Last week Neal Martin released an early report on Oregon’s 2013 wines. He said: “this is not the “main show.” Think of this as a warm-up act comprising of earlier-bottled wines that several producers advised might appear too late had I waited until the end of June.”
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.”
Of the 200+ wines Neal reviewed, he gave four wines his high score of 93 points. My EIEIO Cuvee “O” Chardonnay 2013 was one of the four, and was the only non-Pinot noir in the group. Neal tends to score low compared to other publications, and only 62 of the wines received scores of 90 or greater.
The 2013 Chardonnay Cuvée O is a blend of two puncheons, one new and the other first used in 2011. It has an understated, quite Burgundy-like bouquet, that new oak deftly integrated with subtle flint and smoke scents developing in the glass. The palate is clean and fresh on the entry with crisp acidity, lime and kiwi fruit, very well-judged acidity and a touch of shaved almond surfacing towards the finish. This is a superb Chardonnay from EIEIO. 93 points – Neal Martin
This was one of only four wines receiving 93 points from Wine Advocate in the April 2016 report, the highest score awarded. It was also the only Chardonnay in the group.
The 2013 Pinot Noir Yates Conwill Vineyard comes from the same ratio of clones as the Saffron Vineyard albeit here with 65% Pommard, the rest Wadenswil, 115 and 777 clones. It boasts the most complex bouquet of EIEIO’s 2013 releases: blackberry, briary, a touch of sous-bois and sage emerging with time.
The palate is medium-bodied with tart red cherry fruit, fine structure and acidity, segueing into darker fruit, more tertiary towards the clean and precise finish. This is another fine Pinot Noir from EIEIO, though I would still enjoy this in its youth rather than cellaring (unlike the 2012). – Neal Martin 91 points
The 2013 Pinot Noir Saffron Fields Vineyard comes from Pommard and Wadenswil clone, plus 777 and 115 clones. There is a pastille element to the aromatics: blackcurrant pastille and strawberry to nail the fruit, a little more showy than the Cuvée “I”.
The palate is medium-bodied with supple ripe tannin, fine cohesion, supple and forward with tart red cherry, balsamic and a pinch of white pepper towards the smooth finish. This sleek and lithe Pinot Noir should be drunk over the next 5-6 years. 90 points – Neal Martin
The 2013 Pinot Noir E is designed to be an “early drinker,” but despite that, it actually has quite a complex bouquet with brambly black fruit and briary aromas that are well defined.
The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, soft and easy drinking with smudged red cherry fruit and strawberry, just a touch of piquancy on the finish.This is recommended at the price. – Neal Martin 88 points
The 2013 Pinot Noir I is a selection of barrels that winemaker Jay MacDonald believes shows more depth than others. It had a clean, raspberry leaf and cranberry-scented nose, more undergrowth scents than the “E” cuvée, a hint of wet tobacco in the background.
The palate is well balanced with supple tannin, tart red cherry fruit with just a splash of balsamic, leading to a well-defined, lightly spiced finish. Enjoy over the next 5-6 years.v- Neal Martin 89 points