2008 Beacon Hill Estate Pinot Noir Feraz Willamette Valley Yamhill-Carlton District
 
We're sorry, this offer is sold out.
Read about wines still available for purchase »


Beacon Hill Vineyards Spectator's 100pt Vintage and the Improbable Story of Beacon Hill

In 1997, one of California's most famous winemaking names surprised his Napa neighbors by purchasing two exquisite properties in Oregon's Willamette Valley. Tony Soter, already with winemaking stints at Etude, Spottswoode, Dalla Valle and Araujo on his CV, wasted little time in purchasing Beacon Hill and Mineral Springs Ranch, then working his signature Pinot Noir magic.

By 1998, Soter was already raking in the critical accolades, earning 91-93pt scores on both properties, quickly vaulting him into the valley's most elite winemaking circle. But seven years later, Soter found himself at a crossroads. Realizing the need to pour more time and resources into one property, he couldn't help but acknowledge the merit of selling the other. After much soul searching, Tony did just that, and Romanian viticulturalist Razvan Andreescu and his American partners purchased Beacon Hill.

By all appearances, Andreescu's timing couldn't have been better. In just his third harvest off of Beacon Hill, Oregon was delivered a miracle Pinot Noir crop that Wine Spectator would call the Willamette Valley's first 100pt harvest. Even in the doldrums of the recession, that Spectator report awoke wholesalers, retailers and Pinot Noir collectors across the country, setting off a buying bonanza the likes of which Oregon had never seen. On paper, the new proprietor's purchase couldn't have been more prescient. But as is often the case in this crazy business, things aren't always as they appear.

Andreescu apparently spent lavishly in the vineyards, slowly adopting rigorous biodynamic protocol. In the end, the Romanian settled on three estate grown Pinot Noir cuvees. The first came from a mix of exposures and clones across the entire property. The second, "Leo's Block," would be drawn from the oldest section of Beacon Hill. But the prized Pinot Noir would be a 'reserve,' comprised of the 20 finest barrels of the vintage. In 2008, not surprisingly, the Beacon Hill Estate Pinot Noir "Feraz" would be released at $50, seemingly marking a defining moment for Andreescu's 45-acre jewel.

The 2008 Beacon Hill Pinot Noir "Feraz" is a muscular beauty, so typical of this landmark harvest. Deep ruby to the edge, with luscious aromas of raspberries and wild cherry. Hints of underbrush and sweet herbs. Rich and sturdy on the attack, with a fine dark kernel of red fruits, briary and chewy in texture (a result of 20% whole cluster fermentation), the finish here is classic 2008 -- firm, bright and persistent.

So what gives? How to explain what happened next? There were all kinds of rumors. A proprietor who skedaddles out of town, hopelessly overextended, disappearing in the night, never reaping the rewards of the finest growing season Oregon's ever seen?

This time, even WE were skeptical. We called around. Knocked on doors, looked for a way to explain the inexplicable. What did we learn? First, Razvan Andreescu purportedly moved back to Hungary, after selling the property to his vineyard manager at a sweetheart price. Next, the vineyard manager did exactly what one would expect him to do. He picked up the phone and called Tony Soter, who promptly leased back the property, completing the most improbable of circular wine trail transactions.

As to the top reserve Pinot Noir off of Beacon Hill in the stunning 2008 vintage, apparently Andreescu's American partners ended up with the inventory. Now, without the property, a lease or a label, they did what most do when dealt such a hand. They called WineAccess and asked us to work our magic.


Tasting Notes

2008 Beacon Hill Estate Pinot Noir Feraz Willamette Valley Yamhill-Carlton District
"Deep ruby to the edge. Plush aromas of raspberries and wild cherry, with hints of underbrush and sweet herbs. Rich and sturdy on the attack, with a fine dark kernel of crushed red fruit and raspberry liqueur. Dense, and almost chewy in texture (the result of 20% whole cluster fermentation), the finish here is classic 2008 -- firm, bright and persistent. Drink now-2016."
-- WineAccess Travel Log

By law, wine may ONLY be shipped to the following states: AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, KS, LA, ME, MI, MN, MO, NC, NE, NH, NM, NV, OH, OR, PA, SC, TN, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY.