2013 Eyrie "Sisters Vineyard" Dundee Hills Pinot Noir
Pale red. Vibrant, sharply focused scents of spicy redcurrant and strawberry are complicated by suggestions of cinnamon and star anise. At once lithe and appealingly sweet on the palate, offering intense red berry and floral pastille flavors with a touch of bitter rhubarb. A distinctly fresh, nervy Pinot Noir with smooth tannins and outstanding finishing cut. Jason Lett has definitely found his footing at the historic winery that his father David founded in 1966. While his dad made a number of outstanding wines over the years, Jason's growing body of work has featured, by my reckoning, a far greater percentage of hits than this estate produced in the time leading up to his succession in 2005. Jason possesses an experimental streak, especially in the vineyards, and he told me that he "doesn't take anything for granted or subscribe to hard-and-fast rules" because even though his winery is now 50 years old, "that's really nothing in the grand scheme. We still can't say that we really knows what's best at this point, so why stop being curious?" (JR)
Planted with eight grapes, including the three Pinot "sisters"-Blanc, Gris and Noir-this site is located just below Archery Summit in the heart of the Dundee Hills. The pale, pretty rosé hue introduces this most elegant and restrained of the winery's vineyard selections. It's a velvety, finesse wine, with delicate flavors of rhubarb, cinnamon, cardamom and cocoa.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2013 Pinot Noir Sisters comes from the lowest elevation site planted in 1987. It has an open-knit, red cherry, strawberry and bergamot scented bouquet that is nicely defined. The palate is fresh and vibrant, linear in style, leaner than the 2012 Sisters from last year, but with an attractive salinity on the finish. Enjoy this over several years - one for those seeking "classic" Pinot Noir rather than a forward fruit-driven style. As you would expect from a producer with the legacy of Eyrie, their latest releases were utterly absorbing to taste. And I don't mean in the sense of every single wine desperately trying to impress, rather a lesson in wines that articulate their terroirs and the growing season, come what may. Not everything is going to be a hole in one. They are not wines that expend every ounce of energy trying to impress, rather wines that are happy whatever they are. Some of the outlier white varieties still leave me perplexed, but they remain interesting to taste. Come to something more familiar like Chardonnay, and though it is a cliché, I find that here quality takes off. Moreover, I've drunk sufficient older vintages to know that these wines can repay the same length of cellaring as many white Burgundy (as a 1992 Estate Chardonnay proved). The 2014 Pinot Noirs are mainly nuanced wines, unblemished by new oak, very natural and refined, the dichotomy of blockbuster Pinot Noirs lavished with fruit and oak that you can find elsewhere if that rocks your boat.