2013 Eyrie "Reserve-Daphne Vineyard" Dundee Hills Pinot Noir
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2013 Pinot Noir Daphne Reserve comes from 1.5 acres of vine planted between 1974 and 1984, some of the highest in the Willamette Valley. It has a lucid color, the deepest of Eyrie's Single Vineyard Collection, with a fragrant, floral bouquet with red cherries, fresh strawberry and subtle mineral notes that seem to gain vigor in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with fine delineation, certainly supple in the mouth with lithe, crushed strawberry and Morello cherry notes; it gains depth towards the finish that gently fans out and caresses the mouth, while maintaining ample freshness and tension. One of Jason Lett's best wines in 2013. 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)
*Cellar Selection* This selection from a 40-year-old vineyard manages to convey both power and complexity in a transparent, nearly ephemeral style. Like gazing into a clear pool of deep water, you plunge through a surface patina of ripe, crushed raspberries into a textural, evanescent palate framed in dark chocolate. Drink now through 2030 and beyond.
Bright red. Vibrant cherry and blackberry scents on the spice- and mineral-accented nose and palate. Silky and expansive, showing very good focus and surprising depth for the vintage. Closes on a subtle floral note, with a touch of bitter cherry and building tannins. 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)