Classic Wines from the United States:
2007 Eyrie Vineyards Pinot Noir Estate ($29)
If not for Eyrie Vineyards’ David Lett (who passed away last year), Oregon wine would be unrecognizable. In 1965, he planted the Willamette Valley’s first Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Since then, Eyrie has consistently produced one of the area’s defining Pinots: velvety and sleek, full of wild strawberry and raspberry notes.
2006 Ravenswood Old Hill Zinfandel ($60)
Joel Peterson of Ravenswood was focused on Sonoma and Napa’s wealth of ancient Zinfandel vines well before “old-vine Zinfandel” became a marketing catchphrase. His Old Hill bottling, from vines planted in 1889 by William McPherson Hill (hence the name), reveals blueberry, blackberry, savory oak, mint and pepper notes.
2006 Hanzell Vineyards Sonoma Valley Chardonnay ($70)
Throughout the recent era of massive, buttery Chardonnays, Sonoma’s Hanzell Winery kept its focus on the style established by founding winemaker Brad Webb in 1957—subtle, precise and long-aging, with complex floral and savory nut aromas. Year in and year out, it’s a profound white wine, and the 2006 is no exception.