Our 1999 vintage Beaux Frères has a saturated dark ruby/purple color to the rim. A surprisingly sweet, almost jammy nose of cola, black cherry liqueur, raspberries and blackberries. Despite aging in 80% new François Frères oak, the wood is beautifully integrated and subtle (particularly impressive for such a young wine). Fat, succulent, fleshy and full-bodied, with an intense richness and seamless texture, this wine has the potential to be the most seductive and complex wine we have produced. Think of it as a hypothetical blend of our velvety 1993 with the power and muscle of our 1998, but with softer tannin and lower acidity.
Beaux Freres Winery
The Beaux Frères Vineyard is located on an 86-acre farm atop Ribbon Ridge in the Chehalem Valley 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 6 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 Pinot Noir vines planted tightly spaced at a density of about 2200 plants to the acre. Currently the vines range in age from 3 to 12 years and are a mixture of own-rooted Pommard and Wädenswil clones and various of the new Dijon clones on phylloxera-resistant rootstocks.
This new parcel is located a good spoon-mashie-niblick combination as the golf ball flies northwest from heart of The Beaux Frères Vineyard. The 'Upper Terrace' vineyard is ten plantable acres of southeast-facing hillsides of Willakenzie soils at elevations similar to those of The Beaux Frères Vineyard. Eight of the ten acres are currently planted to various of the new Dijon clones of Pinot Noir. We look for good things to come from this new parcel beginning with the 2002 vintage.
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Named for the river that runs through the valley from Portland to Eugene, Willamette Valley is home to some of the best Pinot Noir vineyards in the Northwest. While along the same north/south line as Seattle, the Willamette Valley is protected from Pacific rains by the Coast Range on the western border and the Cascade Ranges to the east. Though sunshine is typically plentiful, rainfall can occasionally be tricky, and the wines here vary vintage to vintage. Within the Willamette Valley is a number of sub-regions, including McMinnville, Dundee and Yamhill.
The valley is known for its Pinots – Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. With a climate similar to Burgundy – in rainfall, sunlight hours and other climate factors – Pinot Noir has flourished here. Pinot Noir in Oregon produces wines that are fruit forward, yet complex, some with good agebility.
Other than Pinot Noir, many wineries grow Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. Pinot Gris from Oregon is delightful in its texture and food friendliness. Chardonnay in the valley adapts well to the cool climate and produces lean, elegant wines.
Oregon has long been an agricultural state, producing everything from hazelnuts to cattle. The Willamette Valley in particular is a fertile basin for all sorts of produce. Not quite pegged as a wine state, in 1965, a UC Davis graduate named David Lett decided that the Willamette's climate mirrored that of Burgundy in France. With that in mind, he decided to plant some Pinot Noir clones to see how they did. And a good gamble it was. The Willamette is now one of the only regions in the world to focus solely on Pinot Noir as its red variety. Also known for Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. The southern part of Oregon has been slower in delving into the world wine market, but has been making excellent strides with their Rhone style varietals, like Syrah and Grenache. There are also coastal regions producing promising wines.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.