Back in November we offered the Eyrie Vineyards 2017 Pinot Noir “The Eyrie” and today we’ve been lucky enough to secure a small allocation of their top cuvee, Pinot Noir South Block Reserve Willamette Valley. This 2015 vintage will be one of the last ever releases of South Block Reserve.
David Lett and his Eyrie Vineyards has for many years been leading the way in Oregon winemaking. As one of the foremost visionaries and original pioneers in Oregon viticulture, Lett’s decision in 1965 to plant Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in Dundee Hills laid the foundation for the Willamette Valley as it is today. It took David months of searching and an exhaustive analysis of climate records and soils before he found the perfect location for what has now become one of the most historically significant vineyards in the United States.
Planted in 1968, the South Block occupies a small corner of the Eyrie vineyard, a mere ten rows of Pinot Noir where six different soil types converge. The South Block Reserve revealed its true potential when a bottle of the 1975 triumphed in a blind tasting of worldwide Pinots in Paris organised by famed French restaurant guide, Gault-Millau. It was the first American Pinot Noir to stand shoulder to shoulder with some of Burgundy’s best vintages in competition and demonstrated Oregon’s credibility as a wine-producing region to the world.
After producing his final vintage in 2007, David Lett turned the reins over to his son, Jason, who continues to craft some of Oregon’s finest examples of Pinot Noir from his various vineyard blocks. Unfortunately time is running out for the famed South Block. David Lett’s early decision to plant without the use of phylloxera-resistant American rootstock has made for some incredible wines over the years but has also left the vines susceptible to this devastating blight.
Phylloxera has now entered the vineyard and according to Jason Lett, “we might get four or five more bottlings out of this block and then we will have to say goodbye.”
Rarely seen outside the U.S, we are delighted to offer a very limited number of cases of what James Suckling calls the “impeccably balanced” Eyrie Vineyards Pinot Noir South Block Reserve Willamette Valley 2015.
“This is the embodiment of “delicate intensity” and an absolutely stunning wine.” Erin Brooks, The Wine Advocate
Drinking now into the next decade, these wines will be landing spring 2022.
The Eyrie Vineyards Pinot Noir South Block Reserve Willamette Valley 2015 (6x75cl)
£795 per case 6 IB
97 Points | James Suckling
The top Eyrie pinot cuvée, a partial selection of ten rows. Very rich aromas of fresh and dried red cherries, as well as notes of hauntingly spicy forest wood and fresh brown mushrooms. The palate has such composed and regal style with very suavely delivered flavors of ripe red to dark cherries that hold and expand out of the long, fine and elegantly focused finish. Impeccably balanced. Drink or hold.
96 Points | Erin Brooks | The Wine Advocate
The top cuvée from Eyrie, the 2015 Pinot Noir South Block Original Vines has a pale to medium ruby color and delicate but layered aromas: crushed blueberries, fresh cranberries, rhubarb and pomegranate with nuances of sagebrush, mossy bark and lilac coming through with time in the glass. Medium-bodied and silky, it gains intensity in the mouth, grainy, super fresh and layered, finishing very long. This is the embodiment of “delicate intensity” and an absolutely stunning wine. Jason Lett says, “The old vines are starting to be taken by phylloxera. We might get four or five more bottlings out of this block, and then we will have to say goodbye.
In addition, we have our last few cases of the Eyrie Vineyards Pinot Noir “The Eyrie” 2017:
The Eyrie Vineyards Pinot Noir “The Eyrie” 2017 (6x75cl)
Last 6 cases!
£330 per case 6 IB
96 points | James Suckling
Glistening red. A highly complex bouquet evokes fresh red berries and cherry, along with suave Asian spice, potpourri and mineral accents. Shows superb delineation on the palate, offering vibrant, spice-tinged red fruit liqueur, rhubarb and spicecake flavors that pick up a strong floral pastille nuance as the wine opens up. Finishes extremely long and lively, with fine-grained tannins providing shape and discreet grip to lingering raspberry, mineral and floral notes.
95 points | Vinous
Very pure, fragrant red-berry and cherry aromas here with a fresh, sweetly fragrant and spicy edge, as well as forest wood. The palate has such volume and completeness with a very succulent, red-cherry core that has effortless depth and pure-fruit flavor. Very fresh finish.
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