Brooks

Reviews

ALLEN MEADOWS OF BURGHOUND  

2011 Pinot Noir: (Willamette Valley, 12.6%). A very pretty, even elegant nose that offers lovely complexity, features notes of red and dark berries along with spice and briar nuances that add breadth. There is a smooth and polished mouth feel thanks to the silky tannins and the medium weight flavors offer good verve if only moderate depth and length on the otherwise well- balanced finish. 88/2015+

2011 Pinot Noir – Runaway Red: (Willamette Valley, 12.4%). This is also quite pretty with a perfumed nose of cool and airy red pinot fruit, spice and a hint of dried flowers. There is a lilting quality to the light to barely medium weight flavors that retain a fine sense of delineation on the lean, balanced and linear finish. I like the agreeable dry and refreshing finale as it invites another sip. 88/2015+

2010 Pinot Noir - Janus: (Willamette Valley, 12.2%). A more deeply pitched nose blends notes of red currants, briar and earth where the latter is softly reflected by the polished, round and very suave middle weight flavors that possess a sophisticated mouth feel. There is good depth of material as the mid-palate is a bit more concentrated and this will require another year or two of cellar time to realize its full potential. Good quality here. 89/2016+

2010 Pinot Noir – Temperance Hill: (Eola-Amity Hills, 11.8 %). An ultra-elegant, perfumed and spicy nose offers up notes of pure essence of red pinot fruit along with floral, anise and cinnamon nuances. There is really lovely delineation and vibrancy to the equally pure medium weight flavors that culminate in a clean, delicious and saline-inflected finish. I like both the style and the balance here and this should reward 4 to 6 years of cellar time if you can refrain from drinking it now. 90/2017+

2010 Pinot Noir – Sunny Mountain: (Willamette Valley, 12.9%). Here the nose is a bit more deeply pitched with notes of tar and briar on the mix of red and dark berry pinot fruit aromas. The lilting and beautifully detailed flavors possess a seductively textured mouth feel yet also a lovely sense of vibrancy on the well-balanced, persistent and delicious finish. This could be enjoyed young or aged to good effect. Recommended. 91/2015+

2009 Pinot Noir – Rastaban: (Eola-Amity Hills, 300 cases, 13.8%). An exceptionally fresh and very pinot nose also blends in spice, plum and a hint of smoke. There is excellent richness to the round and solidly well-concentrated flavors that possess plenty of mouth coating dry extract that imparts a velvety texture to the persistent and utterly delicious finish. Worth considering as this is really very good. 90/2015+ 


 

STEPHEN TANZER'S INTERNATIONAL WINE CELLAR 

Reviewer, Josh Raynolds

2008 Brooks Wines Pinot Noir Red Letter (Williamette Valley). Bright ruby-red.  Spice-accented, perfumed bouquet of wild red berries, rose, lavender and sassafras.  Silky in texture and concentrated, with lively raspberry and cherry flavors picking up heft with air.  Finishes smooth and focused, the cherry and floral notes repeating.  This is delicious right now. 91 Tanzer

 

2010 Brooks Wines Pinot Noir Sunny Mountain (Willamette Valley). Full red.  Heady, spice-accented aromas of black raspberry, lavender and cola, with a subtle vanilla quality gaining strength with air.  A juicy, focused midweight, offering sweet red and dark berry flavors and an exotic touch of candied flowers.  Silky tannins add grip to the long, floral finish.  Give this wine some air time if you plan on opening it any time soon. 91  Tanzer

 

2010 Brooks Wines Pinot Noir Temperance Hill (Eola-Amity Hills). Bright ruby-red.  Aromas of boysenberry, cola and anise, with subtle floral and cherry skin qualities building with air.  Lively and focused on entry, then more plump in the mid-palate, offering intense red and dark berry flavors and a kiss of candied flowers.  Shows very good intensity on the finish, which lingers with appealing sweetness and silkiness. 91 Tanzer

 

