I recently had the opportunity to visit Evening Land Vineyards. Evening Land is a really cool concept winery that produces Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from California, Willamette Valley and even Burgundy. Recently the winery has achieved some incredibly high scores from Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast for their Willamette Valley wines and they have elected to only focus on their Oregon wines in the future because of their successes. They've produced the highest ever rated Pinot Noir by Wine Spectator magazine, as their 2012 La Source Pinot Noir received a whopping 98 points! I was able to try this wine and while it is not quite ready to drink, it was definitely one of the best Pinots that I tried during my weekend in Willamette Valley.
Visiting the winery was a really cool opportunity to taste the different Chards and Pinots side by side, as you can see the distinct flavor profiles and terroir of their Oregon and California bottlings. Amongst the highlights was their 2012 Seven Springs Vineyard Chardonnay which was a stunner, with rich fruit and vibrant minerality. While the quality of their Oregon wines was evident, their California wines also were very impressive. I was particularly impressed with their 2012 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir which was sourced from the Gap’s Crown vineyard in Sonoma. This wine was balanced but had a ton of fruit, coming from a ripe vintage in Sonoma. Their 2012 Sun Chase Vineyard Chardonnay was a classic Sonoma Chard, with tons of tropical fruit and a viscous, buttery style Chard. Tasting room staff were friendly and knowledgable. If you are ever in the Willamette Valley, a visit to this tasting room is a must. You can find these many of these wines at Total Wines or at online wine shops and Northwest specialty wine shops. Here are some of the great wines that I recently tried at Evening Land Winery.
2011 Evening Land Willamette Valley Pinot Noir- From Eola-Amity Hills. Nose has mushroom, red cherry, and cardemon. Palate has mushroom, red cherry, raspberry and Burgundian wine. This is made from their younger vines. The terroir is there. Drink now. -91
2011 Evening Land ‘Seven Springs Vineyard’ Willamette Valley Pinot Noir- Earthy nose with mushroom, forest floor, raspberry and cardemon. Palate has raspberry, red cherry, minerals and a long finish. Nice richness and complexity for the vintage. -92
2011 Evening Land 'Seven Springs Vineyard, La Source’ Willamette Valley Pinot Noir- Smoky nose with forest floor, mushroom and red fruits. Palate has raspberry, red cherry, and light tannins. Needs two plus years. -92
2012 Evening Land ‘Seven Springs Vineyard, La Source’ Willamette Valley Pinot Noir- Fruity nose with raspberry, red cherry, jasmine, and rose petals. Palate has raspberry, red cherry, guava and pomegranate. Needs two or more years to integrate. Delicious juice. Very long finish. -94
2012 Evening Land ‘Sonoma Coast’ Pinot Noir- This is fruit taken from the esteemed Gap’s Crown vineyard. Perfumed nose of raspberry, red cherry, and strawberry. Palate has great acid structure. Cherry cola, raspberry, and guava. Finish keeps going. Needs two plus years for fruit to integrate. -93
2012 Evening Land ‘Sun Chase Vineyard’ Sonoma Chardonnay-Butterscotch and pear with oak on the nose. Nice depth. Palate has banana, pineapple, butter, vibrant minerality and a long finish. Drink now. -93
2011 Evening Land ‘Seven Springs Vineyard, La Source’ Chardonnay-Nose has caramel, buttered popcorn and oak. Palate has butter, green apple, and pear. Impressive minerality and finish. -93