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.

Additionally, during one of the daily deluges, over lunch I asked old friend Steve Doerner of Cristom what to do about picking. He had his thought provoking inward-looking response; “You can pick now and make mediocre wine at best or you can wait to see what happens. If it keeps on raining, you will still make mediocre wine. But if the rain stops, you have the potential to make phenomenal wine if your vineyards are all in good shape.”  I translated that into a minor chance of making phenomenal wine and since “Time don’t mean nothing to a pig.” I waited to pick until ALL the rains passed and we experienced several days of sunny, dry and cool weather.

It all worked out, but you be the judge: if you are a non-believer, just buy the four-pack and compare with ANY other 2013 Oregon Pinots in your cellar. Then you will be back for more at the better case price. Go for it.

92 points. Vivid Red. Lively, sharply focused red berry, cherry and rhubarb aromas are complemented by suggestions of rose oil and succulent herbs. Sappy and energetic in style, offering vibrant red currant and bitter cherry flavors that flesh out and become sweeter in the midpalate. Finishes subtly smoky and very long, displaying a lingering cherry note and silky, even tannins that add gentle grip. This wine shows the vivacity of this vintage to full effect.

92 Points. Brilliant red. Highly perfumed raspberry, boysenberry, Asian spice and lavender aromas are complemented by hints of allspice and woodsmoke. Silky in texture and gently sweet; juicy acidity lifts the red and dark berry and rose pastille flavors. Nicely concentrated yet nervy. Finishes very long, offering smooth tannins and lingering floral character.

91 points. Light brilliant red. Fresh red berries, cherry pit and a hint of blood orange on the incisive, spice-accented nose. Juicy and light on its feet, offering bitter cherry and red currant flavors that flesh out and become sweeter as the wine opens up. Shows the energy of the vintage and finishes long and subtly smoky, with dusty tannins coming in late to add grip.

90 points. Dark red. Pungent cherry cola, blackberry and mocha aromas, lifted by a peppery nuance. Juicy, smoke-accented dark berry and bitter cherry flavors slowly deepen and become sweeter in the midpalate, picking up a hint of pepper on the way. Nicely concentrated yet lithe, offering firm closing grip; silky tannins make a late, low-key appearance.