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2018 The Eyrie Vineyards ‘The Eyrie’ Pinot Noir

  • Producer
    The Eyrie Vineyards
  • Vintage
  • Region
    United States
  • Sub Region
  • Types
  • Size

Eyrie vineyards plays an important role in shaping the Oregon wine industry where the very first plantings of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the Willamette Valley were made by founder David Lett in 1965. With a degree in viticulture and enology from UC Davis followed by months of research in Europe, then 25-year old Lett moved to Oregon with 3000 grape cuttings which he planted in a rented nursery plot and set about his search for the perfect vineyard site. Aside from these Burgundian varieties, he was also the first to plant Pinot Gris in the whole of America.

A year later, they settled on the volcanic soils in the Red Hills of the Dundee AVA where Eyrie was born, naming the winery after the red-tailed hawks who make their nests in the fir tree at the top of the vineyard sites. This was the first of the five south-facing vineyard sites that would soon make up the repertoire of Eyrie’s great terroir. It did not take long until the region attracted many other determined growers who believed in the potential that the climate and the soils held, and in 1975 Lett had produced the first American Pinot Noir would be placed in the top 10 in an international Pinot Noir blind tasting held in Paris known as the Wine Olympics organized by Gault Millau. Though this achievement did not quite attract the same headlines as Stephen Spurrier’s Judgement of Paris competition in 1976, it was enough for Robert Drouhin of renowned Burgundian negociant Maison Joseph Drouhin to organize a rematch in Beaune in which the same bottle became runner up to Drouhin’s winning 1959 Chambolle-Musigny by only one-fifth of a point.

Tasting Notes

98 Points Robert Parker Wine Advocate
Pale ruby, the 2018 Pinot Noir The Eyrie is a stunning wine with 10-15 years of aging potential. It has detailed scents of raspberries, blackberries, star anise, tangerine oil and violets, and it continues to unfold aromatically as it spends time in the glass. Delicately intense, it glides through the mouth like velvet, with seemingly endless flavor and nuance, and a finish that goes on and on.

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