Portland Indie Wine Fest 2010: Queen of the Ball!

J_KpickersWEB.jpg tBoW has a soft spot for Et Fille wines. I know why, too. Discovering Et Fille wines at the 2009 PIWF should be enough reason for our enchantment with the project.
The wines are all sourced from premium vineyards in the Willamette Valley. The winemaking style is perfect for the palates of the tBoW tasting team. Of course we have only tasted two vintages! But one was enough. jessicaetfilleWEB.jpgTruth be told the clincher is Jessica Mozeico, daughter to Howard. She is the marketer and sales director but she also has a serious hand in making the wines. I cannot tell you who is responsible for what but I can tell you this. As the father of a daughter who has 100% of Dad’s DNA the bond between a father and daughter can be more than that [ed. check the youthful photo on the Et Fille website]. She can become the extension of my thoughts and the expression of my ideas. I think it is that way with Howard and Jessica.
When tBoW and Dotoré met Jessica at the 2009 PIWF Howard was homebound with a sick. Instead her mother Mona filled in dutifully. While Mom does not drink wine you can certainly see where Jessica got her looks. But there is more to Et Fille wines and Jessica Mozeico than pretty fruit and external beauty.
tBoW asked Jessica to respond to a few questions about what makes her de-stemmer turn. Here is what she had to say.

tBoW: What do you think about the 06 + 07 = 08 vintage equation?
JM: 06 was intense, sometimes at the expense of complexity (I agree with your comparison of them to California Pinot in that regard). Personally, I LOVE some of the 07s because they were about complexity, sometimes at the expense of intensity. I find that interesting, particularly when pairing them with food. I’ve been doing a lot of Winemaker’s Dinners lately and the 07s are simply lovely with food, whereas the 06s can grab center stage a bit more. I guess I prefer the balance. 08 appears to be a lovely combination between intensity and complexity.
tBoW: Thoughts on the 09 vintage? weather influence, expected case production, what is or is not already in bottle…
JM: 09 was a hot year that led to intensity (think 2003 and 2006). We just tasted through all 77 of our Pinot barrels this week and they are dark, intense, and powerful. The 06 lovers will love 09. We are increasing our case production in 09 from 1800 in 2008 to about 2400 in 2009 (including the Viognier and Rose). We just tasted through the barrels and will continue blending trials for another two weeks or so.
tBoW: What wines do you and Howard enjoy drinking?
JM: When we are not drinking Oregon pinot, I opt for lots of bubbly. We celebrate Bubbly Monday since all Mondays should have sparkle. My dad really likes Barbarescos/Barolos and white Chablis and Alsatians. That’s just a few of the highlights.
tBoW: What drove you to do this business/activity? Respond without using the word passion.
JM: My dad started making wine in Oregon in 1984 as a hobby. He had a backyard vineyard and a little hand crank press in the garage. Over the years, he kept growing vines and making wine, and learned a lot by taking classes and helping a few wineries in the area. By the time I turned 21, my dad was very ready to share this with someone since my mom doesn’t drink. For my 21st birthday, we went to Burgundy and… well, who doesn’t lose their heart to Burgundy? Since then, we share wine over dinner and conversation. Making wine together for fun seemed natural, and soon doing it as a full-time business seemed like an obvious way to combine three things that are most important to us… working with family, running your own business, and wine…

Many thanks to Jessica for sharing. Who wouldn’t lose their heart to her?
Here is what tBoW thought about the Et Fille wines shown at the 2010 PIWF.
etfille07nicholas.gif2007 Et Fille Nicholas VIneyard $34: 102 cases produced! This wine was not ready for the 2009 PIWF. We were surprised to see it now…but what do we know! We were also happy. It is lean like the 07 vintage and somewhat tight. But it has all the elegance and restraint we associate with this winemaking team. Their wines are high-toned meaning they strive for something more than pure and ripe fruit or even terroir. You can find some ting extra in Et Fille wines. Maybe something ethereal, dainty, divine, sublime and subtle [ed. thank you thesaurus.com]. This wine has it. If the Kalita was big and powerful and the Maresh was rich and lovely this is the magician’s wine. 13.1%
etfille08kalita.gif2008 Et Fille Kalita Vineyard $38: Lush, rich, light. The tBoW team loves this wine in 07 and now 08. Great fruit made with a steady and delicate touch. Dark and seductive. 206 cases. 13.3%
etfille08maresh.gif2008 Et Fille Maresh Vineyard $$42: Sweeter. Richest of the three like a well-heeled nobleman. Knows it breeding. From the oldest Pinot Noir vines in the valley. 100 cases. Talk about breeding and a fine touch, look at the alcohol level. Bravo! 12.9%
Each wine from the Et Fille team is distinctive where distinctive means more than unique. Something extra. Dotoré was not inclined to purchase initially having his heart set on the 7 of Hearts and Wahle wines [ed. coming soon, patience]. tBoW put Et Fille right at the top of must haves with Antica Terra. Dotore was right about 7H and Wahle. And now he is purchasing the Et Fille portfolio.

Told ya so.

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