96-94 POINTS JEB DUNNUCK
“The 2020 Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Est Vineyard saw 25% stems, 48 days on stems, and aging all in new barrels. Lots of mulberry, chocolate covered strawberries, and plum fruits as well as notes of orange blossom and spice emerge from the glass, and it’s a rich, full-bodied, textured beauty that packs one heck of a mid-palate. With ripe tannins and an expansive, supple texture, drink this hedonistic, sexy Pinot Noir on release and over the following 7-8 years.”
JEB DUNNUCK REVIEW: “The 2020 Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Ouest Vineyard comes from the western side of the vineyard, which sees slightly smaller berries and yields due to being hammered by the winds. It tends to be a riper Pinot Noir yet always seems more structured and focused than the Est Pinot Noir. Similarly deep purple-hued, with a beautiful bouquet of blue fruits, iron, candied orange zest, and spice, it’s another rich, full-bodied, concentrated Pinot Noir that stays beautifully balanced and has ripe, building tannins as well as a great finish. While it’s not for the Burgundy lovers out there (although you might be surprised), it has depth, structure, and is a brilliant Pinot Noir!”
The wine is the 2019 Beau Marchais Rodrigue Hortalez Central Coast Pinot Noir. It’s a blend of grapes from the Soberanes Vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands and the Clos Pepe Vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills. Produced using Philippe’s unique production methods, and aged in a combination of new and older French oak, the wine is a slightly less concentrated version of the other Beau Marchais Pinots. Phiippe and I produced this wine specifically for charity purposes as we believe that it is vital that we give back as we have been doubly blessed in our wine careers (in case you are wondering about the name, check out this link: ).
Second, the charity. The Mighty Oakes Heart Foundation is a charity that is near and dear to my heart. I first met Becky and Greg Ortyl almost a decade ago. At the time, they had recently given birth to a beautiful son named Oakes. Oakes was perfect except that he had a congenital heart defect which ended up cutting his life to a mere 15 months. Throughout it all, the Ortyls were amazing and, after Oakes passing, they founded the Mighty Oakes Heart Foundation to help families that find themselves in similar situations with a child. For the life of me, I don’t know how they managed to find the courage and strength to not only survive but also to overcome and help others, but they have done so for almost a decade now. You can read more about the Mighty Oakes Heart Foundation here:
Philippe’s Tasting Notes: We discover a deep blood red dress with reflections of Indian ink and a nice shine. The nose is very nicely complex, we discover aromas of cherry jam and blueberry combined with white pepper. The palate is intense, suave with a beautiful tannic structure where we discover aromas of red fruits combined with cocoa and tonca beans. The wine is very mineral very deep, a superb length where the spicy aromas of black tobacco and cloves persist.
Pair with: Provençal beef stew, caramelized pork ribs, lamb hamburger.
Philippe’s Tasting Notes: This wine presents a very pretty red burlap cherry dress with pretty violin reflections. We discover a very elegant nose on aromas of strawberries and crushed rhubarb pie associated with sweet spices, curries and cumin. The mouth is very creamy, full of sweetness where we discover aromas of red fruit sabayon combined with cherry liquorice and liquorice liquorice. Very nice length is very nice minerality.
Pair with: rib of beef grilled with wild herbs, duck breast with red fruits, roast chicken.
Philippe’s Tasting Notes: This wine has a Pyrenean cherry color with brilliant velvet tents. The nose is very elegant or we discover notes of bitter orange marmalade combined with wild blackberry jelly. It develops a pretty unctuous mouth where we discover aromas of fresh black plum figs combined with chocolate and coffee beans. The aromas are supported by a spice weft where we find notes of cumin oregano thyme and it also has great complexity a great length, a wine cut by aging.
Pair with: roast beef, steak of kobe beef, turkey stuffed with chestnut, tuna steak in soy sauce.