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Brick House Les Dijonnais Pinot noir 2012
94 points Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Pinot Noir Les Dijonnais is due to be released this spring. It comes from Dijon clone (113, 114, 115, 667 and 777) and includes 5 percent whole-cluster fruit. Harvested October 6, it sees 40 percent new cooperage. This is much more reserved on the nose compared to the Cuvee de Tonnelier '12, but displays exquisite delineation with lucid black cherries, dried fig and limestone scents that gain intensity in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin and layers of rounded redcurrant, cranberry and pomegranate fruit. There is presence rather than weight here, although I suspect it will benefit from a year in bottle once released, probably more for those with patience. Still, this is another outstanding contribution to the vintage from Brick House."
Previous vintage notes: "High-pitched aromas of red berries, Asian spices and fresh rose, with a smoky mineral note sneaking in with air. Silky and precise on the palate, offering sweet raspberry and floral pastille flavors and hint of licorice adding depth. Distinctly elegant, with supple tannins adding shape to a long, floral-dominated finish. - Josh Raynolds
Brick House Les Dijonnais 2010 is my favorite of Doug's Pinots and his most popular. My memories of "Les Dij" in a decade's worth of vintages are of a wine that is always elegant and rich, balanced on the head of a pin. It's my kind of Pinot – classic Oregon, profoundly expressed. The 2010 lives up to its reputation.
2010 Les Dijonnais starts with an unmistakable "Brick House" scent of cherry fruit accented with spice, perfume, and flowers. The first taste is delightful and the wine gets better and better. It opens up with hints of sweet spice, dried herbs, earth, smoke, and minerals. For me, the more complexity the better. And a finish that goes on and on. I want a wine that is memorable – one I crave to have again. The 2010 Les Dij succeeds on all fronts. - Jean
below, the entrance to Brick House Vineyards
Proof positive that Oregon's 2010 vintage is special, the 2010 Les Dijonnais combines rich, balanced flavors with a lush texture and long finish full of sweet tannins and spice.
Wine Advocate 90 Points: Alluring scents of violet and wisteria hover over those of blueberry and elderberry, leading to a lush, sweetly fruited palate delightfully complemented by persistent inner-mouth florality and accented with brown spices and a hint of caramelized oak resin... Tunnell's Pinots are highly distinctive: nuanced, complex, with an elegant sense of energy and lift (particularly in a vintage like 2010, or in the promising 2011s he showed me from barrel), yet often as not unabashedly, almost literally down-to-earth.
I have a hard time describing Oregon Pinot noir at its best, but as Justice Stewart so famously put it "I know it when I see it." Or in my case, I know it when I taste it.
Brick House Les Dijonnais has it all - and I love it.
When I taste the best Oregon Pinots, they fall into place. Subtlety pairs with intensity, sweet berry fruit complements savory spice, minerality counterbalances silky tannins. Oregon's style is balanced on the head of a pin between finesse and lush seduction.
Here's my tasting note: Scents of roses, raspberries, and savory/sweet balsam starts subtle and expands. Raspberry, cranberry, and blackberry fruit dominate with white pepper, Moroccan spices and crumbled slate adding layers of complexity. It opens and intensifies in the mouth, finishing long with fruit, spice, and sandalwood. The 2009 has a great future in the cellar for 4-7 years. If you drink it now, decant for an hour. - Jean
Wine Advocate 92 points: The 2009 Pinot Noir Les Dijonnais has a similar aromatic and flavor profile. Spicy, elegant, and nicely proportioned, this suave effort offers a drinking window extending from 2012 to 2021. - Jay Miller
below, Doug Tunnell
A nose of rich blackberry cream delivers right out of the bottle. The wine gains weight and texture, opening like a Japanese fan - each fold a new layer of fruit, rose petals, toast, spice box, black cherry, raspberry compote, minerals and grilled herbs. This is a fascinating wine - spend an hour with it, and every few minutes, you'll find something new and delicious. Where the Boulder Block is showy, Les Dijonnais is more densely structured for the cellar. This more famous Brick House bottling is typically the highest rated wine from Doug's cellar.
