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May 17, 2008

02 The Eyrie Vineyards, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Reserve

The math is complicated. But if you want to make a wine that shows the greatness of Oregon, it must taste like something only Burgundy could make... in Oregon. At a time, still, when the Old World is being defined by its redefinition of New World wines--adding more modern oak, more modern concentration, and even more modern price tags--the 02 Eyrie dares to go retro--pink pumps, bleached jeans, and all. And as the wine warms from cellar temp up, you feel like you could be riding your fixed-gear vintage Peugeot through the French countryside north from seasoned Pommard through the black angel of Vosne-Romanee and finally into the rotting corpse of Gevrey-Chambertin, all the while kids and grandmeres handing off Solo cups of local pinot noir. That is the voyage this wine takes you on--at once the most expressive and subtle Eyrie wines of the decade. It's a pinot everyone should aspire to make if they wanted to stop selling wine and start drinking their glut instead. Because, like the great 98 Tall Poppy, this is a wine you will love to hate. But its tart red cherries morph into pitless black cherry flesh, its funk into a mid-fall walk through the woods, its mouthwatering acidity into early-picked strawberries and sweet tarragon tea, its peppery finish into the fruit of Turkish tobacco. I don't know whether to be apologetic or thankful. Am I sinning, or is this redemption?


Blogger Nilay Gandhi said...

I decided to make some fresh Napolitana pizza for the occassion. On my way to the market, I came across a duck and drake strolling the spring city sidewalk so much in unison you would've thought they were holding hands. And when I got home, got the yeast bubbling, and finally poured a glass of the Eyrie, I wondered why I hadn't brought an arrow.

10:59 AM  
Anonymous Michellacio said...

To paraphrase Tennessee Williams,hell is yourself and the only redemption is when you put yourself aside to feel deeply for a great wine.

2:46 PM  
Blogger Nilay Gandhi said...

I have a new mantra.

4:28 PM  

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