In December, 2016, Josh Raynolds of VINOUS (formerly with Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar) reviewed a selection of Oregon 2013 vintage wines. Four EIEIO wines were among the group.
This was an interesting vintage. Many of us gathered regularly over beers and pizza to fret over when to pick and how to address the grape bloating and other rain related natural issues in the vineyard. I ran into my neighbor Jacques Lardiere at the Carlton Bakery and he asked what I was doing differently to combat the swelling issues. I answered; ” Nothing yet as I have yet to pick!” He was flabbergasted.
You see, there were three rain events which were large and quite rare just before and during harvest and you could not pick “around” these events as some might claim. (more…)
Yates Conwill Vineyard just before 2016 harvest
Tasting with the neighbors around the west ridge of the Yamhill Carlton AVA.
left to right: Stephen and Cathy Conwill, owners of Yates Conwill Vineyard – Dave Polite, Carlton Hill Vineyard – Jacques Lardière, Résonance Vineyard (Jadot) – Jay McDonald, EIEIO and the maker of the EIEIO Yates Conwill Vineyard Pinot noir. Not pictured, Kristin Cardwell, pouring for Terry Family Wines – Tara Bloom, Carlton Hill Vineyards.
Neal called out EIEIO, saying: “Other producers that really deserve an applause for overcoming such a challenging vintage include: Brick House, Colene Clemens, EIEIO, Longplay and Stoller Vineyards, though I suspect that those names will not come as a surprise to many.” (more…)
New EIEIO Winery Construction Starts Soon
EIEIO will soon have its own facility. Some call this a winery, others might refer to the building as a fruit processing plant, and the county calls it an Agricultural Building. Nonetheless, construction will start soon. I am still in the planning and design phase with blueprints currently out for bids. EIEIO construction might take a couple of years to complete or if funds flow in rapidly from you, my customers, we might be able to finish within the next nine months! (more…)
January 20, 2015
Today The Wine Snob blog had all kinds of nice things to say about EIEIO’s white Swine Wine, a blend of Riesling and Chardonnay known fondly as Richard (Rie-Chard).
About Jay, the horcrux of of the area:
“Jay is sort of like a Horcrux of this area… but in a good way. I’ll explain. Jay opened The Tasting Room in Carlton back in the day right in the center of town in a really cool old bank building. I can’t find an exact date, but suffice to say it was right when a lot of Oregon winemakers that are now very well-established were just getting their start. The Tasting Room was a retail store/tasting room (go figure) where local producers could get their wines out to the people before they were big enough to have tasting rooms of their own. Legend holds that many-a now well-known winemakers had help from Jay in the beginning. Thats why he’s a Horcrux- he has a bit of all of their souls. But again, not in a sinister way.”
About the 2013 Rie-Chard:
“So whats the story on this little Piggy? It is a blend of Riesling and Chardonnay, not your most common bedfellows; obviously no one told them that, because they make a lovely couple in this wine. It captures the cool-climate persona of the Willamette Valley with finesse. Gentle, yet with a bracing acidity, it will enchant with aromas of pear, quince, green apple and nuances of honeysuckle. If you’re patient enough to let this wine open up, its texture will soften and charm your pants off. This wine is actually what began my fondness for half bottles. They’re just fun, doggone it. A slight amount of residual sugar makes it very accessible and bright. Good clean fun. Plus, did I mention its cute? Its cute.”
Read more on The Wine Snob website…
Oregon 2008 through 2011
What a strange word when you really think about it… Where else do you see this word in use other than to describe something as being “old but collectable”? Mostly in the mention of wine! Vintage, the realm of farming, has to do with the year in which the crop was grown. More specifically in the case of wine it has to do with the year in which the grapes were grown. And as we all know the weather is what we are referring to when we speak of “vintage” since most years are of the same length!
These four vintages, 2008 through 2011, represent a broad range in weather and subsequently, a wide range of finished wines. Each of these wines represents what the vintage brought or wrought, depending upon how you look at things.
I describe my EIEIO Cuvee E in this article as an example of what each vintage produced. All of the wines are beautiful and for the most part balanced. Each will smell, taste and drink just fine although some will benefit from more time in the bottle while others are ready to consume.
