Visiting with Bill Eggert at Fairview Cellars is always interesting, and usually fun too. The first thing you should try while you have the chance is the side by side vertical tasting of the 2009 and 2010 Eagle Bluff Pinot Noirs; they are a study in contrasts. The 2009 displays a light ruby colour with a silky nose filled with fresh dill and butter; planting the thought of new potatoes firmly in the mind. The palate is spicy, with noteworthy tannins and a hint of marmalade; and no sign of the dill and butter. The 2010 shows a colour in the glass closer to garnet. The nose is packed with bright cherries and notes of vanilla. On the palate, the fresh raspberries and black peppers enchant and there is an abundance of light.

Another wine very much worth trying is the 2011 Sauvignon Blanc; Bill’s one and only white. The nose is crisp, fresh and clean with tons of delicious gooseberry. The gooseberry carries through onto the palate, supported by fresh herbal notes and a firmly acidic spine.

Sad news: Bill’s celebrated Merlot is not being released this spring. He will still be doing a small lot for his most loyal followers. The trick will be figuring out what it takes to get on that rarefied list!

~ Courtney Fossett