Best Of The Best 2006: Oregonian Opulence

One of three proprietors, Michael Etzel discovered the 88-acre prop­erty that would become Beaux Frères Vineyard in 1986. The Colorado resident’s brother-in-law, Robert Parker Jr., founder of The Wine Advocate, became a partner in the concern, which sought to transform the dairy farm into a vineyard producing top-tier Pinot Noir. A third partner, commercial developer and civil engineer Robert Roy, brought his development and financial acumen to the construction of the winery, and the first vintage was released in 1991.

Etzel’s technique emphasizes minimal handling, and fermentation is driven by natural yeasts. The secondary malolactic fermentation also occurs naturally, further refining the wines’ multitude of nuances. The Beaux Frères Willa­mette Valley Beaux Frères Vineyard Pinot Noir 2003 resonates with a variety of fruit that includes red and black berries and cherry, as well as wildflowers, in a cool, stately, multilayered composition that rests upon a mineral bed of firm tannins. This new-world Pinot should possess the power to age with the grace of a Burgundy.

Beaux Frères Vineyard
503.537.1137
($75)
www.beauxfreres.com

Photo by Jim Fets
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