2013 Eyrie "Sisters Vineyard" Dundee Hills Pinot Noir

SKU #1270922 92 points Vinous

 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)  (7/2015)

90 points Wine Enthusiast

 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.  (8/2016)

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.  (6/2016)

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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.