ROBERT PARKER

Reviewer, David Schildknecht

2008  Brooks Pinot Noir Red Letter
A Pinot Noir Dry  Red Table wine from Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA,
Rating: 93 Points
Drink 2012 - 2018
Cost: $75 
Christened in honor of the winery’s tenth anniversary and the memory of its founder, the 2008 Pinot Noir Red Letter was sourced from the (since 2009) estate vineyard, WillaKenzie, and Momtazi, with each of whose evolution in biodynamic viticulture Jimi Brooks had a close association. Happily, I can report that it’s a wine that delivers on the promise of its name and its fine sources. Ripe, lightly-cooked purple plum and black raspberry mingle on the nose with hints of bacon fat as well as intimations of roasted red meats; all of these then emerge on a silken-textured palate transformed into a sappy, for the vintage surprisingly bright evocation of berry concentrates, mingled with mouthwatering, marrowy, multi-boned meat stock. Notes of piquant fruit pit; toasty nut oils; and a pungent, attractively green and piquant suggestion of lentil sprouts all add to the saliva-liberating, long-lasting savor of this beauty’s finish. Expect this to be well worth following for at least another half dozen years. 

2012 Brooks Gewurztraminer Oak Ridge Vineyard
From Columbia Gorge,Oregon, USA
Rating: 91 points
Drink: -
Cost: $18
Brooks’ 2012 Gewurztraminer Oak Ridge Vineyard (which I take the liberty of reporting-on here even though it grew on the Washington side of the Columbia Gorge) represents their second bottling from this high-elevation 1984 planting north of White Salmon and very near the justly renowned stand of Gewurztraminer at the former Dragonfly Vineyard. (The first was – like this one – labeled for its vineyard of origin, but I didn’t realize that when I discussed the site and reviewed the wine in issue 202, so I did not include that name as part of the wine’s description. For more about recently-renamed Dragonfly Vineyard, consult my reports on Analemma.) Pea tendril, celery root, celery seed and rose petal in the nose usher-in a remarkably buoyant (despite 13.8% alcohol!) and vivacious exemplar of this cepage, its juicy musk melon matrix persistently mingled with celery root and pea tendril, a delightful hint of cinnamon adding to the stimulation and allure of a lingering finish. There is just the merest, apt, hint of residual sugar. Don’t miss this extraordinary value, and don’t hesitate to hold some, as I would not be surprised if it continued to fascinate for the rest of the decade. (I was not especially taken with a sweet 2012 rendering – called “Titan” – of grapes frozen from this harvest, in which the celery flavors turned slightly earthy, green and vegetal.)

2011 Brooks Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley,Oregon, USA
Rating: 90
Drink: 2013 - 2015
Cost: $25
The basic Willamette cuvee of Brooks 2011 Pinot Noir incorporates barrels from all of the winery’s numerous sources – even, Williams emphasizes, “a little bit from each of the high-end sites that go predominantly to their own (dedicated) bottlings, because I want to have a sampling of character from everybody” – although it ends up being 80% from the Eola-Amity
Hills. Like the dark shadow of its “Runaway Red”stable mate this features tart-edged, juicy black fruits shadowed by their distilled counterparts and allied to similarly mouthwatering salinity. Alluring perfume of wisteria and freesia add to the temptation of the fruit. A pleasant suggestion of fruit skin chewiness and berry seed crunch lends invigoration to a penetrating finish. This exceptional value should drink well through 2015. (Like its “Runaway” counterpart, I re-visited this after having tasted the single-vineyard Brooks 2010s and found it not one bit less impressive or appealing.)

2010 Brooks Pinot Noir Rastaban
Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley,Oregon, USA
Rating: 90 points
Drink: 2013 - 2018
Cost: $50
The Brooks 2010 Pinot Noir Rastaban – from their estate, and weighing-in at only 12.3% alcohol – displays resinous overtones that are almost coniferous, and which not only slightly obscure the scents of red berries but also connect with a certain opacity on the palate to its fresh cherry and red raspberry fruit. This is still sappy and persistent, but it lacks the vibrancy, infectious juiciness, or transparency to nuance, such as are exhibited today by other wines of this collection. The tartness of fruit comes out as slightly detached in the finish, and is allied to smoky as well as resinous notes stemming from oak. The combination on exhibit here of flavor concentration and palpably high extract with alcoholic levity is certainly fascinating. Plan to follow this through at least 2018, and hopefully it harmonize and pick up further detail along the way.

