2010 Eyrie Vineyards "Estate" Dundee Hills Pinot Gris
*#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.
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.
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.