2010 Eyrie Vineyards "Estate" Dundee Hills Pinot Gris

SKU #1107031 93 points Wine Enthusiast

 *#7 - Top 100 Best Buys of 2012* The grapes used for this wine are from the original vines, planted almost 50 years ago by David Lett. Rich, sleek and textural, this thrilling effort sets a new standard for Oregon Pinot Gris. Grassy notes are married to lush citrus and apple fruit. The flavors go deep and long, the finish is immaculate and brings a palate-refreshing minerality.  (8/ 2012)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 A lovely meld of peach and lemon, green herbs and brown spices (reminiscent of cinnamon basil) characterizes Eyrie's 2010 Pinot Gris, which, as usual here, initially underwent several hours of skin contact in the press, and like its Pinot Blanc counterpart underwent malo and a long stay on the lees in tank that result in flattering creaminess without any sacrifice of vivacity or primary juiciness. Predictably, there is a bit more grip here than in its blanc sibling, with piquant peach kernel and a smoky aura extending the finish. But the same lovely sense of levity (here at 12.6% alcohol) prevails. Even allowing some leeway for distributor mark-ups that might lift its retail price above that charged at the cellar-door, this represents one sensational value, singular for its genre and almost certain (for any few who care to test my prognosis) to remain deliciously versatile for another 8-10 years. At 8,000 cases, Jason Lett points out with a grin, production of this wine now equals exactly that specified in his father's original business plan ... for the entire estate! Not a bad calling card.  (8/ 2012)

K&L Notes

A blend of grapes from all four of their Dundee Hills vineyards, Eyrie's estate Pinot Gris was a trailblazer for the varietal in Oregon with its first bottling in 1970. These original vine plantings on their own roots are now fully mature and capable of producing very serious New World dry white wine at an unparalleled value. A cool 2010 vintage that is proving to be excellent for aromatic white wines has graced this bottling with rich varietal character. It is fermented in stainless steel and kept on its lees until bottling to impart depth and texture.

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Price: $13.99

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By: Bryan Brick |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 7/19/2012  | Send Email
On a recent week long trip to Oregon scouting out wines with my counterpart in San Francisco Mike Jordan we found tons of great stuff. We met with something like 30 wineries and were impressed by pretty much everyone; however few of our visits rivaled the one we had with Jason Lett at Eyrie Vineyards. The wines there were just so good, so pure and so complete, which makes sense being that they have been making wine in Oregon for as long as anyone. We tasted vintages dating back to 1973, which was a Chardonnay that was incredible, and also the current releases which lead us to the 2010 Eyrie Pinot Gris. From what may be some of the oldest Pinot Gris vines in the Willamette Valley this Pinot Gris is head and shoulders above all that we tasted on our trip. The wine exudes class and is way too inexpensive for what is in the bottle. This is not a simple wine by any stretch of the imagination and has more depth and weight than most Gris/Grigios that I’ve had in the last decade. But that weight does not come from oak or malolactic fermentation, it comes from purity of old vine fruit that lasts and lasts on the palate. A nutty quality over the top of lemon curd and granite dominates the nose with a clean, snappy entry of orange flesh and crushed rock, which is delicious enough for $14. But add the building heft and notes of marzipan, fig and key lime and you have something that is truly special.

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Additional Information:

Varietal:

Pinot Gris

- Also known as Pinot Gris in France, where it originated as a mutation of Pinot Noir. The berries can vary in color from yellowish to bluish-violet producing wines that range from white to slightly pink. The most successful wines from the grape come from the Collio in Friuli (Northeast Italy), where the wines are light- to medium-bodied, crisp, dry and, because of their high acidity, complementary to the region's foods like speck, Prosciutto di San Daniele and polenta. In Alsace, where the grape takes a back seat to more popular varietals like Gewürztraminer and Riesling, it is generally rich and honeyed. Other successful plantings of Pinot Grigio exist in Austria, Germany, Hungary and Romania, with even smaller amounts planted in British Columbia, Australia, New Zealand and California.
Country:

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.
Sub-Region:

Oregon

- 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.
Alcohol Content (%): 12.5