Full Pull Oregon’s Beginning

Hello friends. There are moments in life that create space for reflection. Buying your first house. Finding out you’re going to have a baby. Drinking that first bottle of wine that finally made you leave magnums of Yellow Tail Sauvignon Blanc and Two Buck Chuck in the dust. Well, businesses have the same milestones, too. For Full Pull, they are marked largely by people—and most importantly, wine. The first wine offered. The first employee that was hired. The first weekend of open hours for our tasting room. Eyrie Vineyards in Willamette Valley marks such a moment of reflection for team Full Pull—the first Oregon winery we ever offered.

Much like Full Pull’s first offering (2004 Mountain Dome Brut), Paul knew from the beginning what the first Oregon offering would be. It just took finally getting there (physically and metaphorically) to offer it. Eyrie Vineyards is a special winery, not only to our team, but for the Pacific Northwest, and new world Pinot in general. These esteemed and wildly popular wines are steeped in a rich history of the region itself—Eyrie is responsible for pioneering Pinot in the Willamette Valley. This winery served as a guiding light for many wineries to follow.

Believe it or not, it has actually been over two years since our last exclusive Eyrie offer. So, as a reminder, or for those of you who aren’t familiar with the winery, here’s a relatively brief history: A trip through Europe in the early ’60s convinced David Lett of the singular beauty of Pinot Noir and that the grape could only reach its highest expression in difficult environments. After graduating from UC-Davis in 1963, he blazed a trail north to Oregon, where he was convinced he could find just such a clime. In 1966, he settled on a site in the Dundee Hills, at a time when banks wouldn’t give loans to winemakers interested in this area because it was universally known that the Willamette Valley was too cold and too wet for grape-growing.

Fast forward a few years and lo and behold, Eyrie Vineyards was producing wine—wine that was grown in dark, cold Willamette Valley. But it wasn’t until 1980 that the landscape shifted seismically. That was the year that Robert Drouhin included the 1975 Eyrie Vineyards South Block Reserve Pinot Noir in a blind tasting against many of Maison Joseph Drouhin’s finest Burgundies. Finishing in first place: one of Drouhin’s 1959 Pinots; and in second, two-tenths of a point behind, the Eyrie Vineyards. That event set in motion the eventual move by Drouhin to establish an Oregonian outpost, an absolute win for Oregon’s wine country.

David Lett continued for the coming decades to create honest, terroir driven wines—even when it wasn’t in fashion. One of my favorite quotes to show David’s style, his humor, and passion, comes from an interview done with Paul Gregutt at his own home in.

“I embrace vintage variation because I love it. It makes life exciting. I could grow pinot noir in a warmer climate; what’s the use? Every year you get the same product, you know exactly how much you’re going to get, when you are going to pick, how ripe it’s going to be… and ho hum – where’s the fun in that?”

David passed away in 2008, after passing the winemaking responsibilities at Eyrie down to his son Jason. Jason Lett is doing a remarkable job both honoring his late father’s legacy and stamping his own indelible mark on Eyrie wines. In his time as head winemaker, Jason has continued to produce some of the most elegant, transparent, truthful Pinot Noirs in the Willamette Valley

Today, we have three wines to offer you, showing the full spectrum of what Eyrie does best. At the end, you’ll also see a list of library wines and special offerings we may be able to get our hands on. If you’re interested in any of those, just reply to this e-mail or e-mail info@fullpullwines.com to let us know and we will do our best to get our hands on them for you.

2015 Eyrie Vineyards Pinot Gris

Eyrie’s white wines have a mind of their own—and truly differ from their other Oregon counterparts. Eyrie takes a slower approach to this wine, aging the Pinot Gris 3 -4 times longer than many other wineries. The juice goes through extended aging on the lees and full malolactic fermentation that provides texture. This results in unusually rich and supple texture for a wine that’s zippy with acidity. A perfect combination for aging.

Clocking in at 12.5% alcohol, this Pinot Gris opens with a wildly fragrant nose of orchard stone fruit, tart green apple, and green vegetables—fennel fronds and cucumber. The palate is salty and mineral driven, with an incredibly subtle touch of sweet peaches and cream. It’s weighty, with racy acidity.

Wine Enthusiast (Paul Gregutt): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD] 91pts.”

2014 Eyrie Vineyards Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

2014 was a warm year globally—and Oregon was saved by plenty of rainfall to keep the vines from any stress of drought. Eyrie is no stranger to customizing harvest due to weather conditions, and 2014 was the third earliest harvest ever. In less knowledgeable hands, this wine would be entirely different. But thanks to years of experience (and probably just a little bit of luck from the genetic lottery), Jason and his team preserved beautiful, natural acidity, making a Pinot Noir with near perfect typicity for their terroir.

The 2014 Willamette Pinot cuvée is a blend of 65% estate grown Pinot and the rest fruit from organically-managed, older-vine sites around the valley. All hand picked and destemmed, this wine undergoes native primary fermentation in a range of different fermenters—from small bins to five-ton wooden cuves. The wine then undergoes malolactic fermentation in mostly neutral barrels (6% new) and is bottled after 16 months. It clocks in at 13.5% alcohol.

Wine Enthusiast (Paul Gregutt): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD] 93 pts.”

Paul G. sums it up perfectly. This is a special, terror-specific, well-priced wine that deserves a place in your cellar (or basement, garage, shelf, under the bed etc. Really, put it wherever you store your wine).

2013 Eyrie Vineyards Original Vines Pinot Noir 

While 2014 was hotter than ever, 2013 was a truly dynamic vintage that threw much of Oregon through a loop. This is the kind of vintage David Lett would dream of, remember? Eyrie’s experience again shows in a vintage that proved troublesome for other wineries. Eyrie’s 2013 wines prove balanced between the bright acidity of a cool year and the ripeness of a warm one. It’s lively, energetic, and lovely.

This wine is 100% certified organic and all of the grapes come from the original Eyrie Vineyard—the one that started it all. This bottle is almost like a time capsule, a little bit of insight into the people and places that created Oregon’s first Pinot. You cannot find older Pinot vines than this in Willamette Valley, which personally gives me goosebumps to think about (but maybe that’s just the temperature of our warehouse as I write this…)

Wine Enthusiast (Paul Gregutt): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD] 94pts.”

First and foremost, this wine is fragrant with cranberry, wild-grown berries, and lemony blood orange citrus. The palate is structured and elegant, with ever-present acidity that speaks to cellaring, as Paul G. mentions, but also to pairing with food. If you have the patience, drink this bottle at Thanksgiving in 2025.

Now onto the library wines and special offers. As a reminder, if you’re interested in these wines, please contact us by replying to this e-mail or e-mail info@fullpullwines.com directly.

2015 Pinot Gris Original Vines 

2015 Trousseau 

1999 Pinot Gris 

1993 Chardonnay 

1997 Chardonnay Reserve 

1991 Special Selection Pinot Noir

1995 Reserve Pinot Noir 

1990 South Block Pinot Noir

Please request what you like, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wines should arrive this week or next (mostly; the library and special order stock might take a few weeks longer), at which point it will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.

 

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