Beaux Freres Impulse
Maison Roy 2014 “Petite Incline” Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, OR
Fellow wine lovers, you may have picked up on the fact that I’ve found myself extremely bored with Oregon Pinot Noir for the past several years. There are still some great ones out there, but for the most part, I’m finding much of them to be boring and overpriced. One Willamette Valley Pinot Noir which has kept my interest throughout time is Beaux Freres. While their flagship wine may run for $95 per bottle, I do think it’s worth the dollar. As luck would have it, the families which founded and still own and run Beaux Freres have launched a completely new project, Mason Roy. It’s one of the better Oregon Pinot Noirs I’ve had recently, and it’s very affordable.
Back in 1991 Mike Etzel and Robert Roy came together to found the now famous Beaux Freres. Fast forward to 2012 and their Sons Jared Etzel and Marc Roy have started their owner winery, Maison Roy, after spending years working under their fathers and learning their craft. I’m a born skeptic, and I’ve seen other second generation wineries pop up with less than impressive wines, so I was pleasantly surprised with how much I’m enjoying the Maison Roy.
I’ve consistently found Beaux Freres to be among the biggest, most dense, and most complex Pinot Noir out there, and the Maison Roy follows in those same footsteps. It stands on it’s own, without trying to be a clone of Beaux Freres, but you can definitely see that Jared Etzel and Marc Roy are their fathers’ sons in terms of their wine philosophies. It’s not quite as complex as a $95 bottle of Beaux Freres, but it’s beautiful and among the most complex Oregon Pinot Noir in the $35 range.
It’s not as “Petite” as the name might suggest, though they do offer a higher end bottle simply named “Incline”. The Petite Incline is unfined and unfiltered, which gives a bit of extra texture and slightly cloudy appearance. It’s 100% Pinot Noir grapes, sourced from a handful of great vineyards around the Willamette Valley. The nose is packed with lush fruits, spicy herbs, and hints of forest floor, while the palate is medium-full bodied, for a Pinot Noir. There are flavors of preserved black cherries, dehydrated strawberries, hints of pepper and tobacco. It’s shows a mineral essences with notes of plums and raspberries. Overall, a very pleasant and lovely Pinot Noir.
We were able to get our hands on just 15 bottles to feature on Impulse, and they’re first come first serve
Region: Willamette Valley