ABOUT: Brave Cellars is operated by Tahmiene Momtazi and her husband Colin Smith. Momtazi should be a familiar name to anyone interested in Oregon wine, she is the head winemaker at her families winery Maysara, and Momtazi is also the name of their esteemed Demeter certified biodynamic vineyard. Tahmiene has been busy over the last decade+ in the Oregon wine biz. She took over the winemaking duties at Maysara in 2007, making a name for herself as one of the best winemakers in the valley. Fast forward to 2017 and she and her husband launch Brave Cellars, making some (you guessed it) outstanding Pinot Noir from the Momtazi vineyard. The wine they released alongside Less Traveled is called Two Roads which was our introduction to this project. This might be considered the best deal to be had for a wine from the Willamette Valley. The Brave Cellars concept is to make elegant Pinot Noir that is affordable, and both Less Traveled and Two Roads firmly tick those boxes. Find me another Oregon Pinot Noir under $30 this good and I’ll eat my hat.
TASTE: Brave Cellars Less Traveled Pinot Noir 2106 is the ruddier, earthier wine of the two inaugural releases from Brave Cellars. Lifted aromas of tar, smoke, potting soil, tangy orange peel, strawberries, cherries, black pepper, mustard, and smoldering campfire. The body is medium as well as the acidity, the tannins are low-ish. The finish is long and the complexity high, with a decade + for further development. It paired nicely with a super umami pizza made with a sourdough crust, tangy sauce and goat cheese. A wilder feeling wine than its lithe partner Two Roads. Two sides of the same delicious coin.
PAIR:Pickled beets with cloves, Braised tofu stirfry, grilled squash with onion-apple compote, shallot marinated beets with grilled swiss chard, spinach and feta hand pie, and savory black bean stew with cheddar corn dumplings.