The Beaux Freres Vineyard bottling is an undeniably great wine, demonstrated through so many vintages and in so many ways. But let's talk 2019: when first opened it's super aromatic, showing delicacy and utter loveliness. The whole wine is steeped with a perfumed brilliance, exchanging breezes of sandalwood, crushed red fruits, and fir forest. The flavors are pure Beaux Freres Pinot–if you know it you love it–carried on a super silky slide. It's easy to enjoy now because of the intoxicating scents, the overall energy; I can feel the underlying layers that will make this a thrill to watch over the coming years. -Marcus
2018 vintage tasting notes
#9 in Wine Spectator Top 100 Wines of 2020, 95 points Wine Spectator, Highly Recommended: "A wine of presence and expression, impeccably structured yet elegantly layered, with evocative raspberry, rose petal and brown baking spice notes that pick up richness and tension toward fine-grained tannins. Drink now through 2029."
Beaux Frères has helped set the standard for modern Pinot Noir in Oregon since its founding in the late 1980s, part of the second generation of Willamette Valley wineries. Founder Mike Etzel is not hands-on in the cellar these days, but son Mike D. Etzel and his team haven’t lost a beat. This 2018 is the wine of the vintage to date, from a year that had its challenges. The 24-acre Beaux Frères Vineyard is planted to a mixture of Pommard, Wädenswil and newer Dijon clones on a steep south-facing slope on Ribbon Ridge, a sweet spot in the Chehalem Mountains AVA. The winemaking consists of wild-yeast fermentation and aging one year in French oak, about 40 percent of which is new."
This is not about ratings. It is a beautiful wine and a clear standout among the myriad 2018s I've tasted. Like the 2017, it moves so effortlessly, floating without gravity from one billowy Pinot cloud to another. The 2018 is especially succulent on day two. I highly recommend it. - Marcus
2017 vintage notes
95 points Wine Spectator, Highly Recommended: "Combines structure with verve, offering richly expressive raspberry, violet and orange peel flavors that take on polish and complexity toward well buffed tannins. Drink now through 2028."
A gorgeous vintage of Beaux Freres Vineyard, with a seamlessness I don't ever recall tasting in this wine, in any vintage. What that means: from start to finish, the wine moves so effortlessly, like floating without gravity from one billowy Pinot cloud to another. Wonderfully pretty, fresh and vibrant, a characteristic of 2017, with understated power and energy. Today was our second tasting of this wine, with the same impression each time. - Marcus
2016 vintage notes
95 points Wine Spectator, Highly Recommended: "Remarkably and seamlessly complex, with a polished and refined core wrapped in silky raspberry and blueberry flavors, accented by savory spice and orange zest hints. The long finish builds toward polished tannins. Drink now through 2025."
2015 vintage notes
95 points Wine Spectator: "Offers impressive presence and polish, with a multilayered, complex core wrapped in rich and expressive blueberry and cherry flavors. Drink now through 2025."
2014 vintage notes
#3 in Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of 2016, 95 points: "Supple, expressive and multilayered, with plum, currant, pomegranate and violet flavors coming together harmoniously, persisting into a long and exceptionally well-balanced finish. Drink now through 2024."
2013 vintage notes
Very reminiscent of the 2010, our favorite Beaux Freres Vineyard Pinot of the last decade. This marries elegance with fantastic fruit intensity and balance. It should age gracefully for at least a decade.
94 points Wine Spectator: Supple, open-textured and layered, with beautifully defined currant, plum and cocoa flavors, floating serenely over a polished texture on a finish that unfurls gracefully. Light-footed, showing terrific presence and persistence. Drink now through 2023.
2012 vintage notes:
A powerhouse of Pinot noir, layered, broad and deep, filled with spice-accented ripe dark berries on a richly textured body. It is deftly balanced for a wine of its stature. - Marcus
2011 Vintage Notes:
94 points Wine Spectator: Light and fragrant, deftly balanced, allowing the cinnamon- and pepper-accented cherry and raspberry flavors to step forward with presence and depth. Drink now through 2020.
2010 Vintage Notes
I've been working on my tasting note for a week and it's still confounding me. The 2010 has so much presence. At the time of release, there isn't a Beaux Freres Pinot that's impressed me more. The rich texture and weight are stunning, especially when combined with the vivid fruit and lower alcohol. Aromatic intrigue, depth and balance. To me, it has the best traits of each of the last 10 vintages. - Marcus
#1 Wine SF Chronicle Recommends 2010 Pinots: Beaux Freres has been on the edge of ambition in Oregon, but Mike Etzel is also making good on those ambitions, with pristine biodynamic farming of his 88-acre Ribbon Ridge site. An immensely pleasing, profound wine. Full of heady sage and birch bark, with raspberry, wild strawberry and a classy oak note that comes across as a subtle toast element.
94 points Tanzer: "Bright violet color. Explosively perfumed aromas of red and dark berry preserves, Asian spices and potpourri, with cola and vanilla accents building in the glass. Sappy, broad and appealingly sweet, offering lively, spicy dark berry flavors with nuances of soy and candied flowers. Shows plenty of upfront appeal and intense fruit, finishing smooth, spicy and very long." - Josh Raynolds
93 points Wine Spectator: Impressive for its clarity, transparency and focused blackberry, raspberry and sassafras flavors, hinting at floral and mineral notes as the finish lingers enticingly. Offers elegance and refinement without losing intensity. Drink now through 2020.
2009 Vintage Tasting Notes
So delicious and pure, so graceful and balanced. The 09 BF flows from aromas to finish seamlessly, giving you tremendous red fruit, accented by white flowers and spice, with a voluminous finish.
I had a couple of glasses last night with the classic pairing of grilled salmon and I had to restrain ourselves from finishing the bottle. - Marcus
94 points Wine Spectator: Light and spicy, with pretty red berry and cinnamon flavors that linger against refined tannins. The flavors expand with each sip, picking up extra mineral and earth nuances, as the finish sails on unabated. It's the length that makes this special. Drink now through 2019.
2008 Vintage Tasting Notes
A tremendous perfumed nose blossoms in the glass. Co-mingling of rose petal, lavender, crushed raspberry, forest floor, fresh turned earth, incense, roasted meat, cedar, and barely there peppery spice.
The 08 Estate has purity, perfect structure, and balance. Fascinating to try in 10, 15, 20 years. In retrospective tastings of Oregon Pinot held in a decade or more from now, this will be a main attraction.
94 points Tanzer: Bright red. Highly perfumed, seductive bouquet of black raspberry, cherry-cola, incense and dried rose, with a slow-mounting mineral element. Lively but strikingly concentrated as well, offering incisive red fruit and floral pastille flavors underscored by intense spice and mineral qualities. Really stains the palate and finishes with superb clarity and juicy, spicy raspberry and cherry notes. Etzel told me that a tiny bit of stems were used in this year's wine.
93 points Wine Spectator: Light in color and body, this is deftly balanced to let the gorgeous raspberry, cherry and espresso flavors emerge easily and waft through the long, expressive finish, remarkably without much weight. Impressive for its style and refinement. Drink now through 2018.