Friday, February 20, 2015
Brotherhood Pinot Noir 2013 - Lovely! (NY)
Brotherhood Winery is America's oldest continually operating winery, founded in 1839. It is also the largest winery on the east coast, making almost a million gallons a year! That's huge! They also have three bottling lines, and the place is constantly humming.
Brotherhood President Hernan Denoso jokes that his office is directly above the bottling operations. His favorite days are when it is so busy, he can't hear himself in his office.
To be sure, Brotherhood is one of the jewels of the Hudson Valley. The Chadwick family of investors, of Chile, have invested millions in this operation. It is the base of imports for Chilean wines, and it is home to one of the most gorgeous series of tasting rooms, banquet rooms, and spectacular wine cellars n the east coast.
Let's be honest....one of the problems with growing o big, is that sometimes the wine suffers. More often than not, wineries this big make palatable wines that appeal to a very broad spectrum of people, but fall short on critics. Doesn't matter if you're on the east coast, the west coast, in Europe or down under. It seems a universal truth.
However, the premium wines of Brotherhood, especially their Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, are very special, and have been for sometime. And the most crushing thing? They are very reasonably priced! It always strikes me that the could and should be getting more for their wine. But they have huge distribution, and they are now playing against big wineries, many owned by conglomerates such as Canandaigua, and other major wine producers.
One of the secrets of Brotherhood has long been the team of Mark Daigle and Bob Barrow. Mark makes sure the trains run on time. And Bob has slowly become, very quietly, one of the best and unsung winemakers of the Hudson Valley. Bob came to the Hudson Valley where he accepted a position as Assistant Wine Maker for Brotherhood in 1999. Over that 15 years he has transformed himself into one of the most skilled winemakers on the east coast.
The Brotherhood Pinot Noir 2013 is one of the best examples. Big notes of cherry, ripe and bright, come wafting out of the glass. Hints of vanilla and spice too. A pretty garnet color swirls around the glass. The cherry comes through, dainty but forthright, with soft tannins that make this incredibly drinkable. And at $16 it's a damned steal!!!!
A fantastic wine. Very drinkable. Very good!
Congrats to the team at Brotherhood!