2006 Beaux Frères, “The Beaux Frères Vineyard”, Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge, Oregon, USA
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Roving Sommelier is passionate about premium quality wines. Established in 1991 by world famous wine critic Robert Parker, Jr. and his brother-in-law Michael Etzel, Beaux Frères Winery is many wine lovers’ favourite Oregon vigneron and has developed a fine reputation and cult status internationally, especially with connoisseurs of iconic North American vineyards that produce top-notch, limited edition Pinot Noir.
While on holiday in 1986, Michael Etzel came across an 88-acre pig farm for sale located on Ribbon Ridge in the Northern Willamette Valley, Yamhill County, in Oregon. After some deliberation, Michael purchased the farm with his brother-in-law (the French idiom is “beaux frères”), Robert Parker, Jr.
Michael uprooted his young family from Colorado and moved to the farm the following summer. He began his focused pursuit as a vineyard manager by planting only Pinot Noir and slowly transforming the old pig and dairy farm into his jewel. While planting his own vineyard, Michael worked four harvests at Ponzi Winery. In 1990, Michael harvested his first crop and sold the grapes, except enough to make one barrel, to fellow Oregon-based winemakers Ken Wright and Dick Ponzi.
In 1991, a renovation of one of the barns led to the creation of Beaux Frères Winery. With each new vintage, Michael’s efforts further unveil his pursuit of Pinot Noir that is the purest expression of the vineyard. Let us just say, the rest is history.
The Beaux Frères Vineyard is located on an 88-acre farm atop Ribbon Ridge near Newberg (Yamhill County, Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA). Tall and stately Douglas fir trees cover nearly 50 acres of the farm, with homestead and winery buildings occupying another 8 acres. The vineyard is situated on 30 acres (24 of which are planted) of steep, contiguous southeast, south, and southwest facing hillsides of Willakenzie soils at elevations of around 400 feet. Planting began in 1988 with tightly planted Pinot Noir vines spaced at a density of about 2200 plants to the acre. The oldest vines in the vineyard are now a seasoned three decades old, and the vineyard is mainly a mixture of own-rooted Pommard and Wädenswil clones and younger Dijon clones on phylloxera-resistant rootstocks.
Since the first release in 1991, Beaux Frères philosophy remains the same to produce world-class Pinot Noir from low yields and ripe fruit that represents the uncompromised essence of the estate in the Willamette Valley – The Beaux Frères Vineyard.
Best enjoyed with good food in a convivial atmosphere.
Alcohol: 14.8% abv (75cl)
Grape variety: Pinot Noir
Flavour Profile: Medium-bodied, Highly aromatic, Rich, Complex, Savoury, Herbaceous, Floral, Forest Fruits, Spice