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Oregon winemaker Jimi Brooks passed away in 2004 at the age of 38 from an aortic aneurysm. He had founded Brooks Winery in 1998 after winemaking stints at Maysara and WillaKenzie Estate wineries. Winemakers from all over the Willamette Valley gave their time to help the Brooks family cope with his untimely death. The following year a similar consortium was formed and the winery was bequeathed to Jimi's son, Pascal, who was eight when his father died and is the youngest winery owner in the world!
In 2006, Chris Williams took the reins as full-time winemaker. He has continued Jimi's wish to produce affordable Riesling and Pinot Noir wines. Jimi's sister, Janie Brooks Heuck, leads the winery operations and plans to continue until Pascal comes of age.
Organic and biodynamic farming practices are paramount at Brooks. Janie has secured ownership of a 20-acre Eola Hills Vineyard planted to Pinot Noir and Riesling in 2009 from Don and Carlyn Byard. The Brooks Estate Vineyard, which includes Pinot Noir and Riesling vines that are over 35 years of age, contributes near one-third of the grapes for production.
The winemaker is Chris Williams Jimi Brooks' former assistant winemaker.
2014 was a hallmark year for the winery, as a new winery and tasting room opened and the winery was the focus of a feature length documentary 'American Wine Story.' Production has increased to over 12,000 cases.
Pinot Noirs include a value-priced Runaway Red Pinot Noir, a Willamette Valley blend, Janus (the winery's flagship) and Rastaban that are sold online. and through the tasting room at 9360 SE Eola Hills Rd in Amity, OR. The tasting room is open Tuesday-Sunday and Monday by appointment.
A private room is available for a premium tasting experience , "The Ouroboros Experience." This is an intimate tasting for up to 12 people in the Ouroboros Room (named after a tatoo that Jimi had) including current release wines and special library and winery only offerings. Includes a talk on the history of Brooks and the Oregon wine story, as well as a tour of the new winery ($50 per person)
2012 Brooks Janus Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
$38. The winery’s flagship wine that is the richest and most intense blend offered. · In a vintage like 2012, this wine really shines. Abundant waves of dark cherry fruit attack the mid palate, holding court through a long and expansive finish. Beautifully balanced, with juicy, refreshing acidity and modest tannins. Score: 90-91. Reviewed April 4, 2015 ARTICLE »
2011 Brooks Temperance Hill Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
12.2% alc., 200 cases, $48. · Light cherry red color in the glass. Reflecting the very cool 2011 vintage, this is a very elegant and demure offering of red fruits, spice and herbs. Bright, with lithe tannins and sparkling acidity. This wine will appeal to connoisseurs more than hedonists. Score: 88-89. Reviewed April 4, 2015 ARTICLE »
2010 Brooks Janus Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
12.2% alc., $35. · Light reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose offers shy aromas of dark red cherries, and oak-driven espresso. Elegant, relatively light and feminine, but offering a pleasing assortment of red and black berry fruits with a savory soul, wrapped in gentle tannins. Plenty of vim and vigor due to bright acidity which makes for refreshing drinking. A perfect food wine. Very good (+). Reviewed January 19, 2013 ARTICLE »
2010 Brooks Sunny Mountain Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
12.9% alc., 100 cases, $45. Old vine vineyard. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. The bright nose really reels you in with aromas of fresh, dark red cherries and berries and dried herbs. A little more body and a little less acid-driven than the Temperance Hill bottling, with hi-tone red cherry flavor. A seamless wine with supple tannins that has enough intensity to create a lasting impression. Very good. Reviewed January 19, 2013 ARTICLE »
2010 Brooks Temperance Hill Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir
11.8% alc., 200 cases, $45. Old vine vineyard. · Light reddish-purple hue in the glass. Enticing aromas of spiced dark red fruits, brier, forest floor and earth. Light, but pleasantly flavored, featuring crisp, red cherries and cranberries, finishing with a citrus note. Mild tannins and easy drinkability. Good. Reviewed January 19, 2013 ARTICLE »
2009 Brooks Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
14.3% alc., 2,600 cases, $22. 9 vineyard sources. Grapes were 100% de-stemmed and fermented in individual lots. Aged 10 months in 35% new French oak with some Hungarian oak. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Initially the nose offers demure but satisfying aromas of red cherries and berries, dried rose petals and a hint of baking spice. The aromatic intensity fades over time in the glass with a touch of alcohol rearing up. Medium-weighted red fruit flavors with a nice smack of cherry on the finish. Very soft tannins and a smooth mouth feel make for easy approachability. A fruit-forward wine offering a glimpse of the 2009 vintage in Oregon which offers more upfront charm than the 2008 vintage and higher alcohols. Good. Reviewed March 2, 2011 ARTICLE »
2009 Brooks Janus Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
13.8% alc., $35. The winery’s flagship bottling. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with aromas of dark red cherries and berries, forest floor and sandalwood. Tasty core of dark red cherries with a hint of savory herbs in the background. Light on its feet with good acidity and mild tannins, finishing with some power and intensity. Very good. Reviewed January 19, 2013 ARTICLE »
2009 Brooks Rastaban Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir
13.8% alc., $50. Rastaban is a star, the eye of the dragon in the constellation Draco. This wine is composed of the most complete and intense barrels in the cellar and represents the best effort for the vintage. 100% estate fruit. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of very ripe black cherries, sassafras, prune and a slight medicinal note. Moderately lush core of dark raspberry, black cherry and dark chocolate flavors creating quite a noticeable mid palate impression and finishing long and powerful. A juicy wine with lift from good acidity in the background. Soft in the mouth with balanced tannins. Bogged down with slightly jammy fruit and ripeness. Good (+). Reviewed January 19, 2013 ARTICLE »
2008 Brooks Janus Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir
13.4% alc., $30. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Lacking fruit-driven aromas, the nose offers scents of brier, leaf, mushroom and toasted oak. Medium-weighted earthbound flavors of black cherries and raspberries with a significant wood smoke component. Silky soft on the palate but somewhat bland in the middle and shallow on the citrus-driven finish. Decent. Reviewed January 12, 2012 ARTICLE »