TN: 2002 Beaux-Freres Pinot Noir "Beaux-Freres Vineyard"

I had previously made the mistake of opening and tasting this wine at five years of age, where I found it a bit “fizzy” and somewhat disjointed. Apparently, there is a bit of CO2 left to help act as a preservative to lessen the amount of sulphur added, and this becomes less noticeable with bottle age, or so I was told. At any rate, the bottle opened the other night to accompany some Pacific Northwest salmon while I watched the most recent episode of the HBO mini-series “The Pacific”, was a marked improvement.

Ultra-ripe, with sweet fruit on both the nose and palate, there was no hint of “fizz” even though this was popped and poured, not decanted. The ripe fruit of dark red berries, bright cherries, and even some kirsch was rich but not syrup-like, with some hints of secondary aromas and flavors starting to make themselves known – earthiness, sous bois, Asian spices. Still a bit primary, with soft tannins and noticeable oak vanillins, this wine needs another few years in the cellar to show its full potential. While not showing as much ultra-ripe, sweet fruit (that syrup-like profile) as seen with so many New World – especially California – Pinots, this was well made and pleasant in that it was balanced and hid its 14.2 % alcohol well; those who find red Burgundy too acidic would welcome this wine as a replacement, with a strong Pinot Noir fruit profile but without the more noted tannins and acids seen in red Burgs. I shall keep any remaining bottles of this and the various 2003 vintage wines from this producer until they are at least ten years from vintage, preferable 12 to 15 years out.


I don’t think the 00 is ready yet.

Thanks for the note. Still sitting on 3 of these and a couple of '02 Upper Terrace. I think your 12-15 year strategy is a good one.

Of note, I recently had the “little sister” cuvee from this producer, the “Belles-Soeurs” from both the 2002 and 2003 vintages, and the wines were drinking well now.