Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Domaine Serene "Evenstad Reserve" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2008

Domaine Serene "Evenstad Reserve" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2008 

For casual mid-week sipping with fresh fruits and cheeses we opened this vintage aged Pinot Noir. This particular label has some special significance since Linda and I discovered it at a memorable outing during one of our get-away weekends to Chicago. We had a bottle at Smith & Wollensky sitting outside overlooking the Chicago River for a summer afternoon wine, salad and cheese interlude. Its been a favorite ever since. Read this blog and you'll see we're not big Pinot drinkers, yet we keep this label in stock as a mainstay in our cellar. We currently hold a half dozen vintages dating back to this one, the oldest, which we'll replace with a current vintage as part of cellar management. 

This is from producer Domaine Serene, whose owner proprietors Grace and Ken Evenstad who, after 20 years building a successful business in Minnesota, settled in the Oregon Willamette Valley in 1989. They acquired a 42-acre hilltop estate that had just been logged in the Dundee Hills with the intent of growing and producing world-class Burgundian style Pinot Noir. They established Domaine Serene, naming the winery after their daughter, Serene, and their first vineyard on the estate after their son, Mark Bradford Evenstad.

Today, Domaine Serene produces wines from six individual vineyard estates, planted exclusively to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Each estate offers a diversity of soils, clones, rootstocks, microclimates, slopes and elevations that add distinguishing complexity and elegance to the wines.

In 2001, thy built a state-of-the-art, five-level, gravity flow Pinot Noir winery.

Since the first vintage in 1990, Domaine Serene has produced award-winning wines, including this Evenstad Reserve Pinot Noir, recognized as the World’s #3 Wine of 2013 by Wine Spectator Magazine. Their 2012 Winery Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir was named the Top Pinot Noir in the World by Decanter magazine in 2016. The 2014 Evenstad Reserve Chardonnay received 95 points and was ranked the #2 wine in the world on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of the Year. As a result, Domaine Serene became the only winery in the world to receive a Top 3 rating in Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of the Year for both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. 

In 2017, the 2013 Domaine Serene Jerusalem Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir was awarded the Top American Pinot Noir at the Decanter World Wine Awards. 

Through the continuous pursuit of quality and innovation, Domaine Serene has garnered global recognition as an iconic quality leader of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

For the past 30 years, Domaine Serene, under the guidance of the Evenstads, has been focused on excellence in a never-ending quest to produce world-class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Their mission is to produce outstanding quality through continuous improvement and a commitment to extremely high internal standards. Domaine Serene’s wines represent the achievement that is possible in Oregon, one of the finest regions in the world for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Domaine Serene "Evenstad Reserve" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2008

This label 2008 release was awarded sequentially, 95 points by James Suckling, 94 points by Wine Enthusiast, 93 points by Wine Spectator, 92 points, Connoisseurs Guide, 91 points, Allen Meadows - Burghound, and 90 points by Wine & Spirits. 

Six reviews (ers), six different scores is a vivid example that such reviews are in the eyes of the beholder, and there is no right or wrong answer. All that matters is what one/you think (s), and such ranges occasionally reveal individual alignment or cohesiveness with one reviewer over another. 

This was bright dark ruby colored, medium bodied, complex forward tangy black cherry and black berry fruits, accented by notes of fennel, smoke, spice, tobacco and hints of black pepper on a taunt dry tongue coating finish.

RM 92 points.