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Oregon Advent: Day 1
Eyrie Vineyards Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2012

by Nannette Eaton on December 1, 2014

“The whole thing is balance. Tannins, pH, alcohol — these things all have to be in balance. When it’s in balance, it’s going to live forever. That’s my take on it.” — David Lett

Eyrie Vineyards Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Oregon Advent 2

Eyrie Vineyards is one of the flagship wineries in Oregon. On press tours they gleefully announce that the pioneers of the Oregon wine industry were, “Two Dicks and a Dave.” Seriously. From a PR flack. At that point you know that Oregon wine isn’t Old World wine. Or Napa. Can you sense why I was interested in covering a whole month of Oregon wine? Two Dicks and a Dave. The Dave in question, was David Lett, the patriarch of Eyrie Vineyards, along with his wife Diana, and son Jason, shaped a generation of Oregon winemakers interested in making holistic, nuanced wines.

Nuanced is the watchword as I quickly devoured the bottle and was perplexed that it was soon empty. For a young wine it was very approachable and delicious — tartness of cherries, balanced with an primal earthiness.

As a Northwest native, I think the perfect pairing for pinot is salmon, and the simpler the better, try the Oregon Salmon Commission’s recipe for Planked Salmon with the Eyrie. (And if I’m any indication, you might want to stock multiple bottles for the meal.) The music match is “There Is an End” from The Greenhornes with Holly Golightly the theme song of Jim Jarmusch’s 2005 film, Broken Flowers.

The details: 13.5% alcohol. Cork closure. Appellation: Willamette Valley. Varietal: pinot noir. Retail price: $35. Available directly through the wineries or select distributors. The wine was provided as an editorial sample for the Oregon Advent Project by the winery.

Photo credit: EatonAlive ©2014
Styling: Riedel Vinum XL Pinot Noir wine glass (aka “the Oregon Pinot Noir” stem) courtesy of Riedel.

Oregon Advent Posts:
Thank You’s and Credits
How to Create Your Own Wine Advent Calendar
Oregon Advent: Day 1:  Eyrie Vineyards Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2012
Oregon Advent: Day 2:  Fossil & Fawn Pinot Gris 2013
Oregon Advent: Day 3:  Willamette Valley Vineyards Bernau Block Pinot Noir 2012
Oregon Advent: Day 4:  Kramer Vineyards Celebrate! Müeller-Thurgau Sparkling 2013
Oregon Advent: Day 5:  Repeal Day Special Edition: Volstead Vodka
Oregon Advent: Day 6:  Siduri Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir 2012
Oregon Advent: Day 7:  Elk Cove Vineyards Willamette Valley Pinot Gris 2013
Oregon Advent: Day 8:  Cornerstone Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Oregon Advent: Day 9:  Brandborg Oregon Gewurztraminer Umpqua Valley 2012
Oregon Advent: Day 10: Lange Estate Three Hills Cuvée Chardonnay 2013
Oregon Advent: Day 11: Adelsheim Vineyards Elizabeth’s Reserve Pinot Noir 2011
Oregon Advent: Day 12: Domaine Drouhin Oregon Dundee Hills Pinot Noir 2011
Oregon Advent: Day 13:  Argyle Vintage Brut 2011
Oregon Advent: Day 14: Lumos Pinot Noir Temperance Hill 2012
Oregon Advent: Day 15: Cowhorn Spiral 36 2013
Oregon Advent: Day 16: Mouton Noir Oregogne 2012
Oregon Advent: Day 17: Remy Wines Lagrein 2011
Oregon Advent: Day 18: Union Wine Co. Underwood Pinot in a Can