Beautifully lifted aromas of raspberry patch, with a sexy muskiness partnering with sweet rosemary and thyme, unfurling with subtle orange. Crunchy and vibrant fruit hits your palate and while understated, sneakily persists for ages, reverberating with traces of mixed berries, savory spices and a vinous purity, as though you can taste the vineyard through this wine. It is a brand new release and as such, should be given space to open up if you’re enjoying now (ideally, drink it over 2-3 days, and with dinner). It will last 10-15 years (or more) in your cellar.
Those who have been in the club for a few years will recall BlackCap Pinot noir, a wine we featured in the club every vintage it was produced. BlackCap is not being made and may never be made again. Instead, the vineyard sources that used to form BlackCap have merged with Eyrie’s workhorse Pinot noir. Formerly labeled as “Estate,” it is now “Willamette Valley” because of the inclusion of Cattrall Vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills and Bishop Creek Vineyard in Yamhill-Carlton (which pairs with Eyrie’s Estate vineyards in the Dundee Hills). One aspect we particularly liked about BlackCap was that it married our two favorites AVAs (Dundee and Eola-Amity Hills) and therefore, offered the best of both: the elegant, red-fruited, mineral-tinged, silky allure of Dundee Hills with the wild, darker-fruited, spicy, energetic Eola-Amity Hills.
It’s no exaggeration to say that we’d need the space of a dozen wine club newsletters to cover meaningfully the impact and importance of The Eyrie Vineyards to Oregon wine. Just as Steven Spurrier’s 1976 tastings brought international legitimacy to California Cabernet and Chardonnay, Spurrier’s tasting in Paris (1979) and Beaune (1980) brought international attention to Oregon as the New World home of Pinot noir. Eyrie’s 1975 Pinot noir outshone several top Burgundy’s and became a wine of legend.
Founders David and Diana Lett established their winery in 1966, naming it for the red-tailed hawks that made their nest (EYE-ree) in the fir trees at the top of the vineyard. It was the first planting of Pinot noir and Chardonnay in the Willamette Valley, and the first Pinot gris in America.