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Beaux Freres The Beaux Freres Vineyard Pinot Noir 2003

Pinot Noir from Ribbon Ridge, Willamette Valley, Oregon
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Winemaker Notes

This medium- to full-bodied, concentrated, deeply colored Pinot Noir should have a minimum of ten to twelve years of aging potential. While not as broad or powerful as the 2002 Beaux Freres, it is richer than our highly successful 1999, and more accessible and forward than many of our cuvees, which often need one to three years of bottle age before they round into shape. As usual, this wine has been bottled with neither fining nor filtration and extremely low levels of sulfur.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 95
Wine Spectator
Subtle and graceful. Remarkably generous with its many layers of flavor, offering currant, raspberry, cherry, violet and mineral notes that keep echoing as the finish sails on and on. Tannins are present but should polish up with time in the cellar.
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Beaux Freres

Beaux Freres

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Beaux Freres, Ribbon Ridge, Willamette Valley, Oregon
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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.

Ribbon Ridge

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Ribbon Ridge is a regular span of uplifted, marine, sedimentary soils (called Willakenzie), whose highest ridge elevations twist like a ribbon. An early settler from Missouri named Colby Carter noticed this unique topography and gave the region its name in 1865—though but it wasn’t declared its own AVA until 140 years later, in 2005. The AVA is enclosed by mountains on all sides between Yamhill-Carlton and the Chehalem Mountains, and is actually part of the larger Chehalem Mountains AVA. Its soils have a finer texture than its neighbors with parent materials composed of sandstone, siltstone, and mudstone. Given its presence of natural aquifers in this five square mile area, most vineyards are actually easily dry farmed!

Pinot Noir

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One of the most finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).

In the Glass

Pinot Noir is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles delving into the red or purple plum and in the other direction, red or orange citrus. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount) it can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice, dried fruit and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon and tuna but its mild mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Villages or Cru level wines.

MLNBFVINPN_2003 Item# 125093