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Oregon Wine: Eyrie Vineyards

You can make a powerful argument that Eyrie is the most important winery in Oregon. From a historical perspective, Eyrie was instrumental in establishing Oregon’s reputation as a world-class wine growing region. They’ve also been kind enough to share decades of library wines with the world, to truly understand the aging potential of Oregon Pinots and Chardonnays.And through it all, they’ve continued to produce amazing wines, like the new releases featured today.

at right, Jason and daughter Marguerite
Eyrie Vineyards
Marguerite Pinot noir 2000

$76.45 in any 12 bottle order or Build a Case* ($84.95 retail)

David Lett made this wine as a gift to his newborn granddaughter Marguerite Estelle Lett (Margo) and with his typical generosity, Jason Lett, David’s son and Margo’s dad, is sharing it with the public.

Marguerite is a lovingly selected blend of the best barrels of the 2000 vintage. It is quintessential David Lett at his best, reminiscent of the world famous 1972 South Block. Fresh and sophisticated, the scent transported me to my favorite wine country ramble when the wild roses and blackberries are in bloom. Dried wild rose petals, blackberry blossoms, and a sprinkle of field dust on berry leaves draw me in. The color is deceptively light – first taste is a real “wow!” with big, round flavors of cherries, white raspberry, white pepper, and a streak of meatiness mixed with damp earth. The wine is vibrantly alive, just like Margo, who is a bright, joyful twelve year old already showing that her family’s wine making skills are passing to a third generation. – Jean

The charming label is a combination of a drawing by Margo that she named “Moon Rise over McMinnville” and her grandfather’s handwriting. On the back, it says “A gift from her grandfather from barrels selected in honor of the vintage of her birth. Love, Papa.”

Eyrie Vineyards
Reserve Chardonnay Original Vines 2010

$41.98 in any 12 bottle order or Build a Case* ($46.65 retail)

From the internationally famous Eyrie Vineyards, Eyrie’s Original Vines Reserve is made from some of the oldest, finest Chardonnay vines in the state. Creamy, crisp, enticingly scented with jasmine, apple and lemon blossom, layers of rich lemon pie, apple, pear, white peach, and sweet spice, and a splash of fresh minerals on the long, long finish. The 2010 was made from a tiny crop resulting in a very concentrated wine perfectly balanced and long-lived. A gift for the most discriminating Chardonnay lover. – Jean

Eyrie Vineyards Estate Chardonnay 2011

$24.25 in any 12 bottle order or Build a Case* ($26.95 retail)

Lemon meringue pie, a hint of pineapple, pear and apple, just a squoosh of sweet spice. I was only having one glass, but I just had to have one more. It’s so good!

Trying the 2010 Eyrie Chardonay, the aromatics came to life first, with a delectable whiff of baked lemon pie, and then later a subtle tropical element. Pineapple? By the time it had been opened for a few minutes the flavor was extraordinary. A youthful lemony streak ran from end to end, carrying with it a taut array of spice notes. The core of pear and apple fruit was firm, having not yet expanded outward as it will with even just a few more months in bottle. But with the impressive amount of layering and delineation at such a young age, I believe this Chardonnay has a long, glorious life ahead of it. – Jean

Eyrie Vineyards
Estate Pinot Gris 2011
 in any 12 bottle order or Build a Case* ($14.95 retail)
Eyrie Pinot gris is world famous – they planted the first Pinot gris in the UNited States. Year after year, this is our most popular Pinot gris and one of the finest made. And at a ridiculously low price.Hazelnuts, lemon pie, minerals, fig, and sweet lime seduce you and call for another glass. An incredible value and our most popular Pinot gris by far. The previous vintage was sold out for months.A weighty, dense Pinot gris that outperforms both Oregon and European versions of the wine. Made from Eyrie’s four Estate vineyards, these old vine plantings produce intense, densely packed flavors. Medium body and balanced acidity make Eyrie’s Pinot gris a versatile food wine. Jason’s favorite match for his Pinot gris is salmon, which shares the wine’s velvety texture and subtle flavor and brings out the hints of vanilla and cedar in the wine. – Jean
author: Jean Yates
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