Kelley Fox talks (and sips) biodynamic wine outside the Maresh Vineyard. Photo: Jonas Mendoza

Kelley Fox: A Shot of Bio-Dynamism in the Willamette Valley

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We've never hesitated to shout our praises of Kelley Fox's wines. Kelley works biodynamically in her parcels at Maresh Vineyard, a historic source for Pinot Noir in the Willamette Valley's Dundee Hills AVA. The rest of her fruit comes from the certified biodynamic Momtazi Vineyard in the McMinnville AVA.

Last summer, I met up with Kelley outside the house of the family that owns the Maresh Vineyard. As we sipped a tank sample of her newest bottling, the 2014 Pinot Noir Dundee Hills Red Barn Block Maresh Vineyard, Kelley remarked how the hundred-year old chestnut trees overhead subtly communicated with each other through various microbial interactions. Later, as we walked through the Maresh Vineyard, she pointed out the vines that she oversaw and discussed the various pruning methods she used to care for them.  As a group of butterflies fluttered several feet away and an eagle soared overhead, she remarked that these insects and animals in the vineyard reflected well on the vineyard's health, and subsequently the quality of the wines.

There are few winemakers who are as deeply in touch with viticulture and winemaking as Kelley Fox. Despite her rigorous academic background (dual degrees in Biochemistry and Biophysics from Oregon State University), Kelley Fox's wines are truly soulful: her wines not only capture the special nature of the vineyards she sources grapes from, they also embody the spiritual attunement she has to her grapes, vines, and winemaking.

2014 was an exceptional vintage for Pinot Noir in the Willamette Valley: the Pinots are ripe, lush, and opulent with generous and ample fruit that will provide immediate drinking pleasure. With Kelley's wines, there's an additional lithe texture and deep core of fruit that runs through her wines. Good winemakers can make good wines in great vintages; however it takes a special winemaker to add that additional shot of dynamism to reflect nature providing those exceptional conditions. Jonas Mendoza

Kelley Fox 2014 Dundee Hills Red Barn Block Maresh Pinot Noir

The grapes for this inaugural (and very tiny) vintage come from parcels surrounding the legendary Maresh Red Barn and farmed by 90-year old owner Jim Maresh Sr. The blocks are own-rooted Pommard clones planted in 1978. This wine has all the brambly black fruit of the regular Maresh Vineyard bottling, but with additional power, elegance, and structure. Tasting a bottle with Kelley Fox in front of the Red Barn, the rugged tannins frame a dark core of black raspberry and cherry fruit; after several hours, the wine unfurls with flavors of blackberry, mushroom, and freshly rained earth. A truly special bottling indeed! Jonas Mendoza

  • red
  • 2 in stock
  • $73.99

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Kelley Fox 2014 Willamette Valley Mirabai Pinot Noir

A blend of two legendary Oregon vineyards, Maresh and Momtazi, Kelley Fox's 2014 Mirabai Pinot Noir is considerably more structured and fruit-forward than the 2013, reflecting the warmth and sunshine of the vintage. Initially enticing with dried black cherry and sage notes, this vintage is chock full of ripe black fruits with savory, herbal, and baking spice undertones. Jonas Mendoza

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $38.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur