Beaux Freres The Upper Terrace Pinot Noir 2003
Beaux Frères is one of the earliest and now leading wineries in Oregon, founded by Michael G. Etzel, and brother-in-law (“Beaux Frères” in French) wine critic Robert M. Parker Jr in 1986. Located on an 88-acre farm, Beaux Frères resides on the most prestigious terroirs of Willamette Valley. Since their first vintage in 1991, the Beaux Frères philosophy remains the same; to produce a world-class Pinot Noir from small, well-balanced yields and ripe, healthy fruit that represent the essence of the vineyard. Beaux Frères has had biodynamic and organic practices since 2002.
In 2017, Maisons & Domaines Henriot embarked on a partnership with Michael Etzel acquiring Beaux Frères.
In the summer of 1986, my young family and I began on a journey that, in our wildest optimism, never thought Beaux Frères and our Oregon wine industry would be on the center stage with the fine wine industry. I believe our success is a lesson for anyone with a dream: follow your heart. – Michael G. Etzel, Founder and CEO
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!
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”