I hope this finds you safe, happy, healthy and hopefully seeing the first signs of Spring!
Today is a special day. It is my brother’s birthday! My brother, Jimi, our founder, would have turned 55 years old today. And while it is bittersweet in obvious ways, it always reminds me that he lived a very full life in his short 38 years and I know that he expects nothing less from everyone he has touched. That includes all of you who are the amazing community that supports us and continues his legacy!
It is the least I can do to encourage living life to it’s fullest by releasing a VERY special wine today with a name that means just that!
2018 RED LETTER PINOT NOIR
Brooks was founded in 1998. In 2008, Winemaker Chris Williams and I thought we should make a special wine to commemorate our 10 Year Anniversary. We wanted this wine to be the first of its kind in our portfolio and elsewhere. We ultimately decided that a wine to best celebrate Jimi and the founding of Brooks would be to have it be made from the three vineyards Jimi farmed: WillaKenzie, Momtazi and Brooks Estate.
Jimi’s first job in the Oregon Wine industry was as the vineyard manager at WillaKenzie beginning in 1996. He progressed into the role of Assistant Winemaker shortly after starting. In 1998, the owners, Bernie and Ronni Lacroute, allowed Jimi to use their facility to start his own winery. This was the start of Brooks!
I approached the Lacroute’s about purchasing a small amount of fruit so we could make this wine. Not only were they honored and excited, they suggested we receive fruit from Jimi’s very favorite block at WillaKenzie, the Wadenswil clone of Pinot Noir. We were thrilled!
The 2008 harvest will always be known as one the best in Oregon. In the cellar, the wines from these sites were gorgeous. Chris and I fondly referred to it as the “Anniversary” wine. We held the wine over in barrel for 18 months. As time grew near to print labels for the 2018 vintage, we knew we needed a better name than “Anniversary”. After considering many options, Chris proposed to me “Red Letter” meaning a significant or important day. We talked about how Jimi lived EVERY day knowing it was significant or important. “Red Letter” exemplified Jimi’s zest for life. It was the perfect name for the wine. We made just over 100 cases and it sold fast.
Fast forward to 2018, our 20 year anniversary. Many of you may remember how we celebrated that entire year at Brooks. We honored the 12 winemakers that came to our rescue in 2004 and saved Brooks by making that first vintage for us after Jimi passed away. We poured a red and white wine from each of those winemakers on our flights in the tasting room for the entire year. Linfield College’s Wine Archive team interviewed all 12 of them gaining insight into how they met Jimi, their favorite memory of Jimi, and their favorite memory of Jimi and Pascal together. All the videos can be found here. (Note: the first two videos on the page are compilations of everyone interviewed and either how they met him or their favorite memory–both are worth watching.) It was a tremendous year and an enormous gift to Pascal and me to capture all of this footage!
This 20 year anniversary also brought the idea to make another vintage of Red Letter. We were so excited that Momtazi and WillaKenzie were willing to sell us fruit once again from Jimi’s favorite blocks. Hurray! It was aged in barrel for 18 months and bottle for another twelve. 2018 was another vintage for the record books of greatness in the Willamette Valley and this wine reflects just that!
What better day to release it than Jimi’s birthday! We only made 377 cases of the 2018 Red Letter. This wine is perfect for:
– For anyone who knew Jimi and his passion for life.
– All that have been moved by our story, our legacy, and our commitments.
– A special occasion or two or three or more.
– The person in your life that deserves a special gift.
– Anyone who hasn’t seen American Wine Story. It is the perfect wine to pair with the movie!
– Those who like to see how wine ages over time. Purchase multiple bottles and open them every few years. It will last another decade for sure but is delicious now.
– Your first post-pandemic dinner party to celebrate with friends.
Want this wine up to 25% off? Join the Wine Club family and get amazing discounts, free shipping and other benefits! For more information, click here.
WE ARE OPEN INDOORS!
Thank you to everyone who has been booking reservations now that we can offer seating indoors and out. The energy has been high while we safely serve all of our guests. Check out upcoming events here. Book a reservation here.
Can’t get to the winery? Let us bring it to you. Our virtual wine tastings and storytellings are in high demand! Let’s bring together friends, family, colleagues, and clients across the US for a memorable, fun event. No group is too big or too small. We cannot wait to host you!
I read a statistic today that 1 in 3 of all Americans have lost someone due to COVID. It has been a hard and trying year across the US and the world. EVERY moment of EVERY day is a gift. Make every day a Red Letter Day!
P.S. I love to hear from you! [email protected] or cell 831-238-4828.