2008 Rastaban Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir •Eola - Amity Hills
Oregon: Willamette Valley
What We Say
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Mission Codename: The Eye of The Dragon
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Revisit Brooks Winery and secure an allocation of their delicious Rastaban Pinot Noir
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Brooks Winery
Wine Subject: 2008 Rastaban Eola – Amity Hills Pinot Noir
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. 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 – Beautiful deep and dark garnet that slightly pales to pinkish garnet on the very edge of the glass with a dark but clear heart. When swirled, randomly spaced slow legs hang on the side of the glass and broaden as they descend to the wine below.
Smell – Rich and redolent on the nose with aromas of ripe red fruit including cherry, currants and red plum that are framed by forest earthiness and toasted oak with vanilla hints. Sweet and baking spice along with soft herbal notes are complemented by perfumed sweetwoods.
Feel – Generous and well structured, this full-bodied and dry Pinot has medium-firm tannins that round out as this wine opens. The vibrant acidity and dark textured minerality grasps the ripe fruit, is complemented by this wine’s warm spice.
Taste – Layers of ripe and fresh red and black cherry, red currants, and ripe plum mingle with sweet and baking spice and soft forest earthiness. Rich and complex notes of sweetwood, soft herbal and floral notes and hints of black tea adds to this lovely wine’s flavor profile.
Finish – Very long on the finish with the ripe fruit fading first but with the earthiness and acidity lingering as the tannins dry the palate and invite another sip.
Conclusion – Once again the folks at Brooks Winery impresses us with their delicious 2008 Rastaban Eola – Amity Hills Pinot Noir. This wine is bold and rich on the nose and palate with enough structure to hold the ripe fruit and other complex flavors together. Its fantastic acidity that lasts into the finish makes this a great wine for non traditional Pinot Noir food. Enjoy this wine tonight or cellar for up to five years as it will continue to develop.
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Chris Williams
WINE EDUCATION: Hands-on
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
AGENT WHITE: Greetings, Chris. We are thrilled to be showing your 2008 Brooks Winery Rastaban Eola – Amity Hills Pinot Noir 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.
WHITE: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
CHRIS: The Rastaban is a barrel selection of the wine with the biggest fruit, tannin and structure. It stays in barrel for 18 months. It sees about 30% new french oak. We limit production to 300 cases annually.
WHITE: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
CHRIS: A big piece of meat
WHITE: 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.
WHITE: 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.
WHITE: Who do you make wine for?
CHRIS: Myself, but always with a consumer in mind!
WHITE: In your opinion, what makes the Willamette Valley so special?
CHRIS: Cool climate allows for a long growing season that enhances the flavors and ripeness of the fruit.
WHITE: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
CHRIS: Putting the last of the 2011 Pinots in barrel and slowly pressing off our late harvest Riesling.
WHITE: 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.
WHITE: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
WHITE: 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
Awards & Accolades:
Double Gold – Pinot Noir Oregon Wine Awards 2011
91+ Points – Steve Tanzer, International Wine Cellar
90 Points – Allen Meadows, Burghound – This is a bit less aromatically interesting than the Janus as it’s more somber and less perfumed, at least at present. The rich, round and suave flavors possess good balance and verve on the delicious, solidly complex and lingering finish. This also has a touch of austerity to the finish but less than that of the Janus and about the only nit here is a very mild touch of finishing warmth. A qualitative choice.
About This Wine:
“The eye of the Dragon”. A star in the Northern Constellation, Draco is known as the head of the dragon; which is full of wisdom! This was the first year that Jimi Brooks discovered a handful of barrels that were simply too exciting to blend with the other Pinot Noirs. While we still maintain a philosophy of blending our wines, we aren’t opposed to showcasing a small lot on its own – if it proves to be exceptional.
Black currant, dark plum and a real earthiness carry the aromatics of this wine. Big ripe dark berry fruit pie on the palate, great structure with larger tannins, finishes rich and juicy.
Winemaking: the grapes were hand sorted and 100% Destemmed. they fermented in individual lots and went through a cold soak for 7-14 days with fermentation temperatures between 85-88 degrees. After racking to barrel, the wines aged for 18 months in 50% New French oak. these barrels have an element of earth to them, with components of minerality, compost and soil which add balance and richness to the blend. this wine was unfined and filtered. Although still a little tight, this wine is very approachable, and made to lay down for at least the next 10 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: Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley
PRODUCTION: 300 cases