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Saturday, September 19, 2009

2006 Domaine Serene Evenstad Reserve Pinot Noir

The 2006 Domaine Serene Evenstad Reserve is made from fruit sourced primarily from estate vineyards grown in the Dundee Hills (59%) and Eola Hills (41%). It's a blend of various Pinot Noir Clones such as Pommard (27%), Dijon (55%), and Wadenswil (18%).

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

lou waton said...

I like pinot noir off all kinds, be they from Oregon, California or the heart of Burgundy. I even like some of the simple but gregarious pinots I've tried from New Zealand. But I confess I'm having a tough time getting my arms around the pinot noirs I've tasted from the Loire Valley. Last week I had a Pascal et Nicolas Reverdy 2004 Sancerre Terre de Maimbray with some of my friends and it was quite balance. I also buy Cigars Online to go with them and they increases the aroma and feel of it completely.

thomas said...

Lou, Thanks for the comment. Everyone should take a lesson on how to comment spam with some real style! I'll leave your cigar link there because I enjoyed the honest opinion of the post and Pinot Noir! Cheers

wines of chile said...

Your description of the Pinot Noir you sampled (which involves the use of the terms I really like such as strawberry pie, dark chocolate, cola, and cedar spice) just may have caused me to take a trip out to Oregon. It's about time California got 'unseated' as the alleged king of Pinot Noir anyhow...

Anonymous said...

I love Pinot Noir. I just tried the Ellman Family Vineyards Alexis Skye 2007 from the Sonoma Coast.

thomas said...

Thanks for your comments guys! Cheers!

Unknown said...

Am a huge pinot fan... The 06 evens tad is truly outstanding, bested only by a serious les suchots...

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