Brooks: Pinot Noir and Riesling from this top Oregon estate

oregon pinot noir riesling

Brooks: Pinot Noir and Riesling from this top Oregon estate

The view from the Brooks tasting room

Brooks is one of Oregon’s unsung stars. Their 14 000 case production is split among many small lots, with the largest fermentation in the winery occurring in 2.5 ton fermenters. They source from a range of growers. They’ve also focused more on a direct to consumer model, which allows them to sell small production wines more easily. They now have 1400 direct customers, up from 200 in 2014 when they moved to their new winery. This has allowed winemaker Chris Williams to do more single-vineyard bottlings. Just before IPNC a group of us gathered to taste through a range of their Pinot Noirs and Rieslings.


Brooks Rastaban Pinot Noir 2008 Eola-Amity Hills, Oregon
First made in 2003; from 2008 has been from the estate vineyard. Deeply coloured with some richness. Nice savoury, grainy, slightly tarry edge. Developing nicely in a rich style with sweet, textured black fruits and some stoniness. 93/100

Brooks Rastaban Pinot Noir 2010 Eola-Amity Hills, Oregon
Rich and rounded but with nice supple tannic structure. Tight and focused with a savoury sternness. Has depth but also freshness and elegance. Subtle earthy notes and good acidity. Very stylish. 93/100

Brooks Rastaban Pinot Noir 2011 Eola-Amity Hills, Oregon
Floral and leafy with a sappy, herby edge. Good structure with fine spiciness. Has some grip, too. Lovely savouriness under the fruit with some warmth on the finish. So expressive with a subtle mushroom character. It’s drinking perfectly now. 95/100

Brooks Rastaban Pinot Noir 2012 Eola-Amity Hills, Oregon
Lush but fresh with a silky personality, showing sweet black cherries and plums. Supple and elegant with an alluring sweetness to the fruit. Lovely sweet fruit core. 94/100

Brooks Rastaban Pinot Noir 2015 Eola-Amity Hills, Oregon
There’s a distinctive warm, waxy, slightly nutty edge to the supple cherry and plum fruit. Fine grained with lovely meaty hints. Fine grained. 92/100


Brooks Janus Pinot Noir 2015 Oregon
This was a ripe vintage. This wine is 75% estate. Such a lovely floral, red cherry nose. Alluring and elegant. Warmly fruited on the palate: ripe, sweet, rounded cherry fruit with some cherry pie sweetness and richness. Textural and even a bit creamy. 93/100

Brooks Temperance Hill Pinot Noir 2015 Eola-Amity Hills, Oregon
Vivid cherry fruit with a subtle earthy edge. Textured palate with some grainy structure. This has structure and weight and an appealing spiciness. Supple and stony. 93/100

Brooks Crannell Pinot Noir 2015 Eola-Amity Hills, Oregon
Silky and rounded with smooth black cherry fruit. This has a warmth and lovely smoothness. It is ripe but balanced with some autumnal notes and a hint of sweet apple. 93/100

Brooks Toluca Lane Pinot Noir 2015 Oregon
Ripe and sleek and smoothly textured, but it also has some freshness. Elegant, smooth cherry fruit with some ripe plums. Nice fine-grained tannic structure and a warm finish. 94/100

Brooks Old Vine Pommard Pinot Noir 2015 Oregon
This is from 5 acres farmed biodynamically, planted in 1973/4. Herbs and a hint of undergwoth on the nose with some sappy edges. Supple, structured and elegant with some warmth and also some stony notes. Very pretty and expressive. 95/100

Brooks Sunset Ridge Pinot Noir 2015 Oregon
Supple with hints of spice and earth. Grainy tannins. Nicely structured with fine floral notes. This has a distinctive savouriness and also some sweet berry fruits. 93/100

Brooks Sunny Mountain Pinot Noir 2015 Oregon
Smooth and finely spiced with some earth and tannic structure. Lots of weight here with grippy tannins as well as sweet fruit. Nice fine spiciness. 93/10



Winemaking is whole bunch pressing, juice settled for about a day, and usually a spontaneous ferment. But some is inoculated: Chris says he always likes to keep an inoculated portion with the Riesling.

Brooks Ara Riesling 2008 Oregon
This is beautiful. Citrus, stone fruits, minerals and spices, with hints of wax and mint. So delicious and intense with lovely focus and fine spicy notes. Thrilling. 94/100

Brooks Ara Riesling 2010 Oregon
Honeyed, stony and mineral with lovely intensity. Lemons and a hint of green apple. Keen acidity. 92/100

Brooks Ara Riesling 2011 Oregon
Very intense and lemony. Dry with a linear personality. Acidic and pure with subtle honey and stone characters alongside the lemony fruit. 91/100 

Brooks Ara Riesling 2012 Oregon
Fine, fresh, expressive nose with lovely citrus notes and some ripe apple. The palate shows lovely weight, with fine lemony notes. Such purity and balance here, with lovely ripe fruit. 93/100

Brooks Ara Riesling 2016 Oregon
Detailed with crystalline citrus fruits and nice texture. Very fine and pure with lemon and a hint of melony richness. Great balance here. 93/100 

Brooks Estate Riesling 2016 Eola-Amity Hills, Oregon
Lovely generosity: lemony and pure with some green apple hints. Juicy with nice texture. This has a bit of richness as well as nice acidity. 93/100

Brooks Meyer Riesling 2016 Oregon
Such finesse: incredible purity and freshness with really expressive, textured, integrated citrus and pear fruit. Very fine. 94/100

Brooks Hope Well Riesling 2016 Oregon
This is very aromatic with sweet floral, grapey citrus fruit, showing some mandarin richness. Smooth and quite sweetly fruited, this is attractive and ripe. 93/100

Brooks Orchard Fold Riesling 2016 Oregon
Fresh and stony and detailed. Has nice pear, apple and melon fruit with appealing smoothness and a spicy, lively finish. Just a hint of mint, too. 92/100

Brooks Yamhill Riesling 2016 Oregon
Very bright tangerine and lemon notes, as well as some melon richness. Lovely textured here with a hint of spicy richness. So lively. 93/100

Brooks Cahiers Riesling 2016 Oregon
Floral tangerine, melon and grape notes on the nose. Honeyed and rich with nice delicacy and good acid. Delicate citrus fruit dominates. Real finesse. 94/100

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See also: extended tasting notes on the Brooks Janus Pinot Noir and Ara Riesling; a review of my first visit to Brooks, with some background

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