Letter from Jason Lett
“So, how was harvest?”
That’s a question I get this time every year. In this vintage, the question is especially weighted with meaning.
It carries two meanings now. The first is what it always has been, “How is the wine?” The second is particular to losing my father at such a busy time: “Did you bear up OK? I’ve been thinking of you.”
Well, the Eyrie crew and I have been thinking a lot of him, as we have been making the wine. Before they worked for me, the people here worked for Dad, some for decades. We have all felt an especially powerful connection to the vineyards and to the wines this year. Every step has been for us a communion with Dad.
Pinot Noir reflects the emotional resonance of the winery. It reflects the emotional resonance of the maker. Dad himself was light of heart, but at the same time deeply serious, intense and committed to the expressions of his vines. His wines reflected that.
The resonance here at the winery was powerful and complicated. The wines reflect that character, too. The Eyrie Pinot Noirs of 2008 are uncharacteristically dark in color, and underpinned by some fairly rigid tannins. I find myself wondering if Dad, with his penchant for light, supple wines, would have approved. No matter; it’s what the vintage gave us, and Dad’s highest goal was always to let the vintage express itself.
The 2008s certainly have aspects that would have delighted him: low in alcohol and full of juicy acidity. But they are dense and uncommunicative. I will have to wait for some barrel time to see if they measure up to my own expectations, let alone my idea of his.
As we at Eyrie wait to see the results of the vintage, we toast Dad with every bottle we open. I hope you will join us and raise your glass to Papa Pinot!