2013 Eyrie "Roland Green Vineyard" Dundee Hills Pinot Noir

SKU #1270924 92 points Vinous

 Deep red. Complex, perfumed bouquet evokes ripe cherry and black raspberry, with notes of dark chocolate and cola building in the glass. Sappy and precise on the palate, with tangy acidity providing lift and spine to the bitter cherry and berry skin flavors. Boasts very good depth and power for the vintage, finishing with solid punch, serious length, and dusty tannins that sneak in late to add shape. 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 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2013 Pinot Noir Roland Green is actually the renamed "Rolling Green" (let's call it a belated branding shift by Jason Lett - this is actually named after his grandfather). The nose is intriguing because I thought there would be some whole bunch addition in the blend - very earthy and peppery, subtle iodine and seaweed scents developing in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with gritty tannin, a more masculine Pinot Noir, quite firm and a little austere, but with commendable length on the finish. It is an uncompromising Pinot Noir for those who appreciate a less 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). (NM)  (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.