The overall impression of the wine is freshness and balance in spite of the warm vintage. On the nose, savory red raspberry and blueberry combine with a truffled earthiness and floral spice. On the palate, crushed strawberry, violets, and sweet cherry pay homage to the riper year while briar, and porcini notes bring complexity. Texture is defined by soft but present tannins that rise through the midpalate to create a sueded texture. The tannins are enhanced by firm acidity on the finish. The Willamette Valley cuvée combines Pinot from Eyrie’s estate vineyards.
Picked by hand, our Pinot noir is destemmed and put into a variety of fermenters, from small one-ton bins to a 5 ton wooden cuve, to undergo native primary fermentation. Two fermenters were 100% whole cluster and contributed 4.1% of the final blend. Our barrels are mostly neutral—for this vintage, 78% were over 5 years old and only 6% were new. Having undergone native malolactic fermentation, in barrel for 12 months, the 2014 Pinot noir was blended and bottled after 16 months and sealed under DIAM cork.
Record breaking precipitation fell in February followed by heavier than normal rain through the spring. The summer was dry and quite warm; fortunately, our deeply rooted vines weathered it well, drawing on the spring rains soaked deep in the soil. Of some worry was late-summer smoke from forest fires in the Columbia Gorge many miles away, but a burst of rain two weeks before harvest washed the vines and refreshed them - and put out the fires in the Gorge. At the end of September, harvest began as moderate temperatures moved in. This vintage was closest to “normal” of the last five years, starting just before our historical average of October 5.