News & Opinions

EIEIO’s Wine Advocate Top Rated Wines

I’ll let Neal Martin, Oregon wine reviewer for Wine Advocate, do all the critiquing or most of it anyway, although I’d disagree with a few.  Most notable Wind Hill which is probably the second best wine I’ve ever had the pleasure of drinking, let alone having the pleasure of turning it from fruit into liquid. The other is the YC Pinot that he just had experienced a bad bottle and I’ve contacted the posts that be to be sure and retaste the next time Neal is back in Oregon or I am in London. – Jay

Neal Martin on EIEIO:

I must confess that I found the name baffling when I encountered EIEIO in my London tastings, at least until I enunciated each letter separately and thought of “Old MacDonald”. Clever…maybe too clever! Still, what matters is not the name but the wine and here there is much to savor. Winemaker Jay MacDonald clearly has the knack of producing top-quality Pinot Noirs that stood out from the crowd, in particular his superb Wind Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir that is surfeit with freshness and vitality. Hopefully, I’ll get to meet Jay on my next trip to Oregon.


2012 Eieio Wind Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir 92 points

The 2012 Wind Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir is supposedly the most northern vineyard in the Willamette Valley. From vines planted between 1974 and 1988 it is matured in 20% new French oak. It has plenty of dusky red and black fruit on the nose interlaced with truffle and mushroom scents. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp acidity, vibrant citric fruit, lively red cherries and wild strawberry that form the caressing, lightly spiced finish. This is another excellent offering from EIEIO. Drink 2016-2026

$75 per bottle  ORDER

2012 Eieio Pinot Noir 

Saffron Fields Vineyard Field Blend 91 points

The 2012 Pinot Noir Saffron Fields consists of five separate ferments from the five leased blocks of vine that were picked October 8-18 and matured in 25% new French oak. The nose offers more black rather than red fruit, tightly knit with tinge of dried blood. The palate is medium-bodied with supple fruit that now veer back toward red: raspberry and wild strawberry interlaced with white pepper and orange rind. There is decent substance here, silky smooth and commendably long. Drink 2015-2025

$55 per bottle ORDER

2012 Eieio Saffron Fields Vineyard 777  91 points

$55 per bottle

The 2012 Saffron Fields Vineyard 777 comes from vines planted in 2007, obviously from the Dijon 777 clones. The 2012 was picked on October 8 and sees one-third new oak. It has a refined bouquet with redcurrants and cranberry leaf, a light woodland note emerging with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, plenty of red cherries intermingling with cranberry and Asian spices on the finish. The oak is nicely enmeshed and lends weight and persistence on the finish. Enjoy this over the next 5-8 years. Drink 2015-2026

$55 per bottle ORDER

2012 Eieio Saffron Fields Vineyard Wadenswil 89 points

$55 per bottle

The 2012 Saffron Fields Vineyard Wadenswil has a cohesive nose with intermingling red and black fruit infused with a damp undergrowth scent that I find attractive. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, a touch of orange zest and spice with a sour cherry finish. This is a fine Pinot Noir to drink over the next 4-5 years. Drink 2015-2022

$55 per bottle ORDER

2012 Eieio Stermer Vineyard Wadenswil 92 points 

The 2012 Stermer Vineyard Wadenswil Pinot Noir comes from vines planted in 1996 and 1997 in the southern-most tip of the vineyard. The aromatics feel a little subdued at first, reluctantly opening with brambly red berry fruit, sea spray and touches of undergrowth. The palate is medium-bodied with juicy ripe red cherry fruit interlaced with redcurrant and citrus fruit, gradually building toward a substantial finish that retains freshness and focus. Excellent. 2016-2026

$55 per bottle ORDER

2012 Eieio Pinot Noir O 92 points

The 2012 Pinot Noir “O” is much more reserved than the “E” and the “I” cuvees, demanding much more coaxing from the glass with blackberry, red cherries, minerals and a faint tang of seaweed in the distance. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy red berry fruit that offers plenty of substance. The oak here is nicely interwoven with a harmonious, mineral-rich finish. Excellent. Drink: 2015-2025

$75 per bottle ORDER

2012 Eieio Pinot Noir I 90 points

The 2012 Pinot Noir “I” has a refined bouquet with bright redcurrant and cranberry scents that are well defined, a light marine influence developing in the glass. The palate is well balanced with crisp acidity cut through tart red cherry fruit. There is a palpable sense of energy within this Pinot Noir, the finish easing back and prioritizing poise and tension over power. This is a well-crafted Pinot Noir. Drink 2015-2024

