2007 Ara Riesling
Riesling •Eola Hills and Krause
Oregon: Willamette Valley
What We Say
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Mission Codename: The Wisest of All
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Revisit Brooks Winery and secure an allocation of their prized ‘Ara’ Riesling.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Brooks Winery
Wine Subject: 2007 ‘Ara’ Willamette Valley Riesling
Winemaker: Chris Williams
Backgrounder: Oregon’s Willamette Valley, just south of Portland and along the Willamette River is well known for Pinot Noir and other Burgundian varietals but the Alsatian varietal Riesling also thrives here. Its deep and fertile volcanic soil, cooler climate most directly effect viticulture. Most of the vineyards in this area are planted in the valley’s and hillsides along the river. Today’s wine comes from a unique winery – with a unique heritage.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Pale and clear straw yellow that becomes almost watery clear along the meniscus. When swirled, randomly spaced legs start off wide and thin as they glide down to the wine below.
Smell – Medium in intensity with bright aromas of tart grapefruit and lime citrus as well as green apple. A touch of white flower, light minerality and subtle sweet exotic spice emerges as this wine opens.
Feel – Medium-bodied and smooth with a nearly dry, mineral texture that is framed by its bright and crisp acidity.
Taste – Layers of fresh grapefruit, lemon and lime along with tart green apple meld with notes of exotic and sweet baking spice, slate minerality, a touch of grassy herb and a tiny hint of classic petrol.
Finish – Medium in length and extremely clean with crisp and bright acidity longing the citrus and green tree fruit that fades leaving a tangy tart zest on the palate that invites another sip.
Conclusion – The 2007 Brooks Winery ‘Ara’ Willamette Valley Riesling is a delicious, fresh and crisp wine that will find itself the perfect accompaniment to a variety of foods, including the zestiest and spiciest creations from your kitchen or local Thai delivery. Bright and fresh with balance between its fruit and other classic aromas and flavors. We paired this lovely wine with pulled pork barbecue sandwiches
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Chris Williams
WINE EDUCATION: Hands-on
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF:none
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY:I think it’s very important to always show the vintage as part of Terrior.
WINEMAKER QUOTE: Eat, Drink, and be merry!
FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE: Brooks is 1998 Willamette Valley Riesling, Chris Williams’ 2004 Ara Riesling
Below is a recent interview conducted by Agent Red when we featured the delicious Janus Pinot Noir.
AGENT RED: Greetings, Chris. We are thrilled to be showing your wine today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
CHRIS: And thank you, it’s always a pleasure to find a new audience to show my wine to.
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
CHRIS: It was really more about a friendship I formed with Jimi Brooks that lead me into the business. From there my appreciation for wine grew quickly.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
CHRIS: That would have to be Jimi. I learned everything from him including to always encourage yourself to try new things.
RED: Who do you make wine for?
CHRIS: Myself, but always with a consumer in mind!
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
CHRIS: the 2007 Janus is a wine I’m very proud of. I feel it was a standout in the vintage for me with perfumed aromatics, a very elegant mouthfeel, and finishing with nice soft tannins. A wine that will stand the test of time!
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
CHRIS: I recently had it with a beef cheek Reuben and it was fantastic!
RED: In your opinion, what makes the Willamette Valley so special?
CHRIS: For me it’s really about the people, the sense of community really shows through!
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
CHRIS: Just finished bottling my 2009 whites and now I’m tending to the Pinots.
RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
CHRIS: A lot like life, you have to always be open to new things to really find your true pleasures.
RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Brooks Winery in Oregon’s Willamette Valley can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Our new vintage of the wine featured at the White House State Dinner. Slate, spices, apples & honey … definitely one for a collector (or President.) Only the finest and most complex fruit was selected for this beautiful blend. Promising great things for those who can hold onto cellaring for 3-5 years!
Check out the CNN News Clip about the selection of the 2006 Ara Riesling served at the White House State Dinner.
About This Wine:
A constellation in the Southern Hemisphere (just south of Scorpius). Named after the altar of the centaur known as Chiron, who was half horse – half man and thought to be the wisest creature on Earth. Ara is also known as the altar that Noah built after the Great Flood. Ara Riesling is only produced when the stars are in the right alignment – it represents power, concentration and ageability.
The nose is pure Riesling, with heady aromas of slate, lime, lime blossom, petrol, fresh cut hay, quince, white flowers and honey that emerge as the wine is poured in the glass. Concentrated and powerful on the attack, the wine shows great focus and intensity. The acidity and focus of the attack leads to a mineral laden mid-palate that is succulent and rich. The mouth coating finish rolls on and on with great weight, definition and intensity. Never opulent or hedonistic, the 2007 Ara is a classic intellectual Riesling that has a great capacity to age and improve over the next 10–15 years
About The Winery:
FOUNDED in 1998, Brooks is a reflection of the visionary Portland native, Jimi Brooks. His reverence for the land and vines made him a practitioner of organic and biodynamic farming. The great respect for vineyard individuality and mastery of blending, allowed his wines to achieve the greatest depth, flavors and balance.
While Jimi is no longer with us, his dynamic spirit lives on through his wines, family and friends. With the outpouring of generosity and friendship by the Oregon wine community, we are delighted to share that Brooks Wines continues and is stronger than ever. Jimi’s son Pascal who was the ultimate source of his passion for life, is the sole owner of the winery and sister Janie Brooks Heuck has remarkably volunteered her time to lead it.
We are steadily guided with the legacies that Jimi left: his strong commitment to organic and biodynamic farming in the vineyards, gentle approach to winemaking, excitement for future harvests and endlessly promoting how beautiful Pinot Noir and Riesling can be grown and produced in Oregon.
Since our founding, there have been many milestones for Brooks. Many new chapters have unveiled and it has taken years of hard work by many committed individuals to build the solid foundation for our winery today, allowing us to put the final pieces in place for a long life of success and legacy. For the first time in our history, we will be nestled in our own winery space for the 2008 harvest. It’s an enormous endeavor to depart from those that we have worked with for so many years. We invite you to visit our NEW WINERY perched on top of the hill in the heart of the Eola-Amity Hills of the Willamette Valley.
APPELLATION: Willamette Valley
VINEYARDS: Eola Hills and Krause
PRODUCTION: 333 cases
RESIDUAL SUGAR: 0.9%