14 October 2008

14Oct- Oregon Wine god dies
.

David Lett, Oregon Wine Pioneer, Dies at 69


69 is so young!
His Eyrie Vineyards Pinot Noir has haunted my dreams since I first had it at Pinot Camp. Where would west coast wines be without this man? Without his bold, daring convictions would Oregon and Washington be producing the focused, clean, and balanced wines of which it's capable?

I wish, wish, wish I had a bottle of Eyrie to open in his honor.
Instead, the closest thing I have is a bottle of 2000 Domaine de Montille Volnay. It's Pinot, focused, perfumed and made by a house that seems to care truly about maintaining a terroir-based identity, ratings be damned.

David Lett deserves a moment of silence over an honest glass of wine.

a young David Lett. photo from www.eyrievineyards.com

update: Today, just after this initial post, I went on winezap and located some bottle of Eyrie Vineyards 2002 Reserve. I could only afford three bottles but I wanted to taste again the wine that moved me that one day in Oregon over a year ago.

here's how we toasted David Lett tonight. Leigh and I opened a wonderful bottle of Hubert Montille's Volnay 1er Crus 2000. A choice which, I hope, Mr Lett would've respected. It was perfumed, light, and translucent with notes of strawberry, earth, brown sugar, and pipe smoke. It reminded me, at least, of Eyrie pinot noirs. We sat back, raised our glasses to him, and just enjoyed all that which the wine had to offer. We discussed its aromas, its flavors, Burgundy in general, and Volnay in particular. We discussed terroir. We enjoyed the wine and each other's company.
I never had the honor of meeting the man but I've had the pleasure of drinking his wine, which I believe is indicative of him in some way. And knowing that, I'd like to think that our toast, our wine choice (in the unavoidable absence of his own wines) and our mindsets were respectful to his beliefs.


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