$50 per bottle  ORDER

2012 Eieio Pinot Noir E 88 points

The 2012 Pinot Noir “E” has a tightly-wound, earthy bouquet with raspberry and cranberry leaf, strawberry pastille developing with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin. It is missing just a little weight, but is balanced and fresh with a saline, piquant finish. Drink: 2015-2020

$40 per bottle   ORDER

2012 Eieio Pinot Noir Yates Conwill Vineyard Field Blend

? points

The 2012 Pinot Noir Yates Conwill comes from the namesake vineyard and sees 20% new French oak. The nose seemed rather flat on the bottle that I tasted and the palate a little hard and unbalanced. It felt incongruous within EIEIO’s other 2012 Pinots and I wonder how representative it is? I’ll reserve judgement for now.

$55 per bottle  ORDER

2012 Eieio Chardonnay Yates Conwill Vineyard 90 points

The 2012 Chardonnay Yates Conwill Vineyard is matured in 20% new French oak. It has an elegant and refined bouquet with hints of yellow flowers, lime flower and citrus fruit, the oak deftly interwoven. The palate is very leesy on the entry, soft in the mouth, with a brioche and walnut-tinged finish. This is a fine Oregon Chardonnay to enjoy over the next 4 or 5 years. Drink 2015-2020

$50 per bottle  ORDER

If you want speciifc wines that you might have already depleted from your cellar, just shoot me an email and I will see what I can do for both of us!

Six Vintages of Cuvee E

EIEIO-flat-straight-vertical-E-550pI still find vertical tastings the most fun within the hobby of wine: Gather a group of around eight to ten of your wine and food friends and throw a pot luck dinner. The focus here is not on the food but on the wines.


White Pinot noir 2014

EIEIO-logo-email-tractorWHITE-PINOT-300pThat wine you wanted last year but it did not exist…

As most of you know, I attempt to make the controversial “white pinot noir” on an annual basis. Some people think they invented it, some critics say not to make it at all as it is “insipid” and then, moments later, award a very nice score… controversial andconfusing…

In the winery the barrels are labeled as WPA. People often wonder what WPA stands for and I let them know that it stands for White Pinot Attempt because allowing Mother Nature to turn grape juice into wine all by itself is brimming with a very high potential for disaster.


Summer Wine Dinners – New Releases


Longer spring days turn my thoughts to summer’s pleasures and EIEIO’s New Release wine dinners.Join me for a warm summer night of al fresco dining, farm to table cuisine from Painted Lady, and a deep dive into my new lineup of Chardonnay and Pinot noir. An idyllic evening of wine, friends, and special times.

Review site Zagat says:
“world-class Pacific NW tasting menus are fascinating in their variety, seasonality and freshness” Top rating.

“perfect summer evening, fascinating people, great conversation, and a continuing stream of standout food and remarkable wines. They started excellent and headed straight to remarkable –  a memorable lineup of Oregon Pinots and Chards. Can’t wait for this summer.” – Jean

All the Info

Casual dining at my home
(shoes optional)
Food by Painted Lady Restaurant

Pre Paid $150 per person

Six courses and different food on
each night if you want to attend both.

Save $100 on each full case
of one wine purchased at the dinner.

Reserve Your Spot Now
503 852 6733


Building for Sale

Established historic bank building on the perfect corner location in Oregon’s most desirable wine address: Carlton. Home to Ken Wright Cellars, Soter Vineyards, Jacques Lardiere, Jackson Family, etc.

Original virgin fir floors from 1910, 11 foot ceilings, walk- in safe, etc. Beautiful living space above with historic character. Space to expand or build an additional building. Beautiful garden area. Most recently housed successful 20+ year business plus upstairs housing, multiple winery tasting room and wine bar on high-traffic corner.


Oregon Meets Silex: Rocky Point Sauvignon Blanc


Rocky Point Cellars
2013 Sauvignon Blanc Russell Grotters Vineyard

A major influx of new people have moved into the North Willamette Valley over the past five years and almost all of them are in some way, shape or form either in the wine business or soon to be in the business of wine. This is a good thing. The fifth wave so to speak. A few of them even have come to call Carlton their home and as such, have introduced themselves to those of us on Main Street.

