Eyrie Pinot Gris 2007
Pinot Gris/Grigio from Willamette Valley, Oregon
In 1970, David Lett produced five cases of the first Pinot gris in the New World. Aware of its potential, Lett expanded his acreage of Pinot gris until it made up half of Eyrie's production. Today, it is the most widely planted white variety in Oregon and the 2nd most popular white wine in the States. The Eyrie Vineyards' Pinot gris most closely resembles Alsatian versions. Fermented and aged in stainless steel sur lees for up to one year, Eyrie Pinot gris goes through 100% natural malo-lactic fermentation. Bone dry and medium-bodied with a nicely balanced acidity, Eyrie's 2007 Pinot gris shows complex varietal aromas and flavors, with a smooth yet crisp and refreshing finish.
Wine Spectator - "A bit darker and denser than most, this is aromatic with spicy pear notes, hinting at tobacco and cardamom as the pear and melon flavors linger. Drink now."
International Wine Cellar - "Leesy pear, baked apple and Meyer lemon aromas are brightened by dusty minerals. Fleshy, deeply concentrated peach, orchard fruit and melon flavors are round and supple, with gentle spiciness adding nerve. Sweet honeydew and peach nectar flavors dominate the long, juicy finish. Reminds me a lot of a dry vendange tardive wine from Alsace; I'd serve this with washed-rind or blue cheeses. Pretty cool stuff."
David Lett, aka “Papa Pinot”, was the first visionary to realize that Oregon’s Willamette Valley was the best place in the world to grow the finest Pinot Noir outside of Burgundy. In the early 1960s Lett explored high-quality Pinot growing possibilities around the world and discovered the “secret” from the French that the finest wines come from grapes which grow at the climatic edge of where they will ripen in coincidence with the end of the growing season. David and Diana Lett planted the Willamette Valley’s first cool climate vinifera wine grapes in 1966 and produced their first vintage in 1970. David Lett passed away in 2008.
Today, his son Jason manages the The Eyrie Vineyards. The philosophy and style have not changed. The vineyards are farmed organic, vines are old, yields kept low, yeasts are native, alcohols low, acids balanced, winemaking non-interventist, new oak very minimal to non-existant. The achievement is ageworthy, characterful wines of finesse, elegance and food friendliness. The Eyrie Vineyards was named for the home (eye-ree) of red-tailed hawks that share the Lett's vineyard land in the Dundee Hills. View all Eyrie Wines
About Willamette ValleyView a map of Willamette Valley wineries (will-AAM-it)
Named for the river that runs through the valley from Portland to Eugene, Willamette Valley is home to some of the best Pinot Noir vineyards in the Northwest. While along the same north/south line as Seattle, the Willamette Valley is protected from Pacific rains by the Coast Range on the western border and the Cascade Ranges to the east. Though sunshine is typically plentiful, rainfall can occasionally be tricky, and the wines here vary vintage to vintage. Within the Willamette Valley is a number of sub-regions, including McMinnville, Dundee and Yamhill.
Notable FactsThe valley is known for its Pinots – Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. With a climate similar to Burgundy – in rainfall, sunlight hours and other climate factors – Pinot Noir has flourished here. Pinot Noir in Oregon produces wines that are fruit forward, yet complex, some with good agebility.
Other than Pinot Noir, many wineries grow Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. Pinot Gris from Oregon is delightful in its texture and food friendliness. Chardonnay in the valley adapts well to the cool climate and produces lean, elegant wines.
About OregonOregon has long been an agricultural state, producing everything from hazelnuts to cattle. The Willamette Valley in particular is a fertile basin for all sorts of produce. Not quite pegged as a wine state, in 1965, a UC Davis graduate named David Lett decided that the Willamette's climate mirrored that of Burgundy in France. With that in mind, he decided to plant some Pinot Noir clones to see how they did. And a good gamble it was. The Willamette is now one of the only regions in the world to focus solely on Pinot Noir as its red variety. Also known for Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. The southern part of Oregon has been slower in delving into the world wine market, but has been making excellent strides with their Rhone style varietals, like Syrah and Grenache. There are also coastal regions producing promising wines.
Customer ReviewsSign In to Add Your Review33 out of 5 stars
4 ratings, 3 with reviewsVinfluent - San Francisco, CA19/30/2009I'm at a total loss how this wine (allegedly) got decent ratings from two publications. This is Oregon Pinot Gris at its worse: thin, dilute, bland.Chris Poole - New Providence, PA49/16/2011Feng - Washington, DC412/20/2010Wheat grass and cheese toast bouquet typical of Chardonnay. The bouquet is relatively simple and modest. Overall taste is dry interlaced with bouncing dashes of sweet melons and citrus, with smooth and velvety mouth feel. On the first taste, chardonnay flavor comes through pretty strong, but then additional subtleties and complexity opens up, showing caramel, apricot, sweet pickled ginger and pepper. Medium long finish with caramel and fresh white. The overall impression is like a cross-over between a dry Riesling and a Chardonnay. No great surprise, but very pleasant. Good effort from the Eyrie Vineyards in Oregon. 89-90 Points.Marc Dulberger - Milwaukee, WI510/13/2009The top 40 Vinters, Vineyards & Vintages. Eyrie Pinot gris, bright and bracing, is marked by a mineral-tinged complexity rarely found in dry wines made from this variety. The first successful American version!