14 June 2013

Brooks Oregon White Wines

I was first introduced to the Oregon winery Brooks during the Oregon Wine Board Dinner that I attended in NYC. Despite the tragic death of the founder, Jimi Brooks, other winemakers helped keep the winery in operation during that crucial harvest and today it remains strong. Having tasted their sweet dessert wine, I was excited to sample a pair of their white wines.

Oregon has a lot of small production wineries, and this is no exception. While you may not be able to find these wines in your local shop, they are available from the company's website while supplies last.

Do not get discouraged if you don't get to try these specific wines, but hopefully you will have the opportunity to explore some of their other wines, or look into another small production winery in the Willamette Valley. If I write about a movie, everyone can watch it on Netflix within moments. But with wine, there's a limited quantity of many of the most special wines, and rather than get bothered about the inability to taste them, take it as a chance to dig into the region.

2011 Brooks Runaway White
100% Pinot Blanc
Willamette Valley, Oregon
244 Cases Made
$15, 11.3% abv.

I've learned a lot about Pinot Blanc from Alsace and Oregon, and it's amazing how such a gentle grape can have such depth and diversity. This wine is bright and mineral with notes of apricot and lemon zest. Spicy, grassy finish. Practically a steal at the price, and should pair well with a nice bucket of steamed mussels. Try playing a little old school Joan Jett or Lita Ford along with this one.

2011 Brooks Ara Riesling
100% Riesling
Willamette Valley, Oregon
300 Cases Made
$25, 11.5% abv.

The 2006 release of this wine was served at President Obama's first state dinner in 2009, and I agree that it would be an excellent match with Indian-inspired cuisine. This vintage has an exotic nose of lychee and quince, with a totally dry yet highly acidic body. Delicious when chilled. Certainly a wine that shows off the way that Oregon is able to coax unique profiles out of classic grapes.

Note: These wines were provided as samples.


fredric koeppel said...

Couldn't agree more; I loved these wines...

Ben Carter said...


Amazing story, very special wines.