2012BeauxFreresZena2012 Beaux Freres, Pinot Noir, Zena Crown Vineyard, Eola/Amity AVA, Willamette Valley, Oregon.
I had heard the rumor that Beaux Freres was so happy with certain 2012 purchased fruit that they’d do single vineyard wines from their partner’s grapes, and this Zena Crown is one of them, maybe the only to be offered, and it is magnificent, a ultra pure Pinot Noir that goes beyond beautiful! I have been working on 2010 Barolo notes and other fantastic Nebbiolo, and it would take something really special to get me away from them, and this Beaux Freres Zena Crown did that, this wine is extremely world class, graceful and wonderfully deep, in fact it is more evolved and focused that the Beaux Freres Vineyard estate wine at this point, it’s much more integrated, showing more elegance and the wood has melded in and is much more subtle, this sublime Pinot really makes an impression, it is terroir in the glass, but it also transcends it, this wine’s inner core of Pinot fruit is amazing, it could be a Grand Cru Burgundy, it could be a great Spatburgunder from the Ahr in Germany, it is not trying to be either, but it has so much character it is hard to imagine limited it in your mind. The 2012 Beaux Freres Zena Crown starts with blackberry, bramble, rose petal, violet notes, a deep garnet hue and light spice, mineral and smoke leading to a detailed and layered palate of black cherry, plum, kirsch, red currant and dusty/flinty notes with faint vanilla, cedar, briar, anise and incense/tea. The textural feel is heavenly and the tannins are ripe and silky, the acidity is juicy and more creamy adding the vibrancy and lift, but feeling smooth and juicy, this wine is flowing and seamless, impressive in everyday, Mike Etzel and his team have crafted a gorgeous Pinot Noir from near perfect Zena Crown grapes, which has a mix of modern Dijon and Pommard clones on Volcanic and Nekia soils, and allowed them to shine through and come to live in a glorious way, this is special stuff, there might be more available from other top sites as well, Grand Moraine, Hyland and Savoya are listed as other vineyard designates on their website, and if this Zena Crown is anything to go by, you’ll want to get them as well, I hope I get my own hands on them! 2012 is a vintage to buy in Oregon, it looks like the best since 1994, and better than 1998 or 2008, if you are a Pinot lover, don’t miss these wines!
($75 Est.) 95+ Points, grapelive

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