At my work, I am privileged to be able to taste wine that is not normally found in the LCBO or Ontario wine market. This Willamette Valley Pinot Noir has quickly become a favourite of mine. The Beaux Frères ‘Les Cousins’ Pinot Noir has an interesting story. Robert Parker Jr. is the brother-in-law of winemaker Michael Etzer, and part owner in the vineyard. With a philosophy and farming technique that really caters to the grapes, the varietal and the habitat in which they form and develop, there is no question why this wine is as good as it is!
I was first sold on this wine when the Ontario distributing company approach the club and we were looking for an Oregon Pinot to fill a void we had in our cellar. I was automatically sold on the story of the wine and the promises it held. As the salesman did not bring tastings, I purchased the wine purely based on the storyline, looking forward to tasting the wine. After opening that first bottle, I have not been disappointed! It is a wine that is complex and provides layers of experiences as it opens in the glass. The colour is pure, clean and clear of garnet colour. When first sipped once the bottle has just been opened, the notes are of red cherry, fresh raspberry, ripe strawberry and a little cherry tobacco. The palate is mostly closed off, but the cherry and strawberry shine through, with the cherry tobacco smoky-ness shining through on the finish. As the wine opens up those flavours expand and more oak becomes present with notes of vanilla on the nose and through the palate. After it being opened in a decanter for several hours, the nose still displays fresh and young with notes of raspberry, red current, strawberry, slight grassy hint, and vanilla; the cherry having lessened significantly. On the palate, the oak is a little stronger, showing through with flavour, texture and tannin. The flavours of strawberry, raspberry and red current are still present through the palate, laced with a smoky-ness and tobacco quality with hints of vanilla and cherry. Good acidity to pair well with food, but not overpowering so the wine may be enjoyed on its own. Rounded tannins to help fill the mouth.
The wine is constantly opening and teasing the senses. Providing different layers and facets of flavours to experience and enjoy. It truly is a remarkable wine, and provides a wine experience as you enjoy a glass or a bottle!