Friday, October 4, 2013

Brooks Wines' Inaugural Vintage of 2012 Estate Riesling

Janie Brooks Heuck with inaugural
2012 Brooks Estate Riesling
Brooks Wines has a new riesling release - its 2012 Estate Riesling ($22). I try not to buy wine on the road any more - I have too much - but I was too intrigued and delighted to go away empty-handed, so I came home with a case.

I will write more about Brooks Wines later, but for now, suffice it to say, this is the first vintage of this wine, and only 100 cases are made.

It's the fruit, in part, of vines planted in 1974 - and if you know about Riesling, you know Oregon used to grow a lot of it - as much of 23% of Oregon's wine production 30 years ago was Riesling (before it was thrown over by Pinot Noir).

It's just about to hit the wine press so look for ratings for it in the near future. (Or just go wild and order a case now before it gets discovered.)

There are only a few organic or Biodynamically farmed rieslings. Bonterra makes a widely available one; Buty makes a barely obtainable one as does Montinore Estate (106 cases); Pacific Rim makes some organic and one rare and pricey Biodynamic one; and McFadden makes one under its own label while Chateau Montelena makes one sourced from McFadden fruit under the Chateau Montelena label. So it's nice to see the club grow. Brooks is one of only three wineries making riesling from a Demeter-certified Biodynamic vineyard (the others being Pacific Rim's Wallula Vineyard Riesling and Montinore Estate's Riesling).

In the riesling department, Brooks also makes a Sweet P Riesling (sweeter, as you might imagine) and a lovely late harvest dessert riesling called Tethys.
Brooks Riesling on the vine

In addition, its Willamette Valley Riesling was just a wine pick of the week in the LA Times and its Ara Riesling was served at the White House. (Both are blends of non-estate wines - i.e. not organic). Their reputation for fine riesling is bound to grow with this new estate wine.

Aside from Randall Grahm, founder Jimi Brooks was one of the biggest fans of both Riesling and biodynamic farming. The estate vineyard doesn't produce much riesling, so it's really a treat to get this wine that is made 100% from certified Biodynamically farmed grapes.

The winery is also growing. According to general manager Janie Brooks Heuck, Brooks has submitted plans for a new winery and tasting room down the road to local authorities, and if all goes well, the new facilities would be open in 2014.

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