The Brooks Runaway Red Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2016 is sourced from 10 practicing biodynamic vineyards in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. Biodynamic farming goes beyond organic farming practices, they make vineyard decisions based on the phases of the moon, they plant complimentary shrubs and flowers in the vineyard that attract the insects that feed on the pests that harm the vines, it is a complete system based on age-old methods. It isn’t easy or inexpensive to convert a vineyard to biodynamic, but you get a healthy and sustainable vines. This is something of a taste of the Willamette Valley Pinot Noir with grapes coming from ten different vineyards and is priced accordingly (I found it for $18). But there is absolutely nothing wrong with using multiple vineyards, grapes from 10 great vineyards will definitely blend together to make a great wine. When you start seeing Pinot from sub-AVA’s and single vineyards the price tag goes up. And while wine made from smaller selections of grapes tend to get all the press and wine aficionado attention, it is easier and more cost-effective to offer a more consistent high quality wine when sourcing from a larger amount of grapes. This Pinot was aged in French oak barrels for 10 months and the alcohol content is 13.8%.
The color is a dark garnet red, still see-thru, but just barely. The nose is cherry, nutmeg, smoke, bitter chocolate, baking spices, and the burnt bits on good BBQ. This is a Pinot that is a combination of silky smooth fruit and slightly rougher edge structure (tannins and such). It starts with sleek, ripe cherry, licorice, a little cola, a light, but still sharp hit of spice, and ripe plum. The mid-palate offers up some Pom wonderful, raspberry, caramel, and orange juice mixed with herbs (sounds weird, tastes good). The tannins are kind of scratchy giving this Pinot a cool texture without being overbearing. The acidity is balanced and gives the wine excellent length. The finish is subtle, but has staying power.
I like Pinot Noir, I like it from most of the places that it is grown, but my very favorite is Willamette Valley Pinot Noir and the Brooks Runaway Red Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2016 is legit. The single vineyard and the Estate stuff probably will sell in the $40 range (and up) and can be well worth it, but the Brooks Runaway Red gets the job done. Great aromas on the nose, an interesting flavor profile, maybe not as ethereal as the more expensive Pinot, but satisfying just the same.