2008, Oregon’s Superb Year
New York Times: “The critics have weighed in from every conceivable angle, and the results seem to be unanimous. The 2008 vintage for Oregon Pinot noir is superb... They will reward in 10 years or so of aging…With each year of experience, winemakers in Oregon become better at understanding the combination of climate, vineyard and cellar work necessary to produce good wines.”
2008 Cuvee E:
I would have to agree with the New York Times on their assessment of the vintage, especially on the ability of the wine to age. My Cuvee E is drinking beautifully now but still has an easy seven to ten years left in it if cellared properly. Loads of black plum, blackberry and a dash of dust are obvious on the nose. The entry is round and mouth filling after six years of time. Flavors are more akin to cherry-glazed duck breast, which would be a nice meal to accompany this wine.
2009, Oregon’s BIG Year
PinotFile: “The quality (of the 2009 vintage) is at an astonishing high level… “A long, warm growing season in 2009 made many full bodied, California style “BIG” Oregon Pinots. The best winemakers meticulously managed their vineyards and picked when complex, true varietal character could be expressed. In general, Pinots from this vintage are flashy to spectacular.
2009 Cuvee E: Rusty Gaffney of PinotFile is correct concerning the larger scale of the wine produced in the 2009 vintage in Oregon. The Cuvee E is lush and deep with a nice dose of tannin for balancing out the wine, all due to blending in the grapes from the Meredith Mitchell Vineyard to assist in prolonging the life. Nose shows off not only black-skinned plums but also forest floor and a bit of raspberry. The higher toned fruits such as raspberry and kumquat are due to the small percentage of Wind Hill Vineyard blended in with its high elevation, it also retains acidity, even in warmer years like 2009. Entry is smooth and refreshing with flavors in the red fruit zone of plum, cherries and pomegranate. Finish has scale with more clean fruit than forest floor and meat as with my 2008 Pinots.
2010, Oregon’s “Oregon-ness” Year
San Francisco Chronicle’s Jon Bonne: “The (2010) wines aren’t simply excellent; they show a concentration and depth that rise from being simply pleasurable to being profound. And they offer… a true sense of ‘Oregon-ness’. More importantly, there is great structure: acidity that’s in perfect balance, tannins that are firm but not stern.”
2010 Cuvee E:
It figures that this is a vintage which Jon Bonne loves as it has a purity of fruit which is textbook Pinot noir plus low alcohol levels. Most of the fruit in this Cuvee E came from lower elevation vineyard sites so there is depth of flavors and ample weight to the mouthfeel. Aromatics are complex with a range from red cherry compote to a just ripped opened tangerine. Entry is lovely and lively and showing a bit of freshly sliced watermelon with cherries in the background. Finish is all there in a chamber music sort of way. This vintage still has another ten years of life, easily.
2011, Oregon’s Year of the Power to Surprise
New York Times’ Eric Asimov: “… sometimes a particular vintage stands out, either because it is so unusual or because its character somehow impresses itself indelibly on the wines. Such is the case with the 2011 pinot noirs from Oregon…People like me who love Pinot noirs of finesse and restraint will adore the 2011 vintage. The best wines are clear, focused and vivacious.. I don’t doubt this vintage will be polarizing. Those who do prefer richer, warmer wines may find some of these puzzling, as if they lacked sufficient flesh. Others may be charmed by their unusual delicacy. Either way, 2011 is proof that among wine’s best qualities is its power to surprise.”
2011 EIEIO Cuvee E:
Back to the New York Times and once again, I am in agreement with Eric Asimov regarding the elegant restraint of the vintage. These wines are starting to flesh out since their release and will easily last twenty years from the vintage. Deep color of garnet red with tinges of purple on the edges. In true Cuvee E fashion, this is everything you would look for in everyday wine: Perfumed aromatics dominated by bright red cherry, raspberry and cinnamon lead the aromatics into the entry that would love the companion of fine fatty food. An invigorating wine that wakes up the taste buds with a fresh flavor profile and refreshing acidity. Supple mouthfeel showing bright yellow and red cherries. With some time in the glass more aromas and flavors evolve: rose petals, orange blossom, peach nectar and plums. Linear, clean, polished and incredibly thirst quenching.