Beaux Frères Pinot Noir Zena Crown
WHY WE LOVE IT
- Zena Crown Vineyard has became a sought-after single-vineyard designate for top producers like Beaux Frères, Soter, and Penner-Ash.
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 sulphur than most wine producers.
Tasting Notes: Aromas of nutmeg and Asian five spice stitched together with black currant and wet granite.
2016 – 93 Wine Spectator
2018 – 94 Vinous
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.