Brooks Winery – Ageable Oregon


Meet Oregon’s Brooks Winery, producers of structured, elegant and ageable Pinot Noirs and Rieslings. John and I were thrilled to visit and get the chance to taste their 2002 Janus Pinot Noir (still a baby!), to add to our experience of having tasted some of their extraordinary older Rieslings.

While the Pinot Noirs are indeed superb, its the dry, detailed and mineral-driven Rieslings that really define Brooks. Janie, the owner, told me they bottled 23 different Rieslings this past harvest – I’d call that a serious commitment to Riesling, and I could not be happier about it.

What are they like? Well, Janie loves to remind me of the Pebble Beach seminar where I and several other Master Sommeliers pegged it blind as a top-level Alsace Grand Cru Riesling! I would liken her style to the stony-but-creamy style of Alsace’s Trimbach or Paul Blanck wineries, but you should really try them for yourself.

Janie refers to the Riesling program as the living legacy of her brother Jimi, the pioneering, Riesling-loving vintner who gave life to Brooks’ Riesling identity before sadly passing away just before harvest in 2004. Neighboring vintners kicked into gear to help complete Brooks’ harvest and winemaking that year, and Janie carries on that incredible spirit through the wines and their tasting room, which is a must visit when you are in the Willamette Valley. Here is our video interview of Janie and her winemaker Chris Williams:

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