VINOUS on Jay McDonald & his 2016 wines

“This winery is a consistently reliable source for elegant Pinots that are not lean or mean. Jay McDonald, who has this farm but isn’t especially old (get it?) isn’t averse to shifting winemaking styles around a bit depending on variables such as vintage variabilities, yield, stem and fruit ripeness and so forth but the common thread that runs through each vintage is maintaining energy. I found his 2014s favoring more dark fruit than usual, which is in keeping with the style of the year and his 2015s, although plenty concentrated, still stay on the graceful side of the Pinot equation. McDonald showed me an “introductory” 2016, that he blended from various casks “to get an early peek at the vintage”. The blend showed an interesting combination of 2014 and 2015 qualities, with an emphasis on lively, spicy (2015 qualities) dark fruit (a la 2014) with rounded tannins and subtle floral character.” – written in 2018 about the 2015 vintage wines

VINOUS Wine Reviews
2016 Vintage

EIEIO Yates Conwill Vineyard 2016 Pinot noir

2016 Pinot Noir
Yates Conwill Vineyard

VINOUS 94 points

Bright red. Highly perfumed, smoke- and mineral-accented aromas of black raspberry, cherry-cola, spicecake and savory herbs, along with a suave floral overtone. Juicy, deep and expansive on the palate, offering hefty red and blue fruit, rose pastille and spicecake flavors that become livelier with air. Delivers a suave blend of depth and litheness and finishes on a sappy red fruit liqueur note, with solid, spicy thrust, lingering floral character and sneaky tannins. (made with 70% whole clusters and 33% new French oak)

— Josh Raynolds

EIEIO 2015 Saffron Fields Pinot noir whole cluster

2016 Pinot Noir
Saffron Fields

VINOUS 93 points

Limpid ruby-red. Highly perfumed, smoke- and mineral-accented aromas of fresh dark berries and cherry pit are complicated by suave floral and incense qualities. Deep-pitched, appealingly sweet, mineral-tinged cherry and black raspberry flavors pick up a cola note with air. Finishes with subtle grip, slow-building tannins and excellent, floral-dominated persistence.

— Josh Raynolds

EIEIO 2016 Wind Hill Vineyard Pinot noir

2016 Pinot Noir
Wind Hill Vineyard

VINOUS 93 points

Bright red. Expansive red/blue fruit and Asian spice aromas show excellent clarity and pick up smoky mineral and floral nuances with air. Blends power and finesse smoothly and offers palate-staining raspberry, boysenberry, violet pastille and spicecake flavors that tighten up steadily on the back half. Shows strong intensity and repeating florality on the gently tannic, very persistent finish, which leaves a sappy red fruit liqueur note behind.

— Josh Raynolds

EIEIO Maverick Vineyard 2016 Pinot noir

2016 Pinot Noir
Maverick Vineyard

VINOUS 93 points

Shimmering magenta. Dark berry preserves, cola, incense and a hint of vanilla on the deeply perfumed nose. Palate-coating blackberry, boysenberry, cherry liqueur and fruitcake flavors pick up a floral element on the back half. Shows noteworthy power, but there’s elegance here as well. The cherry and floral notes carry strongly through an impressively long, youthfully tannic finish that shows sharp delineation and spicy thrust. (made with entirely destemmed fruit and raised in 75% new French oak)

— Josh Raynolds

2016 Pinot Noir
Cuveé “O”

VINOUS 92 points

Shimmering magenta color. Primary dark berry and cherry aromas, with notes of Asian spices, savory herbs and violet adding complexity. Offers deeply concentrated yet lively bitter cherry and blackberry flavors that provide very good palate coverage and pick up a smoky quality as the wine opens up. Finishes spicy, pliant and long, with echoing dark berry and floral character and mounting tannins.

— Josh Raynolds

2016 Pinot Noir
Cuveé “E”

VINOUS 92 points

Deep red. Powerful cherry, black raspberry and licorice scents are complicated by candied flowers and savory herbs. Sweet, sappy and broad on the palate, offering appealing sweet red/blue fruit, spicecake and rose pastille flavors that steadily turn spicier with aeration. Violet pastille and spicecake notes linger on a very long, supple finish, where smooth, slow-building tannins provide support and gentle grip.

— Josh Raynolds

EIEIO Swine Wine Pinot noir

2016 Pinot Noir
Swine Wine

VINOUS 90 points

Vivid red. Intense red berry and floral aromas are complemented by subtle hints of cola and vanilla. Fresh and focused on the palate, offering intense black raspberry and cherry flavors that slowly deepen and turn sweeter on the back half. Finishes building spiciness and very good energy, leaving cherry and lavender notes behind.

— Josh Raynolds