-6-All wines are 750ml unless otherwise specied. Prices do not include Consumption Tax.* Click here for Sato-san’s 2019 report: “My winemaking stagiaire experience at The Eyrie Vineyards helped me understand the three essential elements of its ‘life force.” (Village Cellars Wine Catalogue, Spring 2019).Above: Jason took this shot when he came to see me while picking grapes on my own. Bottom: (Left) Sampling pH, brix, and tartaric acid for each vineyard before harvesting. (Right) The Cuvée Guardian fermentation vessel. Jason posted a note to stop other crew members accidentally punching down.CODEUS001A two-bottle set of The Eyrie Vineyards Pinot Noir (Cuvee Guardian 2018 + Eyrie Pinot Noir 2016) RRP ¥13,800Ships late April (Advanced orders accepted)Pinot Noir Clones: Wadenswil 70%, Pommard 30%Vineyard: Roland Green, The Eyrie Vineyards (Dandy Hills AVA).Soil derived from weathered basalt. Planted in 1988. Own rooted.Process: 7% whole bunch, natural fermentation. Foot pressing pigage. Fermented for 16 days.Peak fermentation temperature approx 28°C. 16 months aging in old oak barrels. No clarication and no ltration. Bottled March 5th, 2020. 550 bottles.CODE11511RRP ¥7,500Origin: Willamette Valley, OregonVariety: Pinot Noir 99%, Pinot Gris 1%. Alc.: 14.0%Cuvée Guardian Pinot Noir 2018Ships late April (Advanced orders accepted)I drew the label showing a coyote protecting the vineyard from wild mice, with The Eyrie Vineyards in the background. A local artist provided the Eyrie style calligraphy.Yoshiji Sato Yoshiji became a freelance wine writer in December 2018, after working as the editor of the wine section in the alcohol industry publication Shuhan News for over 20 years. He also oversaw the Australia and New Zealand section of the Japanese Sommelier Association textbook, and was a member of the steering committee for the Pinot Noir Celebration Japan. The 2015 event included a seminar with Jason Lett, and he formed a close relationship with The Eyrie vineyards, and subsequently worked a vintage at Eyrie. During his stay, he made 2 barrels of Pinot Noir under Jason’s supervision.◆ Jason’s condition for my stay was to make my own wineThe trigger for my stay at Eyrie was an interview I conducted in summer 2017 in Oregon with Jason Lett, the second generation at Eyrie. He took over from his father David Lett, known as “Papa Pinot”, who was famed for his elegant and delicate Pinots. I was surprised when Jason’s first wines were in exactly the same style, but with even more precise expression than those made by David. Winemakers who inherit and maintain a style are extremely rare in the United States, and I was wondering how he did it. I asked Jason if I could “spend a few weeks” at Eyrie during the harvest and winemaking period, to see the process at first hand. Jason replied: “If you want to stay a few weeks, you have to make your own wine.” He continued, “ Wine journalists evaluate wine and explain how to make it, but most of them have never had a real winemaking experience.” In the past, Jason had extended the same invitation to another journalist to come and make their own wine, and the opportunity to deepen their understanding of wine, but it didn’t eventuate. However, I jumped at Jason’s suggestion. I thought that even if I had to buy every bottle that I made, the insights the winemaking experience provided would be reward enough.◆ What kind of wine to make?In my previous report I wrote about the characteristics of The Eyrie Vineyards: The five estate-owned, organically farmed vineyards, each with a distinctive personality; a leader who controls the overall direction in Jason Lett; and working with the same Mexican family (which Jason described as his good fortune) in the vineyards and winery for two generations. Jason describes it “as a winery in a fairyland, a living organism woven together by these three characteristics”. For me, the days spent working in the vineyards and the winery were amazing, like I was a kid again. It's a mysterious thing how the image of the kind of wine you want to make while working in the vineyard naturally evolves and grows. It was a challenge, but I finally decided, “Let’s make a delicate and graceful wine that is unique to Eyrie, beyond Eyrie.” Jason suggested that I could harvest grapes from anywhere in Eyrie’s Roland Green vineyard, and we set the harvest date for October 3rd.◆ Picking while selecting fruitsI turned on the headlights at 4am and started harvesting by myself, removing all the overripe fruit that had started to wrinkle as well as any diseased fruit from each bunch, and putting them in a bucket. I thought that this would bring ‘transparency’ to the taste of the wine. However, the work went very slowly. By pushing through until 1pm, I was only able to harvest 400kg of grapes, which was half of the 800kg I planned. The next day, I started at 4am again and ended at 3pm. When I returned to the winery, everyone was worried and waiting for me, and the grapes were de-stemmed. I didn’t crush the grapes, but put whole berries in the tank, which was a beautiful sight.◆ Pigage ‒ foot pressing the grapesOn October 8th, volatile acid (ethyl acetate) began to rise. It is a slightly unpleasant odour which occurs in the early stages of natural fermentation, signalling the active start of fermentation. Of the three pigages each day, one of them I did by foot. Crushing the fruit by foot eliminates uneven temperatures and size differences in the fruit in the fermentation vessel, and with the skin contact you can feel the progress of fermentation with all five senses. I pressed gently each time and the natural fermentation went smoothly, but the aroma during fermentation was much more subdued than that of the gorgeous Eyrie. The fruit was pressed on the 23rd and went into the barrels.◆ The distance between wine and the winemakerOn January 8th, 2020, I returned to Eyrie for tasting and blending. I remember being really happy that the wine was as I had envisioned. At the same time, the distance between the wine and me, the winemaker, was surprisingly close. There was a feeling of being connected to wine. It was easy to understand how the decisions I made affected the flavour and texture. Why did Burgundian monks and vignerons continue to work so hard and steadily for hundreds of years? I was able to create a wine that I felt “bonded to as my creation”, and concluded that I would like to continue making wine. The key achievement was that I got this feeling for winemaking with the first wine I made. I am grateful to Jason for the quality of the organically grown grapes and his generosity to let me make the wine I wanted to. In the future, when I’m working in wine journalism, just as Jason said, I know my horizons have expanded dramatically.◆ The Guardian and The Eyrie Vineyards Pinot NoirIf you are interested in the Cuvée Guardian, I would like to offer it to you side-by-side with the Eyrie Pinot Noir, to add to the fun and enjoyment. It doesn’t matter if the vintage is different. Discovering the same grapes and wines from the winery, commonalities and differences, and talking about them while drinking the wine will be an enjoyable and valuable experience. I think the wine will be happy too. By the way, after I returned, I moved to Fujimi, in Suwa, in Nagano Prefecture and planted a vineyard ‒ of course in Pinot Noir. This story will continue to grow, and I hope to share it with you over time. In 2019, I wrote a report “My winemaking stagiaire experience at The Eyrie Vineyards helped me understand the three essential elements of its ‘life force”* in this catalogue. I didn’t mention it in that report, but during my time at The Eyrie Vineyards I made two barrels of Pinot Noir, and happily part of it was released this year as “Cuvée Guardian Pinot Noir 2018”. (Wine writer, Yoshiji Sato)The making of Cuvée Guardian 2018 from The Eyrie Vineyards fruitOREGON

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