2011 Brooks Pinot Noir Runaway Red
From Willamette Valley,Oregon, USA
Rating: 90 points
Drink: 2013 - 2016
Cost: $20
Nicknamed for a barrel that once – when he had only a few of them to his name – lurched from Jimi Brooks’ fork lift into the night and a nearby creek but miraculously remained intact, the Brooks 2011 Pinot Noir Runaway Red represents some kind of miraclein its own right for the phenomenal value it offers. (The Brooks-original label features Trotsky – another kind of “runaway red” in his South American exile.)“This is an entry level wine,” from multiple sources, explains winemaker Chris Williams, “but it’s got to exhibit red fruit, so there’s no playing-around with anything other than what fits that requirement.” In this vintage, it shouldn’t be a hard one to fill, but the high-toned, penetrating intensity of kirsch and holly berry; the levity and vibrancy of an infectiously freshred-berried finish; polished texture with almost undetectable tannins; and the sappy, energetic, mouthwateringly salt-tinged finish, represent an utterly irresistible introduction to this great grape as well as to its 2011 manifestations. I’m told this only goes to “selected markets.” You’d have to be pretty careful about who you spoiled! But imagine the impression of Pinot as something alluring and delightfully different that could be conveyed if there were ten times the 2,000 cases of this circulating around the country at such a price! I don’t doubt that it will remain delectable for at least 2-3 year and probably significantly longer. (I tasted this again right after having examined the Brooks single-vineyard 2010s, thinking I might decide that I had over-rated it– but no.)

2010 Brooks Pinot Noir Sunny Mountain
From the Willamette Valley,Oregon, USA
Rating: 92 points
Drink: 2013 - 2018
Cost: $45
Brooks’ 2010 Pinot Noir Sunny Mountain – from a site north of Junction City and next to Benton Lane – displays an incisive and pungent nose of holly berry distillate, pistachio extract, black pepper, lavender and marjoram, serving notice of the bright, gripping and invigorating palate performance that follows. Of course there is “fruit” – in the vintage-typical form of tart-edged cherry. But I could almost be fooled, blind, into guessing that this was a Syrah ... only: a brilliantly bright, infectiously juicy, buoyantly 12.9% in alcohol Syrah from the Willamette Valley! Plan to relish this wine’s versatility and the evolution of its distinctive personality through at least 2018. And for some real excitement, I’d try following it in parallel with the Brooks 2010 Temperance Hill.

2010 Brooks Pinot Noir Temperance Hill
From the Eola-Amity Hills North Willamette Valley,Oregon, USA
Rating: 92
Drink: 2013 - 2018
Cost: $39-$48
The Brooks 2010 Pinot Noir Temperance Hill weighs-in at an astonishing 11.8% alcohol and possesses the winsome sense of levity and infectious, primary juiciness to match. “Temperance Hill is late ripening anyway,” explains Williams, and to that must be added the influence of such an unusually cool vintage. Smoky black tea and sizzling ginger accent sour cherry and fresh red currant, along with piquancy of pit and crunch of berry-seed; the whole putting me even more in mind of 2011 than 2010. A sort of cantus firmus of wet stone acts like a sounding board in a manner one is only familiar with from Mosel Riesling. For vibrancy, invigoration and levity – which, granted, are not what all Pinotphiles seek from their favorite cepage – this will remain hard to beat; and I trust my description has been more than adequate to ward-off those who might find my rating inflated. Follow this through at least 2018.

 

STUART PIGOTT

"Brooks produces the most daring and individual Rieslings in Oregon. The focus is on dry wines, but the sweet Rieslings added to the range in recent years are no less original. Are you strong enough for them, or are they stronger than you?"

 

WINE AND SPIRITS

 "CHAMPION OF VALUE" for 2006 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, September 2009

"...as for the price? "We're just trying to preserve Jimi's philosophy to have wines available on a daily basis," says Janie Brooks Heuck, Jimi's sister.  "There's nothing better these days than being known as a value winery.""

