It has been thirty-two years since Claudia and Craig Broadley settled in Monroe, Oregon, fresh off the trail from the bay area in search of fertile ground for their Pinot Noir dreams.
Oregon has changed a lot since those early ‘shoestring’ days at Broadley Vineyards, not least of all at their own estate. These days the wine making duties are on their son Morgan’s shoulders, having spent most of his formative autumn days in the winery learning the ropes from his father. The results have been very good, with a string of delicious vintages under his belt and another underway this very week.
at right, Broadley’s top Pinot noir,
“Claudia’s Choice” is named for Claudia Broadley
For me it is Morgan’s Broadley Willamette Valley Pinot noir 2011 $16.16 that marks the turning page of another new vintage ready to drink. It is the first Oregon Pinot Noir from Broadley I taste each year. The 2011, which has been around just long enough for it to begin to sing, is doing just that now, loudly.
Produced with a minimal amount of oak treatment, the 2011 shows its signature freshness. The nose brings spicy red fruits backed by a current of darker blackberry and black raspberry elements. Creamy in texture on the palate, this richness is balanced by piquant red cherry and cranberry fruits. It makes overall airy impression that runs from head to tail, finishing with a brief but intriguing kiss of licorice and wet earth.
As always this stuff acts like a telescope of sorts, serving up the first sparkle of a vintage that is largely still quietly sleeping in barrels around the state. Thank you Morgan and the rest of the Broadley family for this annual early gem. Oregon needs more accessible, bistro-ready Pinot Noir like this; wines that are frill-free and easy on the pocketbook. Not to mention pure, fresh, and in this case, part of a tradition we can all be proud to bear witness to.
Author contributor Jean Yates