Trio of Brick house

Bday dinner with some friends-
Purchased these bottles and have stored them along the way. All 99’ vintage, you could see the ripeness of the vintage in the vivid bright fruit but the Brick house stamp. Placed on the table in this order, not knowing that this was to be the correct pouring order.

Cuvee du tonnelier- Opens with more of a rustic core, more reminiscent of a lighter vintage that grows a ripened core of cherry, anise, slight baking spice and a smooth palate weight that feels silky. Karla commented at the table that she could actually feel the reference of cuvee in the wine, that it showed it’s blend.

Les Dijonnais- A clear step up with the entry smoothed out, long, silky, really ripe raspberry with dark cherry that carries through with a hint of vanilla bean. I noticed the barrel note but thought it to be a compliment to the wine. I also get notes of pencil lead, blood, iron but the fruit really shines in this wine.

Cinquante- For me the best of them all, larger scaled than Dijonnais, but not by much, keeps the acid balance that I love so much in well made Oregon Pinot. Spice, fruit and a hint of iron and game. Terrific.


Thanks for the notes, they sound like lovely wines. Coincidentally, I tasted at BH last weekend, (even got to meet Doug) and in short you do not want to miss the 08’s. The Les Dijoinnais was and will be a very special wine, full of forest floor, brilliant strawberry, mushroom etc etc; and the Ribbon ridge wasn’t too shabby either. I really liked the 07 Chardonnay as well, light but complex, easy ringer for a white burg in a blind tasting.

JB…thx for the great notes. Recently discovered BH with the 07 vintage and having a hard time keeping our hands off. Looking for some advice on cellar time. Is the 5 year mark a good time to start popping corks?

Dale…agree, the 07 Chard is a fun wine. Hoping to let our few bottles rest to see where this wine is going.

Darren-For me I like Oregon Pinot at age 10-15 (for those wines that can age) I have not had the pleasure to try Doug’s wines as of late but assume that not a lot has changed with his winemaking style. Have had 98’,99’,00’,01’ in the past 2 yrs and all have shown well.

The only rec I would make is to search out the Cinq, or the Dijonn, if you are looking for wines to lay down. I would say that the cuvee would be the youngest drinker of the bunch.


Interesting…I had not heard of the Cinquante bottling. I started buying in '06 though and CT is showing only the '99 in the database. The few 2010 notes sound like a great wine. One even mentioned it needed a decant.

In what sense is this a blend that the other Brick House wines are not?

It’s possible that '99 is the only year that wine was bottled. There have been years when Doug hasn’t bottled the Dijonnaise and I can’t tell you years. However, if there’s something special in the cellar he’ll allow for it. He’s got his eye on a few barrels of Pommard from '08 if memory serves.

Oops. Just looked it up and it’s Boulder Block from a rocky part of the vineyard, something I don’t believe he’s ever bottled before. My brain cells just needed a push.

Perhaps Doug will pipe in here - I’ll make him aware of the thread. My understanding is that the Cuvee du Tonnelier comes primarily (can have a few barrels of Dijon blended in) from the older (1990) Pommard block, while the Dijonnais comes primarily (can have a few barrels of Pommard blended in) from the newer (1995) Dijon block. The Cinquante bottling has a higher percentage of whole clusters and is only produced in the years when that makes sense to Doug.

Thanks to all for indulging our quirky, random approach to giving certain batches a name…and then not returning to it in any consistent way. This is truly one of the beauties of an under 4,000 case winery just north of the 45th parallel where only the weather is an equal in unpredictability!

The Cuvee du Tonnelier ( Cooper’s Cuvee, in honor of my dad’s family) is predominantly Pommard from our 20 year old, own rooted vines…the first block planted here at Brick House.

In 1999 we found one particular batch from that 10 acre block that we had processed with 50 % of the stems still attached to be exceptional. We bottled it separately and gave it a name " Cinquante" or “fifty”
(in both French and Italian, it turns out.)

Well, by 2006 I came to the conclusion that the knoll within the Pommard block – a hill with uniquely deep, well drained reddish soil and small to medium-sized basalt rocks throughout – that had produced the '99 Cinquante was consistently producing wines of special character. Ah, was it site or winemaking ?
Well, that year we repeated the 50% whole cluster treatment…but changed the name to something more concretely linked to this particular site : “Boulder Block” = 100% Pommard clone with half of its stems left in the fermenters.

In short, site wins. “Boulder” is child of “Cinquante”…same knoll, same vines, same handling, different name.

As for further quirks : we did not produce a “Les Dijonnais” bottling (predominantly Dijon clone Pinot Noir) in 2001 because I thought the skins too thin to give sufficient concentration to the wine. We did not produce a Cuvee du Tonnelier in 2008 because we ran out of Pommard fruit, using the best of it in the Boulder Block bottling. We did not produce “Evelyn’s” Pinot Noir in 2007 because I did not think the vintage produced a style of wine appropriate to previous bottlings of Evelyn’s.

So, once again, thanks again for rolling with all this. At Brick House we leave predictability to our banker and our brewer.

Thanks Doug for the info, very helpful. Really enjoyed our visit to the winery last year and our tasting with Alan. Extremely enjoyable to sit down to decanted wine and enjoy each glass without being hurried. Great atmosphere for a tasting, felt like a sitting in a living room with friends. Just sent an email earlier today hoping for another tasting in August to try the 08s.

If I didn’t thank you already, Thank You. Those 99’s were special. We enjoyed all the wines but the Cinq was incredible. I have seen the Boulder block and not knowing anything about it I passed. I will be ringing doorbells trying to find it. Thanks again.


Thanks Doug for explaining the Cinquante in detail. And I agree Darren, one of the better places for tastings with the quiet laid back tasting atmosphere. Alan has been a great host each time I visited.

Not long ago I tasted a number of '08 PNs at a local wineshop. Most were very good, but the Boulder Block was the most exciting of them and the clear favorite for me.

Brick House is such an outstanding producer if you like wines from the noninterventionist camp. Can’t say enough about what they’re doing.