TN: 2018 Kelley Fox Wines Pinot Noir Mirabai (USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley)

A little muted on the nose initially, but opens up after an hour in the glass. Mostly red fruit, fresh roses, red flowers, and a touch of sous bois. The palate has nice clean cherry and raspberry notes but not overtly ripe or jammy. I’m particularly struck by the purity and serenity of the fruit in this wine.

On day 2 the red fruit is more expressive, with red cherry, raspberry, and pomegranate coming through on the nose and palate. Medium complexity. A little stem presence, though I wouldn’t call this “green”, and some baking spice on the finish. The acidity and supple tannins are well-balanced, and unchanged on day 2.

Though I recognize the Mirabai doesn’t demonstrate Kelley Fox’s full potential with the SVDs at the higher price point, this is still a beautiful wine for the price. Now having had a few 2018 OR wines I get what producers are saying about the purity and freshness of the fruit in this vintage without being super ripe. Very delightful. (91 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker

You have perfectly encapsulated this wine Brian, great note!

I’m going to try to wait until 2022 to crack my first one, but this is my new favorite label. It feels incredibly serene despite the apex predator lurking behind the flowers. Kelley’s kid has talent.

Thanks for the check-in on this one. I have a few. Will pop one soon. Thanks.

Thanks for the note: Loving the great selection of 2018 Oregon notes lately. I can’t possibly taste through all of them this young but its great to get a read on the vintage.

Sean

This is from the 3-pack quarantine offer they were doing. I’ll probably open my next bottle in 3-5 years.

that deal is such a steal. less than $100 all in for three bottles of this is really hard to beat.

Im trying really hard to hold onto my last bottles of each year’s mirabai but they do offer so much enjoyment already its really hard. the purity that you note in this wine is the defining piece of her wine’s style I think, it definitely is present all the way up the lineup.

I have yet to try one of the SVD from Kelley Fox. If I had to pick one to try (including the vintage) that’s ready to peek into now, what would you recommend?

of the ones I’ve had experience with, I think that Maresh probably needs the most time. when she was making Momtazi I think that one was ready a little earlier, and those are the SVDs from her that I will likely drink first. my wife and I opened one of our 6 pack of the Hyland Coury from BD about a week after we received our shipment and it was really good, but Im glad I’ve got 5 more of them to track because it will definitely age gracefully. If I was picking one off the website to drink soon it would have to be the 2015 Maresh Bethlehem, although I think that wine has a lot of life ahead of it too.

I can tell you when we tasted with her and Dustin at the winery we didn’t drink anything that had a significant amount of age and every single wine showed really beautifully just by having enough air time. they don’t really seem to have a dumb or tight phase they just need that time in the glass to allow the bouquet to really open up it seems. they always also seem to be going really strong on day 2 and 3, especially aromatically

Matt pretty much nailed it Brian, you cant really do wrong here with any SVD’s. But I would add that a retailer I buy from a lot and whose palate syncs well with my own called the 18 Red Barn blocks the best domestic Pinot he has ever had.

Matt pretty much nailed it Brian, you cant really do wrong here with any SVD’s. But I would add that a retailer I buy from a lot and whose palate syncs well with my own called the 18 Red Barn blocks the best domestic Pinot he has ever had. I have three but yet to pop one.

I’m partial to the Maresh Star of Bethlehem Flower Block, but they are all terrific.

If you are looking for something with a little age, don’t forget that Kelley was the winemaker at Scott Paul for a number of years until the 2014 vintage, I think? If I remember correctly the Scott Paul Audrey was always sourced from the Maresh Vineyard.

James

You are correct about the Scott Paul Audrey. It is my understanding that Kelley Fox fully made the wines there through 2013. Another wine maker (Ian…?) made the 2014. I had the 2013 and 2014 Scott Paul La Paulee together and the difference went beyond just the vintage.

Scott Paul changed owners in September 2014 and Kelley left in April 2015.

Yes, that is the official story. So the winery changed hands around the time of the 2014 harvest. The new owners brought in Ian Burch as the new winemaker. In conversation with Kelley, she said she was not responsible for what went into the bottle for the 2014 vintage. Having tasted the 2014 La Paulee, it does not taste like any other Kelley Fox wine I have had.

Just found this on Kelley’s website: “I was the winemaker at Scott Paul Wines (2005-harvest 2014).” So, don’t seek out a 2014 Scott Paul if you are looking for an older Kelley Fox wine.