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Et Fille

Howard Mozeico started making wine in his garage in 1984. He became quite accomplished, garnering seven Gold Medals for his Pinot Noir in seven state home winemaking competitions. He was encouraged by friends and relatives to become a full-time winemaker and when his daughter, Jessica, agreed to assist him with the 2000 vintage, he began his commercial winemaking career. The name Et Fille (“a few”) was chosen, which in French means “and daughter.” Howard jokes that “Mozeico Et Fille” just wouldn’t work. His wines have been well reviewed and soon he plans on leaving the software company he co-founded to devote himself entirely to Et Fille.

Howard’s goal is to craft small lots of distinctive singlevineyard Pinot Noirs that reflect the unique character of each individual vineyard. No two of his wines are made exactly in the same fashion, and each wine is an expression of a specific Oregon terroir. He sources grapes from several prime vineyards including the well-known Maresh Vineyard.

The wines are vinified at August Cellars, a state-of-the-art gravity flow winery just off Highway 99W in Newberg. August Cellars was founded by Tom Schaad and is fashioned after the Carlton Winemaker’s Studio, which hosts ten wineries under one roof. At August Cellars, eight separately bonded wineries share space and equipment. Each winery has its own dedicated space for storing barrels during the blending and aging process. The facility opened in 2004 and has a tasting room that is open weekdays during the summer and weekends all year.

I met up with Howard at August Cellars prior to the IPNC and we tasted through a number of finished wines and barrel samples. The 2005 Et Fille Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, the 2005 Et Fille Palmer Creek Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir, and the 2005 Et Fille Kalita Vineyard Yamhill Carlton Pinot Noir were reviewed very favorably previously in the PinotFile (Volume 6, Issue 20).

2006 Et Fille Deux Vert Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton Viognier

150 cases, $26. Deux Vert is one of the few Oregon Viognier vineyards. The wine is off-dry (0.5% residual sugar). · This is a fine example with complex tropical aromatics, a viscous mouth feel, hints of banana and citrus and a clean finish.

2005 Et Fille Kalita Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 91 cases, $32. This 10 acre vineyard was planted in 1999 to Pommard and Dijon clones 113,114,115 and 777. The wine was aged for 10 months in 75% new French oak. · The perfume is exotic with spiced cherries, mahogany, and cigar box most evident. The flavors are woodsy and earthy, with prominent mushroom notes as well as red licorice highlights. At this stage, the aromas trump the flavors, but this filly (sic) hasn’t gotten out of the gate yet.

2005 Et Fille Elton Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir

126 cases, $36. Elton Vineyard is a mature vineyard planted in the 1980s and farmed by Dick and Betty O’Brien. Pommard clone. Aged for 10 months in 50% new oak. I tasted this at the winery as well as at home a couple of weeks prior. · There is plenty of structure here but the wine is not jammy. The nose opens up with wild strawberries and buttered toast. The complex flavors include dark cherries, red currents, wild berries, white pepper and tobacco. The finish is clean and satisfying with tangy acidity. Cellaring will enhance this wine further.

2005 Et Fille Maresh Vineyard Dundee Hills Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 125 cases, $38. Maresh Vineyard has produced striking Pinot Noirs by Rex Hill Vineyards and others for over thirty years. Howard is able to source Pommard clones from two blocks at Maresh. One block, the “Reservoir,” is the only part of the vineyard still farmed by Jim Maresh, who originally planted the vineyard. Aged 10 months in 100% new French oak. · The fruity and woodsy nose offers great interest. Plenty of dark cherries at its heart, this beauty offers additional notes of baking spice, vanilla and shrooms. The long, long finish is striking. Very nice balance here.

2003 Et Fille Seven Springs Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir

Howard just discovered a few more cases of this wine and is offering it at $42. · This is stunning with a flamboyant nose of crushed and spiced red berries that carries through to the finish. The tannins are velvety and the finish lingering. I could still taste this wine in my memory a few hours later.

As you can tell from the wines offered, Howard prefers the Pommard clone as he believes it makes a more complete wine. I also tasted several 2006 barrel samples and the Kalita Vineyard Yamhill- Carlton and Maresh Vineyard Dundee Hills really stood out.

Production is small, about 1,500 cases, and most of the wine is sold through a mailing list. The 2005 lineup of Pinot Noirs are sold out, but you may find a bottle at www.avalonwine.com. The website is www.etfillewines.com and the phone number is 503-449-5030. Tasting can be arranged by appointment.

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