This has been one of my favorite wines for quite some time. I used to sell it wholesale about three or four years ago and had the opportunity to taste it several times and every time it is great. I also was able to meet Ken & Grace Evenstad when I went to Oregon Pinot Camp a few months back. We did one of our tastings at their beautiful property and then had the famous "salmon bake" close by as well.
This wine is quite typical of the 2006 vintage in Oregon. It has the characteristics of a warm and classic vintage that allowed the fruit to fully ripen and for the tannins to become soft and integrated. The 06' vintage is much more voluptuous and and round then the recent 07' wines and the Evenstad Reserve is the pinnacle of that example.
The more I taste wines from Willamette the more I'm convinced that this place really surpasses the quality of Pinot made in California as a whole. The acidity and balance of these wines can only be matched by Burgundy, but the purity of fruit is unparalleled.
When serving this wine remember to give it ample time to open up and breath because upon opening this wine it took about 15 minutes to start to open up and really show it's aroma profile. If you have a decanter I strongly suggest rolling it out!
On the nose I get aromas of big black cherry, sarsaparilla, licorice, very pure black raspberry, strawberry strudel, coco, cedar, and cola nut. There is a great purity about the fruit in this wine and the one constant theme throughout smelling and drinking this wine is the absence of any funk or secondary elements of terroir. I'm not saying the wine lacks a sense of place, but it just isn't earthy at all.
On the palate I get amazingly rich, powerful, round, and voluptuous fruit flavors. There are amazing pure black cherry notes that combine with hints of strawberry pie, cola, cedar spice, and dark chocolate. It a savory and sexy wine that shows a full throttle richness and depth and long and extended finish.
I truly believe that only in Oregon's Willamette valley can you find this kind of wine. It's perfectly balanced wine with sharp acidity, the purest of fruit flavors, and a seamless tannin structure. The only thing that keeps it from being a perfect wine is that secondary tier of complexity that just may develop in bottle with some time in the cellar. Amazing Stuff!!! 94 points