One of the finest producers of Riesling in Oregon, Brooks was founded by Jimi Brooks, a Portland native who came to wine through his passion for history and philosophy. Jimi previously worked in Beaujolais, and eventually returned to Oregon to focus on crafting great Riesling and Pinot Noir. Brooks farms twenty acres in the Eola-Amity Hills, a sub-region of the Willamette Valley characterized by higher altitudes and the ocean winds that blow through the Van Duzer Corridor. Head winemaker Chris Williams has previous stops at Maysara and WillaKenzie prior to becoming Brooks head winemaker in 2005. He has become one of the great winemakers for Riesling in North America.
Chris has crafted a seriously good sparkling wine, his 2015 Brooks Sparkling Riesling (WWB, 91) which has just a touch of sweetness and shows really bright acidity. While his overall lineup of Rieslings were stellar across the board, I was particularly blown away with the 2016 Brooks ‘Bois Joli’ Riesling (WWB, 94) which is one of the best Riesling wine I have ever sampled from the Willamette Valley. This wine shows incredible terroir and a gorgeous sense of minerality. Learn more about these beautiful wines at https://www.brookswine.com/ Here are the outstanding new wines by Brooks.
2015 Brooks Sparkling Riesling- The 2015 Sparkling Riesling is one of the best wines of its kind that I have sampled. This warm vintage wine was sourced from largely the Hyland Vineyard (60%) as well as the Yamhill (38%) and Orchard Fold Vineyard (2%). The bouquet is quite nice with honeysuckle and lemon zest aromas that build in the glass. A kiss of sweetness hits you with a good astringency considering the heat of the vintage. I can see this unique wine cellaring well over the next decade. Drink 2019-2029- 91
2017 Brooks ‘Ara’ Riesling- The 2017 Brooks ‘Ara’ Riesling is another outstanding effort from Brooks. Made in the ‘Trocken’ style, this shows good tension and astringency on the palate with bright pear and green apple flavors, and earthy undertones, finishing with a great sense of minerality. Drinking marvelously nowm, this will continue to evolve well over the next decade. Drink 2019-2026- 92
2016 Brooks ‘Monk’s Gate Vineyard’ Riesling- Located in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA, this great Riesling shows petrol with green apple and white flowers that persist on the nose. The palate shows wonderful textbook Brooks freshness with a vibrant minerality. Melon and green apple with wet stone flavors all marvelously combine. Refreshing and drinking marvelously now, this will continue to evolve over the next decade or more. Drink 2019-2029- 93
2016 Brooks ‘LaChenaie Vineyard’ Riesling- The ‘LaChenaie Vineyard’ Riesling is another spectacular effort from this estate. Orange blossom and green apple with wet stone accents mark the nose. Slightly sweet, with good astringency, the palate reveals Pink Lady apple, honeydew melon and candied ginger favors with lighter petrol accents. Brilliant now, this will continue to cellar well for a decade. Drink 2019-2029- 92
2016 Brooks ‘Orchard Fold Vineyard’ Riesling- The 2016 ‘Orchard Fold Vineyard’ Riesling by Brooks is a spectacular effort from this warm vintage in the Willamette Valley.The nose shows good green apple and stony character with suggestions of wild mushroom and kiwi that connect. Made in the ‘Trocken’ style, with just a hint of sweetness, the palate reveals really good energy and verve with lighter citrus rind and green apple flavors with hints of ginger. Drink 2019-2029- 93
2016 Brooks ‘Meyer Vineyard’ Riesling- Located in the Dundee Hills AVA, the ‘Meyer Vineyard’ is set at 800 feet elevation. You can get a touch of sweetness on the nose with the candied ginger and baked apple aromas that connect with lighter earthy tones. The palate is highly refreshing and gratifying, showing very limited sweetness with Granny Smith apple, kiwi and unripe cantaloupe flavors. This would be a marvelous pairing for sushi. Drink 2019-2029- 93
2016 Brooks ‘Bois Joli Vineyard’ Riesling- This absolutely terrific Eola-Amity Hills AVA vineyard wine shows bright pear and green papaya aromas that connect with lighter stony character on the nose. The palate is highly refreshing and delivers gobs of mouth-watering acidity with bright pear, Granny Smith apple, kumquat and cantaloupe with wet stone flavors. A delight to savor, this will continue to evolve well fort the next fifteen years. Drink 2019-2033- 94
2016 Brooks ‘Muska Vineyard’ Riesling- Located in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA, the Muska Vineyard is farmed by Carl Muska and is set at roughly 500 feet. The nose shows brilliant wet stone and peat moss character alongside melon and green apple aromatics. With the slightest bit of sweetness, the wine revals bright kiwi and pear flavors that connect with the wet stone and earthy accents on the palate. Drink 2019-2029- 93
2016 Brooks ‘Cahiers’ Riesling- Sourced from a host of Willamette Valley vineyards, the ‘Cahiers’ is an awesome new Riesling by Chris WIlliams. On the nose this shows green apple with petrol and sweetened melon aromas that build in the glass. The palate reveals a Kabinett style of sweetness with candied ginger, melon and bright pear flavors with a touch of wet stone. Bright and downright delicious now, this beautiful wine will continue to evolve over the next decade. Drink 2019-2029- 93
2016 Brooks ‘Sweet P’ Riesling- The ‘Sweet P’ as it suggests, shows some moderate sweetness on the nose with honey and bright pear aromas that impress. The palate is bright and shows some Spatlase level sweetness with sweetened pear, melon and bright starfruit flavors with a good sense of tension. This is an excellent effort by Brooks. Drink 2019-2029- 92
2017 Brooks ‘Brooks Estate Vineyard’ Riesling- Set in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA, the ‘Brooks Estate Vineyard’ is perched at 650 feet. The nose shows really good range from ginger to exotic spice to baked apple and lighter stony character that carry this beautiful Riesling. With a hint of sweetness, the palate reveals really good freshness with bright kiwi, ginger, starfruit and wet stone flavors. Mineral-driven and showing really good tension, this bright effort will continue to evolve over the next decade or more. Drink 2019-2032- 93
2017 Brooks ‘Totality’ Riesling- Named after the 2017 full eclipse, the 2017 ‘Totality’ is a stunning new wine by Brooks. Intensely perfumed, this offers fragrant white peach, candied ginger and bright Japanese pear aromatics that build in the glass. The palate offers dazzling minerality with bright pear, wild mushroom, green apple and kiwi flavors that all marvelously combine. Intense and layered, this beautiful wine will continue to evolve over the next decade or more. Drink 2019-2032- 93