, like Brick House Vineyard just down the road here in Ribbon Ridge, is committed to following biodynamic principles in the vines and in the cellar. The fermentation is allowed to occur spontaneously, relying on “wild” indigenous yeast, and as the winery notes, the must is tended to the old-fashioned way with punch downs and pump overs by hand throughout the day and night in small lots with lengthy maceration(s) before being pressed to barrel. Every vintage dictates the oak regime here at Beaux Freres and the wines see a percentage of new oak depending on the strength and concentration of the year with most of the Pinots getting a good dose of neutral wood and get 30% to 50% new in the best selections. The wines, which are matured in classic barriques, see no racking and Beaux Freres believes in reductive winemaking throughout the process to save freshness and purity of aromatics. The wines see, typically, 12 months in toasty French oak with secondary fermentation happening naturally and the Pinots are bottled without fining or filtering. This distinctive Beaux Frères Vineyard bottling and the Upper Terrace Pinot, from vines planted in 2000 and exclusively to Dijon clones, are the top wines here and should be bucket list Pinots, they age well, as proven to me many times, I highly recommend them.
($89 to $125 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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