"TOP 100 - BEST BUYS"
The 2006 Brooks Willamette Valley leads with the “YEAR’S BEST PINOT NOIR” -- from Oregon receiving 94 POINTS!! “Lean, focused and beautifully composed, this gentle wine has a dark red cherry scent accented by pepper and carob spice. The texture is silky, the finish is marked by fine acids and a faint spine of minerals. What has above all is poise. It’s an elegant package for breast of duck”.
 

SUNSET MAGAZINE

"FAVORITE WESTERN RIESLINGS"
2005 Ara Riesling and 2005 Willamette Valley Riesling!

 

SANTE' MAGAZINE

“GOLD STAR AWARD”
2006 Willamette Valley Riesling

 

BURGHOUND.COM - ALLEN MEADOWS

2006 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir:
“...Delicious, yet serious and worth a look for a regional blend”.

2005 Janus Pinot Noir:
“... I very much like this, both for its style as well as its content”.

2005 Rastaban Pinot Noir:
“...Lovely and worth a look”.

[91] 2006 Brooks Janus Pinot Noir
“Delicious and ageworthy. Definitely worth a look”.

[91] 2006 Rastaban Pinot Noir
“lively...concentrated... drink now with pleasure...”

 

STEVE TANZER’S INTERNATIONAL WINE CELLAR

Reviewed by Josh Raynolds
2005 Brooks Wines Riesling Ara Willamette Valley - 90 Points!
“Bright yellow. Fresh orange, lime, quince and anise on the nose, with a dusty mineral undertone. Bitter lemon and pear skin flavors are complicated by licorice and honeysuckle, with firm grip and tangy mineral lift. Gains weight on the finish while maintaining vivacity and focus. Pretty impressive.”

 

NORTHWEST PALATE KEEPING THE SPIRIT ALIVE

By Cole Danehower,
Co-Publisher and Wine Editor
March | April 2007

"One of the best wine stories in the Northwest is how excellent wines continue to be made under the Brooks name..."

 

2008 WINE LITERARY AWARD PRESS TASTING

San Francisco, CA
"Best Dessert Wine - Cum Laude" - Brooks 2005 Tethy Late Harvest Riesling

 

 

NEWS REGISTER & OREGON WINE PRESS

World's Youngest Winery Owner?
By Karl Klooster
March 22, 2007

 

"...The underlying motivation behind this effort was not only to carry on the Brooks label, but even more importantly, to maintain a source of revenue to help sustain Jimi's son, Pascal - his heir and, then just 8 years old, probably the youngest winery owner in the world..."

 

SNOOTH.COM 

2010 Brooks Riesling Ara Willamette Valley


Complex and intense floral and herb notes greet the nose followed by a touch of ginseng and thistle with an underlay of motor oil. Salty and vibrant on entry, this is very finely focused with real tension in the mouth. the flavors of lime blossom, jasmine and pineapple are well supported by the soft chalky minerality the acidity lends to the wine. this is notable clear and deep on the palate finishing with a flourish of dried herb, orange peel and lime pith on the long somewhat autumnal finish. 92pts
Read more: http://www.snooth.com/articles/oregon-ys-next-white/?viewall=1#ixzz31Wh1fkED
 

JANIS ROBINSON  

Ara Riesling 2010 Willamette Valley

One of the very few wines in this collection with a cork rather than screwcap. Just 300 cases produced. Funkier than most on the nose, this could even have been fermented   with wild yeast. Half the grapes were sourced from their own biodynamically farmed vineyard with volcanic soils, comprising some of the oldest Riesling vines in Oregon, so perhaps they deliver all this flavour. Thanks to very high acidity, this wine tastes drier even than the Argyle - ah, I see that with 4.7 g/l RS it is the driest - but perhaps those putting the wines in sweetness order read 4.7 g/l as 4.7%... Full of flavour and direction but too crisp to drink without food, I think. Serious, ambitious wine but a very youthful one. Score 17