Beaux Frères Pinot Noir The Beaux Frères Vineyard
WHY WE LOVE IT
- The Beaux Frères Vineyard was planted by Mike & Jackie Etzel from 1987 – 1991 primarily to Pommard & Wädenswil clones on their own roots.
- This 24 acre vineyard started out with conventional farming techniques but in 2002 Mike started following the principals of biodynamics.
- An average vine age of about 25 years puts this vineyard in the prime of its life.
- This wine, as always, is 100% from the original estate vineyard.
Varietal Composition: 100% Pinot Noir
Elaboration: Fermentation is allowed to occur spontaneously, relying on “wild” indigenous yeast, and tended to the old-fashioned way with punch downs and pump overs by hand throughout the day (and night). The tanks are emptied into the press and the new wine is then moved into French oak barrels. The proportion of new barrels vs. neutral ones varies according to the strength and concentration of the vintage, usually about 30 to 50%. Secondary fermentation occurs naturally at a rather relaxed pace by comparison with the ‘norm’ in their very cool barrel cellar. Once in barrel exposure to oxygen is intentionally reduced. Beaux Freres does not practice the typical racking process of transferring a wine from barrel to barrel to aerate. The only racking occurs after 10- to 12-months, when they rack into a settling tank before bottling. This is the only time the wine is exposed to air, and even then, it is minimal in order to protect the aromatics. Aging on lees in their cold cellar, and the fact that there is no movement of the wine (racking) until bottling, results in a buildup of CO2 – a by-product of the secondary/malolactic fermentation. This serves as a natural preservative and Beaux Freres to use far less sulfur than most wine producers.
Tasting Notes: A darker, more brooding and fuller bodied wine, our original estate vineyard Pinot is approachable but ideally will benefit from several years of patience. One of their best vintages given the richness and purity of the spectrum of red, blue and black fruits on parade and virtually no oak showing despite being raised in 50% of the finest new French oak.
2016 – 92 Jeb Dunnuck | 95 Wine Spectator | 95 Vinous
2017 – 92+ Wine Advocate | 94-95 Vinous | 95 Wine Spectator
2018 – 94+ Wine Advocate | 95 Wine Spectator | 95 Vinous | 96 James Suckling
2019 – 94 Wine Spectator
Founded in 1986 by “Beaux Frères” (i.e. brothers-in-law) Michael G. Etzel and wine critic Robert M. Parker, the Beaux Frères winery is located on an 88-acre farm in the most prestigious terroirs of Willamette Valley. Using biodynamic and organic practices, as well as non-manipulative, uncompromising methods Beaux Frères crafts the most natural and authentic wines. The Henriot Family acquired the Beaux Frères winery in April of 2017.