Marc + Jennifer Stein have just moved to Carlton and are a dynamic duo with energy and brains to spare. Since I am seemingly low on brains these days, let alone energy it was serendipitous that he brought by a bottle of something new to share while I was cleaning up my Carlton Bank Building, home of The Tasting Room and EIEIO & Company, getting it prepped for new paint. Mark has started up a small brokerage business and Jennifer is bring her hospitality background and skills to Oregon, something that is painfully needed.

Initially, I was not expecting much from the wine as after all, it was a Sauvignon Blanc, something I rarely drink. This is not because I do not like Sauvignon Blanc but because there is so very little of it planted in Oregon. To keep with the local theme, the grapes were from the Savannah Ridge section of the Yamhill Carlton AVA, just due east of Carlton. The particular vines were originally sourced from the renown Chateau d’Yquem known as the Clone One, a good starting point.

The wine was at the perfect room temperature that so few white wines ever seem to be served within anymore; normal color; strawy hay with a glimmer of hope, aromatics were deep and rich showing bizarre white flowers, chalk dust, lemon oil, and some meatiness in the first inhalation. I wastaken aback. The aromatics were very reminiscent of the Silex from Didier Dagueneau I experienced about nine months ago: a benchmark wine! This wine is impressive. Marc then proceeded to fill me in regarding the woman behind this wine: Amy Lee.

Amy Lee is way into wine. She is a French oak barrel broker and before that was in Beijing, China working for a large importer of wine. Just before that she was across the border in Hong Kong doing something similar within the Chamber of Commerce department. A Northwest native, she has now moved BACK and is honing her skills in the realm of winemaking at the Beacon Hill shared facility under the tutelage of Drew Voit.

Below, First vintage Rocky Point Sauvignon Blanc


The wine was made in two barrels: That is correct: only around 46 cases of this wine exist. One barrel was a new French oak barrel made in the “old-school” cigar shape that has flatter sides than the usual wine barrel. This allegedly helps with more lees, or yeast cell contact resulting in a creamier texture without having to reduce acidity. The other barrel consisted of the normal French oak Burgundy shaped barrel. It was a once used or offers up less oak influence and more of a softening component to the wine.

The Sauvignon Blanc continued to evolve: The aroma was as confounding as it was fulsome, giving up aromas as well as flavors that I did not know were available in domestic Sauvignon Blanc; more stone fruit aromas than your traditional citrus and more “low-tide” or uni fragrance than your traditional “cat pee” ( 2-methoxy-3-isobutylpyrazine) smell. Now to imbibe: entry is smoother than smooth and mouth coating while at the same time, not heavy or cloying. First flavors are completely “liquid rocks” with some fresh apricot nectar. You need to drink this wine to understand what I mean by “liquid rocks” as it is not only a flavor but also a texture. With further warming other fruit flavors start to show themselves starting with lemon curd, sliced pears with a squeeze of lime and over-ripe apricots. The wine has a linear finish showing honeycomb and white peach with a bit of skillet roasted caramelized snow white cherry tomatoes and tangerine.

This wine is fun and complex. With less than fifty cases made, and priced at about one-third of the benchmark Sauvignon Blanc from Dagueneau, I’d suggest getting a six-pack at least! Perhaps even do a side-by-side tasting. That is, if you can find the Silex…Go for it!

Free shipping in case quantities to the continental United States on orders paid by February 27th.

$495 per case of twelve
$285 per six-pack
$165 per three-pack

EIEIO 2013 Chardonnay Releases

EIEIO-2012-YC-in-Seoul-850pMy 2013 Chardonnay was a great success at the fourth annual Oregon Chardonnay Symposium in March 2015. The photo is from a recent event in Korea. They all enjoyed my 2012 and I will bet that they will be ordering up the next string of vintages as well! Here are my expanded tasting notes and a special offer for you before the Symposium. I expect to sell out.

The Vineyard
Yates Conwill Vineyard is owned by husband and wife Cathy and Steven Yates Conwill. It is a beautiful southwest facing bowl of a vineyard tucked in next to Foothill Farms, sharing a fence with Resonance Vineyard, and is only five miles due west from the lovely hamlet of Carlton. Well managed by Results Partners it is one of the “bonsai garden” vineyards in the valley with perfectly manicured plants and clean rows.