By: The Wine Spies
Mission Codename: The Wisest of All
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Revisit Brooks Winery and secure an allocation of their prized ‘Ara’ Riesling.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Brooks Winery
Wine Subject: 2007 ‘Ara’ Willamette Valley Riesling
Winemaker: Chris Williams
Backgrounder: Oregon’s Willamette Valley, just south of Portland and along the Willamette River is well known for Pinot Noir and other Burgundian varietals but the Alsatian varietal Riesling also thrives here. Its deep and fertile volcanic soil, cooler climate most directly effect viticulture. Most of the vineyards in this area are planted in the valley’s and hillsides along the river. Today’s wine comes from a unique winery – with a unique heritage.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Pale and clear straw yellow that becomes almost watery clear along the meniscus. When swirled, randomly spaced legs start off wide and thin as they glide down to the wine below.
Smell – Medium in intensity with bright aromas of tart grapefruit and lime citrus as well as green apple. A touch of white flower, light minerality and subtle sweet exotic spice emerges as this wine opens.
Feel – Medium-bodied and smooth with a nearly dry, mineral texture that is framed by its bright and crisp acidity.
Taste – Layers of fresh grapefruit, lemon and lime along with tart green apple meld with notes of exotic and sweet baking spice, slate minerality, a touch of grassy herb and a tiny hint of classic petrol.
Finish – Medium in length and extremely clean with crisp and bright acidity longing the citrus and green tree fruit that fades leaving a tangy tart zest on the palate that invites another sip.
Conclusion – The 2007 Brooks Winery ‘Ara’ Willamette Valley Riesling is a delicious, fresh and crisp wine that will find itself the perfect accompaniment to a variety of foods, including the zestiest and spiciest creations from your kitchen or local Thai delivery. Bright and fresh with balance between its fruit and other classic aromas and flavors. We paired this lovely wine with pulled pork barbecue sandwiches
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Chris Williams
WINE EDUCATION: Hands-on
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF:none
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY:I think it’s very important to always show the vintage as part of Terrior.
WINEMAKER QUOTE: Eat, Drink, and be merry!
FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE: Brooks is 1998 Willamette Valley Riesling, Chris Williams’ 2004 Ara Riesling
Below is a recent interview conducted by Agent Red when we featured the delicious Janus Pinot Noir.
AGENT RED: Greetings, Chris. We are thrilled to be showing your wine today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
CHRIS: And thank you, it’s always a pleasure to find a new audience to show my wine to.
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
CHRIS: It was really more about a friendship I formed with Jimi Brooks that lead me into the business. From there my appreciation for wine grew quickly.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
CHRIS: That would have to be Jimi. I learned everything from him including to always encourage yourself to try new things.
RED: Who do you make wine for?
CHRIS: Myself, but always with a consumer in mind!
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
CHRIS: the 2007 Janus is a wine I’m very proud of. I feel it was a standout in the vintage for me with perfumed aromatics, a very elegant mouthfeel, and finishing with nice soft tannins. A wine that will stand the test of time!
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
CHRIS: I recently had it with a beef cheek Reuben and it was fantastic!
RED: In your opinion, what makes the Willamette Valley so special?
CHRIS: For me it’s really about the people, the sense of community really shows through!
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
CHRIS: Just finished bottling my 2009 whites and now I’m tending to the Pinots.
RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
CHRIS: A lot like life, you have to always be open to new things to really find your true pleasures.
RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Brooks Winery in Oregon’s Willamette Valley can be seen in this satellite photo.