2015 Beaux Frères, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, $65
Winery Info: Mike Etzel is one of the most respected Pinot producers in Oregon. His estate is located in the coveted Ribbon Ridge appellation. He farms biodynamically, and with great passion and attention to detail, from his nurturing of the microbes in the soil, to his meticulous hands-on management of each vine from bud break to harvest. Beaux Frères produces several wines a year from their estate vineyards, plus this Willamette Valley blend sourced from their own vineyards as well as other carefully selected growers. Grown and produced with the same attention and winemaking process as their estate wines.
Winemaker: Mike’s son Mike Jr. now oversees winemaking, assisted by Aaron Kendall
Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir, aged 10 to 12 months in French oak, about a third of which was new.
Vineyard source: Select vineyard sites in the northern Willamette Valley: 28% Zena Crown, 18% Gran Moraine, 15% Beaux Frères, 15% Hyland, 11% Sequitur, 8% Guadalupe, and 5% Upper Terrace.
Flavor profile: Rich and expressive, with gorgeous depth and structure and lingering flavors of dark plum and spice and smooth tannins.
Production/Availability: They make a good amount of this wine and it should be in stock for the foreseeable future.
Drinkability: Now through 2024
Food Pairing: Boeuf Bourguignon, pepper steak
2015 J. Scott Cellars, Blanc de Noir, $22
Winery Info: Jonathan Scott Oberlander worked at Bernardus Vineyards in Monterey before relocating to Oregon to work for Silvan Ridge Winery. After six years there, he launched his own winery, now based in the Westside Warehouse District in Eugene. He works with a wide variety of grapes including, of course, Pinot Noir. This is one of a very few white Pinots being made in Oregon, made with limited skin contact, producing a wine with little to no color picked up from the dark skins.
Winemaker: Johathan Scott Oberlander
Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir, fermented and aged in stainless steel.
Vineyard sources: Several vineyard sites in the Willamette Valley.
Flavor profile: Lively and inviting flavors of white stone fruit, with a balancing touch of richness and weight.
Production/Availability: 125 cases. It is still in good supply.
Drinkability: Ready to drink now or over the next year or two.
Food Pairing: Appetizers, crab and avocado salad, pasta, cream-based soup, or anything with mushrooms.