was a difficult, if ultimately rewarding vintage for many top Pinot noir
producers. Beaux Freres ended up with a miniscule number of cases of
their highly rated Pinot noirs. The wines are exceptional, just very,
We were offered a small portion of our usual
allocation of Beaux Freres wines, too little to send to our Wine Club.
To help the winery, who requested that we sell twice as much Belles Soeurs
to customers as Beaux Freres, we're offering the wines in a mixed six
or twelve pack, discounted a few dollars from retail. We're sorry that
we have so little. You can know that if you order, you'll have a small
stash of two of Oregon's very best 2004 vintage Pinot noirs.
How are the wines? In a word, smashing.
As many of our very knowledgeable customers know, when there are very
few grapes per vine, those that make it to maturity achieve an extra
level of intensity and complexity of flavors. In 2004, this complexity
was further heightened by a long, cool fall, filled with terrifying bouts
of rain, but ultimately producing beautiful fruit that hung on the vine
through enough cool days and cold nights to optimize intensity and add
layers of nuanced flavors to the few grapes on each vine.
We tried our precious sample botttles of
the wines today, March 15, 2006.
Here's our tasting notes for the
Freres Pinot noir Estate 04
Immediately upon popping the cork and pouring, the nose
is intense, with a complex perfume of forest floor, white flowers, blackberry
fruit, fresh turned earth, cocoa, cassis, red plum, sweet cherries, and
hints of underlying dark spice. Flavors reiterate the scents, and the
texture, while lush, is pure essence of Pinot, as the flavors echo over
and over in the mouth.
Wow! Even young and just opened, this is just extraordinary
Pinot. Mind boggling, sophisticated, nuanced, restrained opulence, seamless,
reminiscent of a top flight Cote de Nuit. Should get at least as good
scores as the 2003, this wine shows all the characteristics of a long
lasting cellar selection, to be brought out for the grandest occasions
and best cuisine.
I am hard pressed to find words to get across the pleasure
this wine offers, albeit within a true-to-the varietal, pure Pinot noir
flavor profile. You'll just have to try this one and send me some of
your words -- it's really indescribably beautiful.
Here's what Mike Etzel says about the
This wine is made from fruit grown on the original Beaux Freres estate
vineyard. It primarily consists of Pommard & Wädenswil clones
on their own roots planted between 1988 and 1995. Mike farms organically,
does not irrigate, and is beginning to follow the path of Biodynamic
farming. Made from the smallest yields since 1994, it is not surprising
that this is an extremely concentrated effort.
Beaux Freres says this about the wine: "The sweet
tannins and velvety texture in this wine have been obvious from the first
barrel tasting. The deep ruby color is accompanied by an emerging bouquet
of sweet black currants, raspberries, plums, and forest floor scents.
This opulent, concentrated Pinot is well proportioned with perfect acidity,
and a long finish displaying seamless integration of fruit, acid, tannin,
alcohol, and wood. It is rare to produce a wine of such richness and
intensity that also possesses such smooth tannin and sexy up-front appeal."
Freres Belles Soeurs Pinot noir 04
Here are our Belles Soeurs tasting notes, March
A tad more restrained nose than the 2004 Estate, focused around scents
of ripe jammy fruit, white pepper, dried herbs, and spice. The explosive
flavors are of sweet, silky raspberry and blackberry, violet perfume,
intense notes of sweet black plum and red cherry, appealing hints of
thyme, sage, and marjoram, spicy cinnamon and clove, and a long finish
with hints of white pepper, forest floor, violets, mint, and more raspberry
The Belles Soeurs is a more forward wine than the Estate
04, with words like "lush" and "sultry" coming to
mind. A tad more decadent than sophisticated, the wine is beautifully
balanced, true to the varietal character in every way, yet so big and
sexy. The "Shea" influence is clear in the spice and violet
qualities... perhaps that silky yet rich, melt in the mouth finish will
remind the taster of the Shea Homer.
Here's what Mike had to say about the
Belles Soeurs wines feature fruit grown on select vineyard sites in Yamhill
County. The wines benefit from the same integrity in the winemaking process
as Beaux Frères. The sites are non-irrigated and managed to very
low yields. The wines are not manipulated or filtered. Beaux Freres ages
the wines in the same French oak barrels used in their estate bottling,
however the percentage of new oak is intentionally lower.
Beaux Freres says this about the wine: "This wine
is assembled primarily with fruit from the Shea Vineyard as
well as Medici, Pelos-Sandberg, Weber,
and a bit of Beaux Frères. The deep plum/ruby hued wine exhibits
a nose of sweet, ripe cherry jam intermixed with spice, underbrush and
dried herbs de Provence characteristics. Full bodied, fleshy, and undeniably
appealing, it is a full throttle Pinot with no hard edges. A stunning
premier cru from Beaune meets a gorgeous Pinot Noir from the Willamette
Valley, and viola – 2004 Belles Soeurs."
In keeping with the winery's suggestion,
we're offering the wines in 6 and 12 bottle mixed cases.
Please let us know if we may help
with an order
or answer any questions- we value your input,
and your orders are what keeps us going!
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