2008 Eyrie "Estate Grown" Dundee Hills Pinot Noir

SKU #1061951

93 points from Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Light, bright ruby. A seductive, complex bouquet evokes raspberry, cherry and a deeper note of sloe berry, with Asian spice and floral qualities adding complexity. Supple red and dark berry flavors are seamless and alluringly sweet, with subtle spicecake and candied rose notes gaining strength with air. Rich but lively as well, with excellent finishing cling and a resonating dark berry note. This wine displays deep, creamy fruit on a lithe chassis; it also has the balance to age." (Jul/Aug 10) 92 points Robert Parker: "The medium ruby red 2008 Pinot Noir Estate offers up a lovely perfume of cherry blossom, cinnamon, incense, cranberry, and raspberry. Elegant on the palate with plenty of spicy red fruit, lively acidity, and enough structure to evolve for several years, it will be at its best from 2013 to 2023. A visit to The Eyrie Vineyards and Jason Lett is always a highlight of my 2 weeks in Willamette Valley. Jason pursues his (and his late father's) vision of viticulture and winemaking with little or no regard to what others are doing, and it seems to work out just fine." (10/10)

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Price: $27.99
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Staff Image By: Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/7/2010 | Send Email
Rare is it that you actually get to experience the first of something these days. In a time when everything has been done and then copied and then mass produced it is a sheer pleasure to have the original, especially when it is arguable that no one has greatly improved on what the Lett family set out to do over 40 years ago. The first to plant Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the Willamette Valley and the first to plant Pinot Gris anywhere in the US David and Diana Lett were true pioneers, and with a handful of others the parents of the Oregon wine industry. Their Estate Pinot comes from 4 vineyards, the original plantings from 1965, and 3 younger vineyards bringing the average age of the vines included here to 29years old. These vines are all un-irrigated and, planted on their own rootstock and the Lett’s have never used any insecticides, herbicides or systemic fungicides. Wet earth, dries rose petals, sandstone and sour cherry combine here on the very Oregonian nose. Savory rather than sweet or overtly fruity this has a wonderful beefiness/bloodiness to bright herbaceous tones. Building acidity and unfurling red berry fruit begins at the mid-palate and seems to go on forever. Cranberry, sage, hedgehog mushroom, red currant and fennel pollen all combine to make this a true treat now and a very special wine for the future. (Bryan Brick, K&L)

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Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- Highly touted for its Pinot Noirs, Oregon is part of the up-and-coming winemaking industry in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Most of Oregon is directly affected by the climate coming off of the Pacific Ocean, giving it mild winters and wet summers. This makes it a difficult place to ripen grapes, but some say that the harder grapes have to struggle, the more complex they will turn out to be. Chardonnay and Pinot Gris are two important and successful grapes grown in Oregon.