2022 Brick House Vineyard, Pinot Noir “Select” Ribbon Ridge AVA, Willamette Valley, Oregon.
One of my favorite producers and one of the first Burgundy inspired certified biodynamic properties in the new world and of course Oregon, Brick House and founder Doug Tunnell make some fantastic Chardonnay, Gamay and in particular Pinot Noir, like this entry level estate Select bottling, which is brightly ruby hued, youthful, focused and pure. This 2022 Select is fresh and lively in the glass with loads of charm, character and a delicate earthiness, it shows off a vibrant array of black cherry, cranberry, wild berry, plum and tart red currant fruits, plus a light dusting of spices, sandalwood, mineral tones, crushed flowers, loamy underbrush, a touch of toasty vanilla, snappy herbs and blood orange tea. This vintage is silken and has fine grained ripe tannins that melt into this pretty medium bodied Pinot Noir, sourced from all organic grapes coming from the Ribbon Ridge’s ancient Willakenzie soils, one of Oregon’s prime sub regions, which is home to some of the Willamette Valley’s best wineries, like Brick House, as well as Patricia Green, Beaux Frères, Sequitur and Penner-Ash to name a few. This 2022 version is just starting to develop and comes off juicy, nicely aromatic and vivid at first, but opens up well with air and gains personality and complexity, making it an exciting wine and one that benefits greatly being paired with food and simple cuisine choices. In recent years, Brick House, who is primarily known for Pinot, has really upped the quality in their Chardonnay game, they should not be overlooked, especially if you like restrained white Burgundy style versions.

As mentioned above and in my prior reviews, (the) Brick House Vineyard was established by Doug Tunnell, one of the admired winemakers in Oregon, who planted the first vines around his old brick farm house in the spring of 1990. Tunnell planted Pinot Noir first, then added Chardonnay and true Gamay Noir, which has been a cult favorite in the Brick House lineup for many years. Tunnell says that every one of his vines were planted with a commitment to holistic methods and sustainable farming, a practice that was rare in the Willamette Valley at that time, with Brick House becoming a true certified organic farm. After pioneering biodynamics in the Willamette Valley, Brick House in 2005 achieved its goal of a full Demeter Biodynamic certification. Today, Tunnell on his beautiful southeast facing slopes in Ribbon Ridge hosts close to 45,000 vines, densely planted to better produce elegant and intense wines, and in particular deep Burgundy inspired Pinot Noir. This area of the Willamette Valley, again, is mainly ancient seabed and has marine sediment soils and home, as noted, to some serious Cru quality vineyards, like Brick House and Beaux Frères have, and there is a distinct terroir influence here and you can see why Burgundy inspired winemakers love this place, in particular these wines. Ribbon Ridge bottlings by Cameron and more recently Hundred Suns, along with Tunnell’s offerings are big personal favorites, all of which are incredible and unique Pinots. It should be noted, this lighter framed, low alcohol Pinot saw a traditional native yeast fermentation and saw a lengthy elevage in French oak, and as always it has well judged in new barrel use, which is decided depending on the vintage’s concentration, with this one usually seeing only neutral barriques, that promotes transparency, as seen here.
($48 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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