Domaine Serene Evenstad Reserve Pinot Noir presents a bit of a conundrum
Linda prepared an incredible comfort food soup, French Onion soup with medallions of beef. I pulled from the cellar a favorite label we discovered together on a memorable get-away weekend alfresco wine/dine outing on the Chicago riverfront.
It was a decade ago, we spent the weekend in the City (Chicago), on the riverfront and we got a table overlooking the river on a warm sunny afternoon. We were seeking something light and refreshing and the sommelier suggested this Willamette Pinot Noir. Readers of this column know we're not big Pinot drinkers, opting for Bordeaux and Rhone varietals rather than Burgundies. Never-the-less we tried it and loved it and this label has been one of our favorite go-to's ever since. when selected for the right occasion and the right food pairing.
We have a half dozen vintages of this label in our cellar and I pulled the oldest vintage as part of regular cellar management. Of course, more precise cellar management would pull wines that are nearest the close of their drinking windows to avoid holding wines too long (past their drinking window).
Domaine Serene Evensted Reserve Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2007This was wonderful, an ideal pairing with the hearty beef French onion soup, surprisingly delightful given the initial offsetting color impression.
I am a bit conflicted on this wine as to its drinking window at fourteen years of age. It was showing a slight bit of darkening to the bright ruby color and it showed a touch of gaminess to the earthy tones, signs of diminution from age perhaps.
But then I read the reviews and Wine Enthusiast wrote in 2011, "Although it is drinking like a mature wine, there is every reason to cellar wines such as this-it can develop like a fine Burgundy, over decades."
Robert Parker Wine Advocate says 'drink it from
2011 to 2019' while Wine Spectator says '2012 through 2015'. I caution readers to not take these pundits too seriously, in the end, the only thing that matters is what you think and take from the experience with the wine.
Robert Parker wrote about toast, spice box and earth tones and Wine Spectator wrote about 'coffee' notes. Given the balance and elegance of the wine, I wonder if it was the profile and character, rather than its age, to which I attribute the darker notes. Since this is our last bottle, I may never know. I do know these were notes I don't normally associate with this label.
Slight dark blackish bricking on the ruby color, medium bodied, notes of game, toast, earth and leather seemingly overtaking the bright cherry and red raspberry fruits, nicely balanced and a sense of elegance persist on the spicy tangy acidic but smooth polished finish.
RM 91 points.