“Eyrie Pinots are so consistently pure, and so devoid of shouting, that you have to lean in really close and let them whisper to you, on their own time. When bombastic Pinot Noir was all the rage, Eyrie basically changed… nothing. The result was a quiet resistance, a passive protest to Pinot going big, an elegant deliverance from what became the norm.” – Joe Roberts, A Quiet Resistance (Eyrie Vineyards Original Vines Pinot Noir, In Retrospect)
Joe Roberts of 1 Wine Dude provides a look into the consistent Eyrie vintages, dating back to 1990 with an Eyrie Vineyards Pinot Noir Reserve. Roberts discusses the origins of Eyrie, farming and winemaking style, and, of course, the wine. Below are a few of his reviews.
1990 The Eyrie Vineyards Pinot Noir Reserve (Willamette Valley, $200-ish)
The first thing I noticed about this wine (apart from the striking brown color) was its purity, its lightness, and then its soft, earthy “edges.” Leather wrapped around tart fruits, buffeted by a sense of self-confidence and understated grace. Okay, and a bowl full of toasted nuts, too. It’s gorgeous, and just about everything you’d want OR Pinot to be after a quarter of a century. Have fun trying to find a bottle.
2009 The Eyrie Vineyards Pinot Noir Reserve (Willamette Valley, $75)
Bright red berry fruits are still hanging out and enjoying themselves here, helping themselves to tea. Minerals abound, as does an elegant air. I kept writing “pure” in my tasting notes. The wine is, simply, lovely, and could charm an entire room with its floral smile and effortlessness.
2010 The Eyrie Vineyards Pinot Noir Reserve (Willamette Valley, $75)
The spice is more prominent right now on this vintage (though you’ll find it, to some degree, on nearly all of these Pinots). It’s also a slightly fruitier take on the signature Eyrie serious litheness (I should copyright that…). It still has quite a bit of structural bite to it, both in its acidity and its underlying tannins. This one is more like the night that you and the SO argued, then had romantic make-up sex.
2011 The Eyrie Vineyards Pinot Noir Reserve (Willamette Valley, $75)
Spicy. And tiiiiight! Earth, tea, brambly red berries, vibrancy… it’s light and focused, elegant and proper almost to the point of austerity. It is in no way ready to be consumed yet, and makes no bones about letting you know how it feels on the matter. But still… it’s full of promise and pedigree.
2012 The Eyrie Vineyards Pinot Noir Reserve (Willamette Valley, $75)
Do you like laurel and pepper? Well, then… prepare to have your sinuses rocked, my friend. Tight as a World War II field tourniquet, this unfolds veeeery gradually. Eventually, you’ll smell wet rocks, dried flowers, and red berries; and you’ll taste a long, pithy, exquisitely balanced finish. But only when it’s ready, not when you’re ready.