2014 Eyrie "Estate Grown" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1281239 93 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Editors' Choice* Distinctive and precise, this well-priced wine should have a place in your cellar. It captures the specific characteristics-terroir if you will-that distinguish the best Willamette Valley Pinot Noirs: highlights of cola and herb, refreshing minerality, a perfect balance of fruit, acid and tannin, and a riveting liveliness in the mouth. All this without any hint of new oak makes this a winemaking tour de force.  (2/2017)

91 points Vinous

 Brilliant red. Fresh cherry, black raspberry and floral scents pick up notes of allspice and smoky minerals with air. Fleshy and energetic on the palate, offering bitter cherry and red berry flavors that slowly become sweeter and deeper on the back half. A spicy note adds bite and lift to the finish, which lingers with very good tenacity and a resonating floral quality. (JR)  (8/2016)

K&L Notes

Neal Martin writes: "Eyrie Vineyards is considered one of the founding fathers of Oregon, and so a visit to winemaker Jason Lett was mandatory. Famously, their 1975 was served by Steven Spurrier to unsuspecting French mavens in 1979 and 1980 that bought this nascent wine region to people's attention. (Coincidentally, I spent the following week back in England sitting between Spurrier and Mark Savage MW, the latter presciently importing their wines into the UK early on.) Since 1965, when David Lett moved to Oregon with '3,000 cuttings and a theory', Eyrie has been a cornerstone of the Oregon wine scene in this now flourishing region. David is no longer with us, but his spirit lives on."

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Price: $34.99
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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.


- 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.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.5