2009 Brooks Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

by Stevie on January 26, 2011

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2009 Brooks Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

2009 Brooks Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

I picked up this bottle of Brooks pinot noir at K and L the other day on their recommendation. We don’t always like their “staff picks” but this wine was interesting and, it turns out, worth seeking out.

Brooks is in Oregon, of course. Founded in 1998 by Jimi Brooks, sadly he died in 2004 from an aortic aneurysm at the very young age of 38. Now his teenage son, Pascal, owns Brooks but it sounds like due to his youth, currently Jimi’s sister, Janie Brooks Heuck, “volunteers” to oversee the winery and a family friend, Chris Williams, is in charge of wine production.

The Brooks site makes Jimi sound like a character. Apparently before starting Brooks, he spent a lot of time traveling in France, learning about the culture and wine making techniques. The site says that he lived a “bohemian” life. I like the way that sounds. Eventually he returned to his native Oregon where he quickly developed a name in the wine industry.

The focus at Brooks is on pinot noir and Riesling. They practice organic and biodynamic viticulture. Beginning in 2008 they’ve their own winery. Does that mean that they were working through a cooperative before, like Eric Kent does now?

2009 Brooks Willamette Valley Pinot Noir: The label says that it is blended from various pinot noir clones from multiple vineyards in the Willamette Valley. The wine was a transparent red with brownish edges in the glass. We detected a nose of tree mushroom with lots of woodsy and musky scents. Not hugely fruit forward, it had some raspberry and dark cherry notes. Mostly we were struck by pepper, tobacco, coffee and toffee caramel. It had medium body with a longish finish. This is a good, quite drinkable wine. It wasn’t quite as complex and intriguing as Calera, but inviting nonetheless.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Janie Brooks Heuck January 26, 2011 at 8:28 am

Thanks for the review and glad you enjoyed the wine! And yes, my brother was quite the character–a larger than life kind of guy. In regards to where we were making the wine prior to our Eola Hills site, Jimi was at Maysara when he passed away and made Brooks as well as the Maysara wines. We used two custom crush sites from the 2005-2007 vintages and once we decided we wanted to keep Brooks for the long term, we moved into our own facility and invested in our own equipment. Come visit us sometime! Thanks again!

Mari (@HarvestMari) February 10, 2011 at 11:59 am

I’ve been to so many Oregon wineries but haven’t made it out to Brooks. Loved your write up and description and can’t wait to get out there and taste. If you’re even in Oregon and need a wine tour guide, I’d be obliged to show you some of my favorites. And thanks for the comments on my blog! Nice to “meet” you 🙂

Stevie February 10, 2011 at 1:05 pm

That’s wonderful! We are really interested in wine tasting in Oregon and have been flirting with idea of visiting in the late summer. We’ll keep you posted. Love your blog and nice to meet you, too!

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