Varietal Meunier is uncommon everywhere, even its native France, where it’s mostly (literally) pressed into service to make champagne. Eyrie founder David Lett pioneered this variety in Oregon, one of its earliest appearances in the States. This 2016 bottling is the first vintage from renovated estate plantings.
It is utterly transparent, physically and metaphorically. The robe is limpid garnet, and the wine is bracing, clarion, its texture velvety and tea-like. The modest alcohol allows the flavors of springy pink berries and darker cherry fruit to shine. It reads a bit like Pinot noir, Burgundian, but with a darker, bluer note I associate with Meunier. At the finish there’s a lilt of resinous herbs, but mostly this wine reads as pure, glassy fruit: refreshing, uplifting, delicious.
2016 Eyrie Vineyards Pinot Meunier Dundee Hills
12% abv | $60 (sample)
Note: the 2017 release is currently $45