2016 The Eyrie Vineyards Pinot Gris Original Vines
Eyrie Vineyards is one of the original wine estates of Oregon and the United States. Since the beginning of Waterford Wine & Spirits, I’ve been proud to provide you with wines from Eyrie, the true classic and iconic producer of its region. And today, I’m especially excited to offer you two of my favorite wines from the estate—Eyrie Vineyards Original Vines Pinot Gris and Trousseau. Of course, my love of both of these wines, as well as the Eyrie estate begins with a story:
Eyrie was founded by David and Diana Lett in 1966, when they planted their vineyards in the Red Hills of Dundee, Oregon, about 30 miles southwest of Portland. The Letts settled on the name Eyrie because of the red-tailed hawks who make their nests in the fir trees near the top of their original vineyard plantings. From the beginning, the Letts family has made their wines exclusively from hand-harvested grapes grown without the use of insecticides, herbicides or fungicides. The family’s philosophy, in its vineyards and winery, has always been to allow the nature of their terroir to speak through their wine.
Yes, Eyrie Vineyards is legendary for its Pinot Noirs, but here’s a secret just a few wine merchants know: Eyrie makes the New World’s best Pinot Gris and Trousseau.
The Letts family calls their Pinot Gris a liquid manifesto. Their Pinot Gris vines, which David Lett planted in 1966 as the first Pinot Gris in America, has all of the ability of Pinot Noir to reflect the nuances of site, craft, and vine age. With summer apple and Asian spice on its front palate, peaches, key lime, and cream in its middle, and honeysuckle and gooseberry at its end, a taste is all the proof you’ll need of this wine’s majesty.
In 2005, Jason Lett took over from his father as winemaker and vineyard manager of the estate. A few years later, inspired by the red wines of the Jura region of France, Jason planted Oregon’s first Trousseau vines. The Trousseau Jason makes from his vines is a joy—a bright and fragrant red, with aromas of strawberry and baking spice, and flavors of summer herb, blackberry, and pomegranate.
Super refreshing and full of character, with promising ageability, Eyrie Vineyards Original Vines Pinot Gris and Trousseau are wines for spring and summer. Both of them are trade secrets, and both are New American classics. These are wines I want to drink all the way through Memorial Day and past Fourth of July. You will, too.