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11 January 2013


$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

Now in his 10th year doing Ayres, Brad McLeroy should no longer be referred to as a newcomer or rising star, this guy's wines are formidable and the real deal. Having worked in all facets of the wine industry including 5+ years as cellar master at Domaine Drouhin, Brad is a serious player as evidenced by him continually making prolific Oregon Pinots since 2003.

Since its inception, we feel that there aren’t very many other 20 dollar Pinots that reach this level. Blended from fruit from Ayres Estate Vineyard with some older Eola Hills fruit, the 2011 is yet another masterpiece. In fact, I feel that this particular vintage is going to unfold to be one of Oregon’s finest in its illustrious history. Very sleek and finely tuned scents that reveal both sites. Dark berry, Moroccan spice, some red earth, brown licorice and sneaky violet tones build and resonate further as the wine opens. All about being Pinot with sultry flavors that glide and turn at each point of the palate. Red tones creep through quite well out on the smoky and seducing, yet snappy finish. Drink this stylish beauty over the next 4-5 years with anything from salmon to smoked short ribs.

$26.99 BTL./$323.88 CASE

Now in its 2nd vintage, Perspective is Ayres newest Pinot Noir. Combining fruit from Ayres along with neighboring Ribbon Ridge Vineyards, Armstrong and Saikkonen, this wine is the great middle ground between the Willamette Valley version and the more upscale offerings below.

The 2011 is scintillating and shows what this vintage is all about. Ample depth but with prominent vivacity and structure; pronounced red cherry, strawberry, kisses of ripe herbs, smoke and licorice. Velvety in the mouth, but don't be fooled, this wine is one with very sneaky structure and will certainly develop gorgeously in the bottle. We are in love with Oregon’s 2010 and 2011 vintages and both will cellar very well, particularly the ‘11s. Lots of backbone arrives in the middle and the wine finishes with piquant components of spice, earth and nutmeg. Enjoy over the next decade.

$31.99 BTL./$383.88 CASE

“This ain't no party, this ain't no disco, this ain't no fooling around.”

Within the Ayres line-up, Bryan can definitively state a favorite and since he is doing so, a line from an all-time great song, Talking Heads “Life During Wartime” has to be included.

With my slanted Burgundy palate, when I tasted the 2011 it was one that certainly got me up off of the chair. Possessing plenty of substance, Brad’s estate vineyard site named after the adjacent road shows 100% of Pinot Noir’s sultry side on both the nose and the palate. Resounding floral aspects abound - roses play with lavender and mingle with red and black raspberry, underlying red earth and smoke. The texture is lacy, finesseful and smoothly mouth-crawling from start to finish. Early appeal is present, but patience will be rewarded due to the immense potential. A wow wine with fantastic follow-through. Like The Talking Heads, this has the makings of being a timeless classic!

$34.99 BTL./$419.88 CASE

Also from Ayres estate vineyard, Pioneer is named after the first vines planted at their site. A masculine number entirely from solely Dijon 667 clone vines, smoked plum, cinnamon, turned earth and hints of licorice shine and impressively penetrate the olfactory senses.

Initially this is luxurious and mouth-crawling, but clamps down letting you know that there’s quite a bit more to this story that’s still to be told. Italian plum flavors, precise lifting red and black tones weave their way through while well-integrated oak provides fine vanilla character to compliment the earth, spice and stirring fruit. Definitely not undrinkable at the moment due to its expanse and persistency, however it will undoubtedly unfurl with a bit of cellar time.