93 Insider Points
This is a tasty Willamette Pinot loaded with juicy fruit and firm structure, and as usual at an amazing price. A beautiful nose of red cherry, strawberry and warm spice, with a well balanced palate of cranberry, vanilla and baking spice. This is a composed and elegant bottle of Pinot with soft tannins, low alcohol and generally gentle profile. The wine is easy to consume on its own but has substantial acidity and is therefore quite food friendly. This tasty little number is all about subtlety and nuance, elements that will expand with time in the cellar. Enjoy now through 2020. - DZ Apr 2017
Willamette Valley, OR
“Willamette! Dammit!” was all we heard for days after our sourcing tasting this rich and layered Pinot. From the gently sloping hills of Willamette’s Ribbon Ridge, this Oregon Pinot fulfills all your Pinot-phile fantasies. All the beauty and heft of Burgundy, none of head scratching price.
An Island of Pinot: From the air (if you have a biplane, we’d like to borrow it), the aptly named Ribbon Ridge appears to have broken off from the surrounding land. Watersheds fall away to the east and west. Ayres Creek and Dopp Creek bound the ridge to the north and south respectively. Each day this island gets a head start of warming up that lasts through the evening, giving the Pinot Noir grapes ample time to ripen. And boy do those grapes know how to enjoy an island retreat!
2013: The 2 Act Vintage: Oregon vintners gave a standing ovation to their 2013 harvest. For Ayres, the season started and ended with some of the sunniest and warmest weeks the region had seen. Yet, with sugar levels skyrocketing early in the season, a quick rainy intermission (seriously, 5 inches of rain over a weekend) saved the day. Everything cooled down just enough to ensure perfect acidity to balance out the gorgeously ripe Pinot. Elegant and beautiful wine flowed from Ayres thanks to this 2-act play.
Home is where the wine is: Winemaker Brad McLeroy (of Domaine Drouhin fame) stretched out his own winemaking wings with Ayres. Each bottle shows off the heart and soul of his winemaking expertise. And in the interest of reciprocity, Brad grows the grapes, makes the wine on-site, and lives among the vines (in a house, we promise).
A nose full of strawberries and bramble fruit invite you in. Hints of oak and forest floor round out this vibrant beauty. Each sip offers up backbone and structure elevated by fresh acidity that leads to a long finish.
Founded in 2000, our estate includes 18 acres planted to Pinot Noir Dijon clones 667, 115, 777, 113, and Pommard all situated on a gently eastern sloping hill; Willakenzie soils predominate the vineyard. We are committed to sustainable growing practices; our health, the earth’s health, and the health of the plant are our top priorities. We limit each plant to less than two pounds of fruit and it shows…our clusters are beautiful. Ayres Vineyard achieved LIVE and Salmon Safe certification status in early 2011.
Winemaker Brad McLeroy honed his winemaking skills at the famed Domaine Drouhin Oregon under the direction of Veronique Drouhin. His full-time position at Ayres completes his circle of wine experience from retailer to distributor to producer. According to McLeroy, “My wines will always have a soul.” Open a bottle and it shows… We believe our wine gives voice to the soil. We believe that our wine guides us as much as we guide our wine. It’s about reciprocity. It’s a relationship that begins in the vineyard, from the first sign of bud break to the last cluster harvested. We have the luxury of growing the grapes, making the wine on-site, and living in the company of the vines. We love what we do here at AYRES.
Keeping it real. Keeping it simple. Keeping it Pinot Noir.
Herbed chicken, light pork dishes, and your favorite mushroom mélange are all perfect with this bottle!