Howard Mozeico started making wine in his garage in 1984. He became quite accomplished, garnering
seven Gold Medals for his Pinot Noir in seven state home winemaking competitions. He was encouraged
by friends and relatives to become a full-time winemaker and when his daughter, Jessica,
agreed to assist him with the 2000 vintage, he began his commercial winemaking career. The name Et
Fille (“a few”) was chosen, which in French means “and daughter.” Howard jokes that “Mozeico Et
Fille” just wouldn’t work. His wines have been well reviewed and soon he plans on leaving the software
company he co-founded to devote himself entirely to Et Fille.
Howard’s goal is to craft small lots of distinctive singlevineyard
Pinot Noirs that reflect the unique character of each
individual vineyard. No two of his wines are made exactly in
the same fashion, and each wine is an expression of a specific
Oregon terroir. He sources grapes from several prime
vineyards including the well-known Maresh Vineyard.
The wines are vinified at August Cellars, a state-of-the-art
gravity flow winery just off Highway 99W in Newberg.
August Cellars was founded by Tom Schaad and is fashioned
after the Carlton Winemaker’s Studio, which hosts ten wineries under one roof. At August Cellars, eight separately bonded wineries share space and equipment.
Each winery has its own dedicated space for storing barrels during the blending and aging
process. The facility opened in 2004 and has a tasting room that is open weekdays during the summer
and weekends all year.
I met up with Howard at August Cellars prior to the IPNC and we tasted through a number of finished
wines and barrel samples. The 2005 Et Fille Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, the 2005 Et Fille Palmer
Creek Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir, and the 2005 Et Fille Kalita Vineyard Yamhill Carlton
were reviewed very favorably previously in the PinotFile (Volume 6, Issue 20).
2006 Et Fille Deux Vert Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton Viognier
150 cases, $26. Deux Vert is one of the
few Oregon Viognier vineyards. The wine is off-dry (0.5% residual sugar).
This is a fine example with
complex tropical aromatics, a viscous mouth feel, hints of banana and citrus and a clean finish.
2005 Et Fille Kalita Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., 91 cases,
$32. This 10 acre vineyard was planted in 1999 to Pommard and Dijon clones 113,114,115 and 777.
The wine was aged for 10 months in 75% new French oak.
The perfume is exotic with spiced cherries,
mahogany, and cigar box most evident. The flavors are woodsy and earthy, with prominent mushroom
notes as well as red licorice highlights. At this stage, the aromas trump the flavors, but this filly (sic) hasn’t
gotten out of the gate yet.
2005 Et Fille Elton Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir
126 cases, $36. Elton Vineyard is a mature
vineyard planted in the 1980s and farmed by Dick and Betty O’Brien. Pommard clone. Aged for 10
months in 50% new oak. I tasted this at the winery as well as at home a couple of weeks prior.
plenty of structure here but the wine is not jammy. The nose opens up with wild strawberries and buttered
toast. The complex flavors include dark cherries, red currents, wild berries, white pepper and
tobacco. The finish is clean and satisfying with tangy acidity. Cellaring will enhance this wine further.
2005 Et Fille Maresh Vineyard Dundee Hills Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., 125 cases, $38. Maresh Vineyard
has produced striking Pinot Noirs by Rex Hill Vineyards and others for over thirty years. Howard
is able to source Pommard clones from two blocks at Maresh. One block, the “Reservoir,” is the only
part of the vineyard still farmed by Jim Maresh, who originally planted the vineyard. Aged 10 months
in 100% new French oak.
The fruity and woodsy nose offers great interest. Plenty of dark cherries at its
heart, this beauty offers additional notes of baking spice, vanilla and shrooms. The long, long finish is
striking. Very nice balance here.
2003 Et Fille Seven Springs Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir
Howard just discovered a few
more cases of this wine and is offering it at $42.
This is stunning with a flamboyant nose of crushed and
spiced red berries that carries through to the finish. The tannins are velvety and the finish lingering. I
could still taste this wine in my memory a few hours later.
As you can tell from the wines offered, Howard prefers the Pommard clone as he believes it makes a
more complete wine. I also tasted several 2006 barrel samples and the Kalita Vineyard Yamhill-
Carlton and Maresh Vineyard Dundee Hills really stood out.
Production is small, about 1,500 cases, and most of the wine is sold through a mailing list. The 2005
lineup of Pinot Noirs are sold out, but you may find a bottle at www.avalonwine.com. The website is
www.etfillewines.com and the phone number is 503-449-5030. Tasting can be arranged by appointment.