The Eyrie 2011 Chardonnay is dominated by bright, juicy grapefruit and lime tinged with their piquant pips as well as with saliva-liberating salinity. Straight and penetrating as an arrow; amazingly buoyant (but then, there’s only 11.7% alcohol!). A streak of salinity serves to enhance the mouthwateringly sustained and invigorating finish. This outstanding value is apt to remain riveting through at least 2020 – a prognostication I venture with plenty of track record to back it up.
The 2012 Pinot Gris Estate has a gram more acidity than the 2013 and a degree more alcohol at 13.8%. As such, it is more expressive on the nose with dried honey and grilled almond/smoke scents. The palate is clean and fresh with nectarine, dried quince, lemongrass and fennel, with a long and persistent finish that is very satisfying. Excellent–and a fantastic value to boot.
The 2012 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is now supplemented by purchased fruit from outside the estate, fermented mostly in small 4- and 8-hectoliter vats to enable a cool ferment as the heat escapes from the top before it has time to build. It has plenty of earthy black fruit on the nose: stoic and a little aloof at first, but certainly well defined and focused. The palate is medium-bodied with fresh blackberry and blueberry fruit, a little austere however, this acidity is extremely well judged and it fans out beautifully on the black olive-tinged finish. Superb.