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Beaux Freres vertical tasting 1990 - 2002

I thought I didn't like Pinot Noir, so what's the best way to find it for sure?
Going to The Beaux Freres Wine Tasting!
"Dr Bob", one of the owners, was present and he gave detailed history of the vineyards, wine making process, how the owners and their wives related to each other, the story behind the wines, when they made their first wine, lots of interesting information which isn't on their web site.

I didn't like Pinot Noir, never had a good bottle of it and on the way to the tasting I was playing in my head with the title of this thread and "Much ado about nothing" was on the top of the list....boy, was I wrong????

Flight One

1990 Willamette Valley, Pinot Noir
Beaux Freres haven't produced this wine, despite what the label on the bottle suggests....they haven't had a winery back in 1990 and were just growing grapes (some quite famous winemakers in Oregon used it for their reserve wine and scored high marks at that time. Smoky, balanced, fully ready, and that very first one in the flight took me by complete surprise...I liked it! I think we finished the last bottle in existence, according to Dr. Bob, he doesn't have it anymore even in his cellar. True collector's item, I haven't left last, so I don't know who took it home as a trophey. My natural modesty prevented me from grabbing it...

1992 Willamette Valley, Pinot Noir
That was the first wine produced by the winery, unfiltered, elegant and refined, another pleasure on the pallate. Complex, hints of smoke, leather and put another nail into my claim of "I don't like Pinot" 91 points by WS (Robert Parker, for obvious reasons, doesn't rate his own wine...at least in public)

1993 Willamette Valley, Pinot Noir
Excelent and elegant nose, lots of cherry, hints of anise, very complex. 90 points by WS

1994 Yamhill County, Pinot Noir
My favorite of the flight. I put 3 exclamation marks on TN's, this one took the cake! Was producing mouth orgasms with beef carpaccio.

1994 Williams Seylem Russian River, Pinot Noir
Not anywhere close to the previous one, despite the same year and the same winemaker (Mike Etzel).

1995 Yamhill County, Pinot Noir
Still young with some rough edges....another few years in the bottle will only improve it. Unmistakenly Beaux Freres, just not ready yet.

Flight Two

1996 Yamhill County, Pinot Noir
Reminded me 1995 a lot, but more polished, in the good sense of the word, no rough edges.

1996 Belles Soeurs Yamhill County, Pinot Noir
Still a bit alcoholic. Wouldn't be one of my favorite, dryer than my taste. 87 points by Tanzer.

1998 Yamhill County, Pinot Noir
hints of smoke, concentrated, good tanins. Will only get better in 5 years. My favorite of the flight. 88 points by Tanzer.

1999 Yamhill County, Pinot Noir
Nice bright red color, shows some oak and DEFINATELLY needs more time.

1999 Kistler Vineards, Pinot Noir
Quite remarcable fruity nose, I liked it at first but was more subdued on the revisit. Too much fruit, and side by side with others, the fruit is sticking out. 93-95 points by Parker. Parker, who doesn't rate Burgundy, admits that Pinot Noire is not one of his favorite wines, which makes him owning the Pinot Noir vinery even more interesting! He does like fruity showing, but I personally preffer his Pinot Noir.

2000 Willamette Valley, Pinot Noir
92 points by WS, my notes : "so-so" with a big arrow pointing down.

Flight Three

2001 Willamette Valley, Pinot Noir
Alcoholic, young tanins, light in color, and not as bold as other Beaux Freres we tried earlier. 92 points by WS

2002 Belles Soeurs Ana Vineard, Pinot Noir
I'd like to revisit this one in a couple years., as aging only does them good. I haven't noticed anything spectacular about this one to note. 88 points by WS

2002 Upper Terrace, Pinot Noir
That was a downer. 91 points by WS

2002 Willamette Valley, Pinot Noir
My favorite of the flight. Light tanins on the finish, this wine will be ready sooner than later. Price tag of $150 is a bit high, though. I'd took 1/2 case if the price was more "approachable".

2002 G. Roumier Morey-Saint-Denis Busiere, Pinot Noir
My first real Burgundy. No forward fruit, everything is in balance, I can only imagine how this wine would taste 5-10 years from now. No way to mistake French and American Pinot Noirs, no way! I don't know how this one would go with food, the veal chop was gone by than.. 88-89 points by WA

I've made an apointment with Andrew, the owner of http://winewatch.com to spend some quality time together at his shop, so he could pop my cherry on Pinot Noirs and Burgundy, I have discovered another "terra nova"! I am as excited as a kid in the candy store every time the new discovery is made.

by Serge Birbrair 4-30-2005


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