From the winery:
In 1994 we began assembling plant material for one of the most exciting slopes on our forty-acre farm: the swale and ridge right outside the front windows of our old brick home. Rolling gently from our north boundary fence to the foot of tall Douglas fir in our woods, it is a south facing ridge with exposure on both the east and west sides of the central spine.
For such a site, we sought the finest plants available: the new "Dijon clones" of Pinot Noir were just beginning to find their way to West Coast nurseries. We ordered Dijon clones 113 and 115 from King Estate's plant propagation program and grafted clone 114 from the nursery and Domaine Drouhin Oregon and planted them over nearly nine acres of ground one stormy February day in 1995.
Four years later the first wine from the Dijon block -- the 1998 "Les Dijonnais"-- was awarded 94 points by the Wine Spectator. Ten years after that vintage a Spectator retrospective placed the "Les Dijonnais" at the top of the chart of Oregon's 1998 Pinot Noirs. Robert Parker's Wine Advocate honored the 2002 "Les Dijonnais" with 94 points. The 2005, 2006 and 2007 "D.J.'s" garnered more acclaim as the vines matured and the winemaker grew more confident in how best to handle their wonderful fruit.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 92 Points: The 2007 Pinot Noir Les Dijonnais is 100% Dijon clone bottled 6 months after the Cuvee de Tonnelier in March 2009. The bouquet displays sandalwood, violets, mineral, spice box, and assorted red fruits. More structured than its sibling, it has plenty of layered, ripe, savory fruit, excellent balance, potential complexity, and a long, pure finish. Drink it from 2011 to 2019. - Jay Miller
Parker's Wine Advocate 92 Points:"The 2006 Pinot Noir Les Dijonnais is produced from 100% Dijon clones. It is the densest of these Pinot offerings with more structure, layers of dark fruit flavors, incipient complexity, and superior length. Drink it from 2012 to 2020. "
Brick House Les Dijonnais Pinot noir 06 has fragrant and spicy aromas that greet you--cinnamon, cola spice, dark cherry and black currant. Traces of violets appear, just before you take your first sip. Elegantly structured, the creamy black cherry flavors dance with juicy strawberry, blueberry and currant accents. Succulent fruits hangs on your palate, then the finish shows just a little grip, wrapped in a cinnamon stick and herbal caress that has you reaching for the bottle. Damn this is good.
I recently tasted the 2004 Les Dijonnais and saw how a couple years in the cellar turned it into a showstopper. The 2006 is better at release than the 2004-how good can it get?! Brick House married their elegant house style with the ripe 2006 vintage for a winner. Brick House Les Dijonnais is made from certified Biodynamic grapes.
2004 vintage Wine Advocate 91 points. The 2004 Les Dijonnais, in nose and mouth, shows floral, mineral, fruit, and smoke elements. Sweet red cherry and dried roses intermingle with deep cherry, berry, and plum flavors, and there's a hint of fresh turned earth after a spring rain. Elegant rather than blockbuster, this is typically sophisticated and complex Brick House -- classically Burgundian, with an Oregon twist.
Made from some of the oldest organic Pinot noir in Oregon, the Clone 114 grapes for this wine were harvested at a miniscule less than 1/2 ton per acre (normal for Pinot is 1.5-3.5 tons/acre). Complexity and purity are two words often associated with Brick House Pinot noir, and those qualities are exhibited here.
Wine Advocate 94 points ---"The concentration, depth, power, and elegance of the 2002 Pinot Noir Les Dijonnais is stunning, all the more so when one realizes it was produced from 7-year-old fruit (conventional wisdom is that vines can make great fruit in the first two years of production then the quality diminishes for a few years before coming back when they're older). Its black cherry, spice, and violet aromas lead to a penetrating personality awash in red fruits, mostly cherries and raspberries, that harmoniously conquer the palate and linger for 45 seconds or more. Sappy, fleshy, and complex, it is a medium to full-bodied wine of tremendous beauty and charm. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2013. Bravo!"