Any thoughts on '09 Brewer-Clifton Clos Pepe?


I quit buying BC several years ago because my tastes changed and I no longer care for the style. Not sure how they are made these days but in the past they were extremely high alcohol. Hot, drying and the fruit was mostly raspberry cola. They did not age well IMO.

I had this a few months ago with a veal chop at a steakhouse. It is high alcohol and quite big for a Pinot even for SRH but I did not think it tasted hot at all. It was very tight and primary. No real complexity. It actually went very well wih the veal chop. First and only BC I have tried. I like other SRH PN better.

BC has always done an excellent job with our fruit. True they make a full bodied Pinot. I have had all the vintages they made from CP and I have never had one that was hot or out of balance. I think one reason may be that they do whole stem inclusion and the extra tannins from the stems adds another dimension. Sometimes looking at the ABV has the same effect as looking at the label, it creates an expectation which often becomes self fulfilling. Next time you go to a Pinot blind tasting, bring a bottle of BC and see if you or any of your friends pick it out as high alcohol.


Love the fact that we’ve got people bitching about the style, and then the vineyard owner chimes in.

FWIW, I like the Clos Pape BC. It was my first exposure to Brewer Clifton’s wines, and I’ve loved it ever since. It is certainly the anti-Burgundian pinot (which is a good thing in my book)

Yeah. Thanks Stephen. I have one bottle of '04 BC Clos Pepe. On CT there are several mentions of heat and hot for this wine. You can find similar references to heat on several other vineyard designations also. I used to love these wines but my palate has changed and I just don’t care for the style anymore.

Stephen Pepe is much better equipped than I am to respond to this criticism, but I sincerely believe it is misplaced. Certainly if you prefer the muddy and stinky (some would say “inherently flawed”) traditional wines of Burgundy, then this isn’t your thing. But I think it is unfair to suggest that this wine lacks balance because of its high alcohol content. To the contrary, I think the alcohol is entirely within balance with the profile of the wine.

And before responding, I did look up the 2004 BC CP on cellar-tracker, and the average score is 91 points. Those who mention the high alcohol rave about the wine.

And let’s be practical here – 1 bottle of wine with 15% alochol has roughly 4.05 oz. of etoh. The 13% alcohol bottle has 3.51 oz. of etoh. That’s half an ounce spread out over four glasses (I’m a generous pourer). I don’t think that with a big, polished, and fruity wine, the average Joe is going to be able to notice an extra 1/10 of an ounce of etoh in the glass. You might be able to smell it, but I think the style of the wine makes it so you’re unlikely to taste it.

Jay, I am not offering criticism by posting an opinion of the style.

My apologies.