Full Pull Cousins

Hello friends. I got a pleasant surprise recently, as we were offered our second vintage of a popular Pinot Noir in less than a year:

2014 Beaux Freres Pinot Noir Les Cousins
When we offered the ’13 vintage in February, I described this bottling as “a real rarity.” And yeah, I could say that this is only the sixth time since the 2001 vintage that Beaux Freres has released the Les Cuz bottling. That would be accurate, but maybe a little disingenuous, since it’s also true to say that this is the third vintage of the past four (2011, 2013, 2014).

So yeah, a real rarity? Probably not. But an exciting bottling nevertheless? You bet.

Exciting in part because it’s so rare to see anything from Beaux Freres at a price even approaching $30. The remainder of their Pinot lineup goes from $60 to $100 and up. And exciting also because of the vintage involved. I’d be willing to guess we’re benefiting from the “grand cascade effect,” first coined by Erica Landon of Walter Scott to describe the 2014 vintage. It goes something like this: let’s say a winery normally gets enough fruit to make 100 cases of their expensive single vineyard Pinot. But in a (rare) high-quality/high-yield year like 2014, they get enough fruit to make 150 cases. One option, of course, is to just produce 150 cases of expensive wine and hope the market can bear it. Another option: “cascade” those extra 50-cases worth of single-vineyard juice into your entry level Pinot program, and make your gateway drug that much better.

What’s important to note about Les Cousins is that it comes entirely from barrels in the Beaux Freres cellar (no purchased juice here), and it includes barrels of estate vineyard fruit. It clocks in at 14.1% listed alc and kicks off with a nose of red cherry, smoked paprika, and wonderful crepuscular leafy notes. The palate presents a rich red-fruited core set off by wonderful cooling mineral tones. 2014 is such a pleasurable vintage in Oregon, and this is a great example of the kind. It works for two audiences. Those who want simple deliciousness will find it in spades here, and those who want to pay a little more attention will find nuance galore: mineral and spice and leaf; all manner of goodness.

We have a hold on a substantial chunk of the overall parcel coming into Seattle. But once we place our order, the remainder will be released to the market at large. All that to say: this one is unlikely to be available for reorder requests. Please limit order requests to 12 bottles, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wine is in the warehouse and ready for immediate pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.

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