The Hedonistic Taster | № 27 | Brooks Winery – Willamette Valley, OR
by L.M. Archer, FWS | Bourgogne ML
“Wine should not be regarded simply as a beverage, but as an art of living, a pleasure.” – Henri Jayer
Welcome to The Hedonistic Taster*, an intimate showcase of artisan winemaker trade samples.
These tasting notes compliment binNotes | Affordable Burgundy and beyond.“Beyond” includes existing and emerging producers of Pinot Noir worldwide.
Hey! Did you know that the path of the total solar eclipse on August 21st 2017 passes over Brooks Winery?
Today’s Tasting: Brooks Winery – Willamette Valley, OR.
Much has been written about the history of Brooks Winery in Oregon’s Willamette Valley – about its founder Jimi Brooks, about his untimely passing in September 2004 at the age of 38 to an aortic aneurism, and about the remarkable banding together of community to complete his unfinished harvest that year.
Much, too, has been written about the legacy of Brooks Winery – about Jimi’s son Pascal, just eight when his father passed, about Pascal’s future, and about that of the winery. A film, American Wine Story, even chronicles the story.
Much less has been written about Jimi’s sister Janie Brooks Heuck – about her assumption as Business Manager of Brooks Winery upon Jimi’s passing, about her active role helping raise nephew Pascal, about her tireless efforts burnishing the Brooks Winery brand, achieving Demeter biodynamic certification, expanding the vineyard holdings, all while residing full-time in Pebble Beach, CA. with her husband and family.
These tasting notes derive from a private tasting conducted by Janie Brooks Heuck at The Bench at Pebble Beach with myself and Suzanne Kendrick of New Zealand’s Wine-searcher.com.
A gracious host, Brooks Heuck put us through our paces with three whites and three Pinot Noirs, all creations of long-time Brooks Winery artisan winemaker Chris Williams. These wines echo with the soul of Beaujolais-trained Jim Brooks in their elegance and refinement, but they also capture the unfettered, utterly authentic spirit of the Willamette Valley. The seaside scenery only enhanced these pours.
Wine: Brooks Winery Riesling – Willamette Valley, OR.
Suggested Retail: $18
Robe: Light straw robe.
Nose: Honeysuckle, stone fruit, slight mineral nose.
Palate: Acacia, citrus zest bouche with mineral core; acid plus, medium body and finish. Seamlessly structured, eminently quaffable.
Suggested Pairings: A wine of freshness and linearity worth pondering sans food and without interruptions.
Wine: Brooks Winery Pinot Blanc – Willamette Valley, OR.
Suggested Retail: $20
Robe: Pale lemon robe.
Nose: Fleurs blanches, almond, citrus notes.
Palate: Light body, slight residual sugar on the palate, soft finish.
Suggested Pairings: A wisp of a wine to savor as an apéritif with small savory bites.
Wine: Brooks Winery Amycas White Wine – Willamette Valley, OR.
Suggested Retail: $20
Robe: Light lemon robe.
Nose: Ginger, citrus, hint of honeysuckle on the nose.
Palate: Lemon zest, tropical fruit. Light body with a bit of unctuousness, lingering finish.
Suggested Pairings: The ginger notes beg for Asian or Indonesian fare.
Wine: Brooks Winery Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Suggested Retail: $28
Robe: Clear garnet robe.
Nose: Persimmon, high-toned red fruit, slight herbal backnote.
Palate: Red currant, red raspberry bouche; light body, balanced acids and tannins, medium finish. Reminiscent of a Bourgogne rouge. Exceptional quality for the price.
Wine: Brooks Winery La Chenaie Pinot Noir
Suggested Retail: $48
Robe: Clear ruby robe.
Nose: Blackberry, red raspberry, loam, basalt.
Palate: Black and red fruits carry through on the mouth, as does a rugged plumb line of flinty basalt. Acids and tannins plus, but round out over time; medium body, medium long finish.
Suggested Pairings: A wine weighty enough to serve with roasted pork loin or rack of lamb.
Wine: Brooks Winery Rastaban Brooks Estate Pinot Noir
Suggested Retail: $60
Robe: Clear ruby robe.
Nose: Bramble berry, dark raspberry, loam on the nose.
Palate: A brooding, Heathcliff-on-the-moors type of wine with a dark black fruit, herbaceous bouche and textured mineral core; acids and tannins plus, medium body, full finish.
Suggested Pairings: A wine intense enough to roundhouse through the thickest Prime rib.
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*Author’s Note: The title “Hedonistic Taster” derives from the term ‘hedonistic tasting,’ coined by legendary Burgundian vigneron Henri Jayer.
Copyrighted 2017 L.M. Archer | binNotes. All Rights Reserved.