Eyrie South Block Reserve Pinot noir 2016
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97 points Vinous: "Expansive, spice-accented aromas of rip red fruits, passion fruit (yes), incense and potpourri, along with smoky mineral nuances. Conveys a suave blend of depth and energy, offering sweet, finely detailed Chambord, cherry cola, mulberry, candied lavender and baking spice flavors that come off weightless despite their intensity. Closes extremely long and juicy, with resonating florality and just a trace of silky tannins."
It's nearly impossible to capture the importance of Eyrie's South Block. One ten-row section of Eyrie's original plantings, with unique soils, exposure and microclimate, was recognized early by founder David Lett and bottled separately as South Block. In 1979, Eyrie's 1975 South Block was entered into an international wine tasting in Paris; it finished above storied Burgundian Grand Crus. Shocked and displeased with the results, the French staged a redo the following year. Eyrie's '75 South Block finished second, again besting epic Grand Cru Burgundies. The world was on notice: Oregon could produce truly world-class Pinot noir.
Interestingly, David stopped selling South Block shortly thereafter, yet continued to bottle it through 2007, the year before he passed away. 2007 was thought to be the final vintage for South Block but David's son, Jason, decided to revive the South Block bottling in 2013 because he believes there are only ten or so years before it succumbs to phylloxera. It is a tremendous tribute to David Lett and as such, bears his signature.