Welcome to Brick House VineyardsPinot Noir - Pommard - Les DijonnaisChardonnayGamay NoirVisit the Farm and a Virtual TourCertified Organically Grown GrapesSourcing InformationHow To Order WineNeed More Information - Let Us Know


2007  - "Les Dijonnais "
"Those who met the challenge bottled some fine stuff . ... typical of the good ones.... Brick House Les Dijonnais:   Light in color and texture, feeling silky and tasting of pomegranate, currant, and plum, with hints of loamy earth and rose petal on the polished finish."    91 pts  
--- Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator
 2007 -  "Cuvee du Tonnelier"
"A beautifully perfumed nose that is perhaps the most complex of the entire range features subtly spiced red and blue pinot fruit aromas nuanced by rose petal and violet.....  This is an exercise in delicacy and understatement...already a beguiling drink.  Lovely and recommended "  91 pts
--- Allen Meadows, Burghound, Issue #37

  2008 -  Select  
" It floats on the palate yet lingers with surprising persistence and intensity.  Brick House Pinot Noir Select Ribbon Ridge 2008 is a purist's delight.  Biodynamically grown, this is a pinot noir that relies solely on the exquisiteness of the grape varietal and the rare combination of finesse and density found in the 2008 vintage."  
--- Matt Kramer, The Oregonian  

“Les Dijonnais” Pinot Noir
In 1994 we began assembling plant material for one of the most exciting slopes on our forty-acre farm: the swale and ridge right outside the front windows of our old brick home. Rolling gently from our north boundary fence to the foot of tall Douglas fir in our woods, it is a south facing ridge with exposure on both the east and west sides of the central spine.

For such a site, we sought the finest plants available: the new “Dijon clones” of Pinot Noir were just beginning to find their way to West Coast nurseries. We ordered Dijon clones 113 and 115 from King Estate’s plant propagation program and grafted clone 114 from the nursery and Domaine Drouhin Oregon and planted them over nearly nine acres of ground one stormy February day in 1995.

Four years later the first wine from the Dijon block -- the 1998 “Les Dijonnais”-- was awarded 94 points by the Wine Spectator. Ten years after that vintage a Spectator retrospective placed the “Les Dijonnais” at the top of the chart of Oregon’s 1998 Pinot Noirs. Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate honored the 2002 “Les Dijonnais” with 94 points. The 2005, 2006 and 2007 “D.J.’s” garnered more acclaim as the vines matured and the winemaker grew more confident in how best to handle their wonderful fruit.

“Cuvee du Tonnelier” Pinot Noir
From our oldest vines, a wine whose name means “ the Cooper’s Cuvee.” It honors the winemaker’s father whose French family long ago took the name “Tonnelier” or cooper, after the craft by which they earned their livelihood. “Dad’s wine” is a tribute to a man as soft-spoken and generous as the Pinot Noir that honors him.

We harvest the “Cuvee” from own rooted vines planted in the spring of 1990 on an east facing slope. The wine is a blend of the Pommard clone (UCD 4) that offers the size and earthy, fruit forward characteristics upon which the Oregon wine industry was built.

Black cherry, plum, cinnamon and earthy, forest floor notes are the core of the “Cuvee” in most vintages. In contrast to the more reticent “Les Dijonnais,” the “Cuvee du Tonnelier” lends itself to earlier drinking. This wine is intended as an approachable but reserve level wine, suitable for cellaring for several years or drinking up after a year of bottle age.

“Evelyn’s” Pinot Noir
She was known around Carlton, Oregon for racing her Kentucky Whip at full speed across the old wooden bridge on the edge of town just as the sun was coming up, raising the ire of sleeping townspeople throughout the summer of ’26. She was a local girl formidable enough to compete academically in the “man’s world” of a college campus in the 1930’s. Evelyn was both a headstrong horsewoman and a Queen of the May whose favorite color was lavender.

“Evelyn’s” is mom’s wine; a blend of barrels selected at the discretion of her son, the winemaker. It is our most limited bottling. Not all vintages lend themselves to fashioning a velvet glove around an iron–fisted structure. We blend and bottle “Evelyn’s” from a selection of six different clones of Pinot Noir in vintages of exceptional quality.

“Boulder Block” Pinot Noir
Boulder Block is a unique sweet spot in the vineyards at Brick House. Eons before the people of the First Nations roamed the Chehalem Valley, subterranean flows of molten basalt from the Cascade volcanoes shaped what is now the Coast Range and the shore of the Pacific ocean.

One small fissure brought volcanic rock to the surface of what is now a single hillside within the vineyards at Brick House. Vastly different than the sedimentary soils that surround it, the basalt of the Boulder Block retains both moisture and warmth throughout drought of summer.

The wines of the Boulder Block are about power; harnessing the heat of the earth with the light of the sun. Boulder Block is often our last block to be harvested and one often processed “whole cluster”-- allowing both grapes and stems a role in natural yeast fermentation. This wine sees more new French oak cooperage than our other reserve wines. The result is a wine of substantial girth and distinctive aromatic character. The Boulder Block benefits greatly from four to six years in cool cellar.

“Select” Pinot Noir
Our largest bottling, selected from all the multiple micro-sites and clones within the Brick House vineyards. The “Select” is a mirror of the Brick House “terroir”… containing fruit from the cooler north faces as well as the ultra-ripe ridge tops and western exposures.

Purity of both place and product are our goals with the “Select.” It is our ambassador to the culinary world… a Pinot Noir designed specifically to complement a wide range of foods. We keep a tight rein on alcohol in the Select. Second fill cooperage is preferred over new wood. The result is a juicy, supple wine at an accessible price.

In the Spring of 1990, we set about clearing the old orchard and laying out our first planting of Pommard clone Pinot Noir. It had been clean cultivated with a chilling array of herbicides over the years, leaving the appearance, once the trees were gone, of a sloping baseball diamond, melting slowly in the Spring rains. The entire field needed drainage ; then a healthy crop of rye grass to hold what topsoil there was in place.

In such a depleted environment, it was slow going for the vines at first. They showed signs of early drought stress in the warm, dry summers of 1990 and 1991. Then in 1992, a tiny first crop was ready for harvest... on August 21 ! the vines have slowly gained strength and maturity every since.

In the evolution of vineyard layouts, the tightly spaced Pommard block at Brick House was fairly unusual for Oregon in 1990. 1600 vines per acre. Following the Burgundian model, we left only one meter between plants. But the only vineyard sized tractor John Deere produced at the time required a full eight feet between trellis rows. On deeper, more vigorous soils leaving only one meter between plants could overcrowd the trellis wires with leaves, restricting circulation in the canopy and creating a wonderful environment for mildew and other fungi to develop. But here, on the thin Willakenzie clay one meter has proved about right for the vines fruiting canes. The Pommard trellis fills each Spring with just enough leaves ... dark, richly concentrated fruit.

Pommard has been our mainstay from first release in 1993 until 1998, when the Dijon block added a new dimension to Brick House Pinot Noir.

Click Here: watch the ripening process!

Welcome to Brick House VineyardsPinot Noir - Pommard - Les DijonnaisChardonnayGamay NoirVisit the Farm and a Virtual TourCertified Organically Grown GrapesSourcing InformationHow To Order WineNeed More Information - Let Us Know
Copyright ©2002 Brick House Vineyards (All Rights Reserved)
Telephone and Fax 503.538.5136
Design: LightCurve/ M.Fousie