We have the new vintage of Daphne from Eyrie today, and it is a very exciting release that ranks among the very best examples of this wine of all time and is a beautiful showing on the 2019 vintage in Oregon. The Eyrie Vineyards is a fantastic estate of majestic beauty and world-class wines, and as we have stated before, one of the ways they are set apart from other Oregon producers is that they have older vines that make it into their top crus. One of the other significant factors is that they started farming all their vineyards organically from the get-go. Sites that have been farmed organically for fifty years are rare in the world, and the benefits are evident in the quality of fruit from their crop.
One of the favorites from Eyrie, the Daphne Vineyard, is one of five cuvees that they make exactly the same way, but each is sourced from a different vineyard. Some examples are Three sisters vineyards and The Eyrie, and what makes Daphne special is it is located at the highest elevation of all the Eyrie vineyards at 820-860 feet. As mentioned, the vines here have age, and this 1.5-acre plot was planted first in 1974, with the most recent planting in 1984. This vineyard is effectively planted on large boulders, and the soil here is very shallow, only about 10 inches deep, forcing the roots down into the bedrock to find nutrients, much like our favorite sites in Burgundy. This search for nutrients imbues the fruit with fantastic minerality producing very small concentrated berries that show intense fruit, floral, spice, and minerality. This is a top effort, and one of the best wines from Eyrie this vintage and a contender for one of the best wines of vintage, perfect for both domestic and old-world palates. 2019 is the finest example of this cuvee of all time, coming highly recommended, especially at this friendly pricing.
Wine Advocate (Erin Brooks) 97 pts! "The 2019 Pinot Noir Daphne is juicy, highly aromatic and irresistible! Medium ruby, it has pure scents of raspberry and strawberry preserves, tangerine peel, Earl Grey tea leaves, star anise and tar. Light-bodied with powdery tannins and fireworks of fresh acidity, it features perfumed, crunchy red fruit and detailed floral and spice accents that fan across the finish.
James Suckling 96 pts! "Some attractive, spicy and herbal complexity on the nose. Medium-bodied with fine, soft tannins. Linear and complex on the palate. Black tea, blackberry, black cherry, ground clove and allspice. Refined and light-footed, whilst remaining savory. Lovely. Best after 2024 and onward."