The serene life is clearly at the top of a large hill in the Willamette Valley. The views at Domaine Serene are breathtaking and the wines are even better. Winemaker Erik Kramer has been making Willamette Valley Pinot since 2004 and makes probably the best Chardonnay in the valley. I was particularly impressed with his Chardonnay from the more challenging 2011 vintage. While some of my colleagues in wine have complained of pretentiousness at the winery, I found their staff to be helpful and highly knowledgeable.
The pedigree at Domaine Serene is impressive as they have achieved many scores above 93 from Wine Spectator. In fact, their 2010 Evenstad Reserve Pinot Noir was the #3 Wine of the Year in 2013 from Wine Spectator. These wines are pricey and are somewhat difficult to find (mostly can find at great wine shops, not Costco or grocery stores) but they are special occasion wines that shine year after year.
Here are some of the great wines that I recently tried at Domaine Serene:
2011 Rose- Rose petals and citrus on the nose. Palate has guava and strawberry. Nice minerality. Tasty and drink now. -90
2011 Etoile Vineyard Chardonnay- Lemon zest and oak on the nose with mushroom. Palate is delicious. Lemon zest and cantaloupe with oak and butter. Lingers. Drink now or cellar for 1-2 years. -93
2012 Evenstad Reserve Chardonnay - Lemon and cantaloupe with cut grass on the nose. Palate has oak with lemon zest, very smooth. 30% new oak with the rest stainless. Drink now. -92
2011 Yamhill Cuvée Pinot Noir- Raspberry, red cherry on this juicy nose. Palate has white pepper, cranberry, red currant and red cherry. 50 percent new oak. Somewhat diluted but tasty. Drink now. -90
2011 Evenstad Reserve Pinot Noir- Smoky nose with cinnamon and red currant. Red cherry and raspberry with vanilla and light tannins. Really nice minerality and acidity. Delicious in 3 plus years. -92