A few weeks back while visiting the Willamette Valley I had the chance to visit one of the gems in the area, Domaine Serene. The winery, founded in 1989, is located at the top of the Dundee Hills. Domaine Serene made first wine in 1990 and immediately achieved a 90 point rating from Robert Parker. Since that time Domaine Serene has consistently made some of the best Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in Oregon.
During my visit I was able to sample a vertical of Evenstad Reserve Pinot Noir, one of their signature bottlings, back to the 1994 vintage. The Evenstad Reserve Pinot Noir sourced from a host of Domaine Serene vineyards in the Dundee Hills. The wine typically sees around 50% new French oak for roughly 15 months which varies by vintage. The vertical tasting was astounding. Walking away from the wines, I was amazed at the grace and cellaring potential of the wines ten years or more old. For instance, the 2005 ‘Evenstad Reserve’ Pinot Noir (WWB, 94) came from a ripe and somewhat challenging vintage in Oregon but still has a ton of time left in the bottle. It was a remarkable wine. Still kicking and 23 years of age, the 1994 ‘Evenstad Reserve’ Pinot Noir (WWB, 91) showed wonderful Burgundian and earthy aromatics. Learn more about the great wines of Domaine Serene at domaineserene.com Here are the tasting notes from my wonderful Evenstad Reserve vertical tasting from Domaine Serene.
1994 Domaine Serene ‘Evenstad Reserve’ Pinot Noir- This comes from a moderately warm vintage which led to low yields. There are pretty aromatics of cranberry, red cherry, barnyard, guava, black tea and orange rind. This leads to flavors of red cherry, red raspberry, cranberry and orange rind with black truffle and forest floor. This has shockingly strong minerality considering it is more than 20 years old. Drink 2017-2022-91
2002 Domaine Serene ‘Evenstad Reserve’ Pinot Noir- This wine comes from a near ideal growing season. There are aromatics of rose petals, red cherry, red raspberry, black tea and wild blackberry with forest floor elements. There are rich flavors of red cherry starburst, guava purée, pomegranate seed and Satsuma orange with vanilla and peat moss elements. This insanely good wine is still going strong at this juncture. Drink 2017-2027- 93
2005 Domaine Serene ‘Evenstad Reserve’ Pinot Noir- This comes from a warm vintage which was somewhat challenging in the Willamette Valley. This excellent Pinot Noir opens with aromas of black cherry compote, black tea, red currant and guava purée. The wine has rich flavors of black tea, black cherry, wild blackberry and hints of black truffle crudo. This is a dense and delicious Oregon wine that will continue to cellar beautifully for more than a decade. Drink 2017-2029- 94
2008 Domaine Serene ‘Evenstad Reserve’ Pinot Noir-This gorgeous wine begins with aromatics of rose petals, cherry starburst, guava, tangerine and forest floor. There are bright flavors red cherry, pomegranate, orange rind, forest floor and white truffle. The finish is exceedingly long and exceptional. There is wonderful length and minerality while showing grace and elegance. Drink 2017-2029-95
2010 Domaine Serene ‘Evenstad Reserve’ Pinot Noir-This wine comes from a cooler vintage that saw a dry Indian summer. The wine opens with heady aromatics of black tea, black cherry, cigar box, forest floor and shiitake mushroom. The palate is lithe and forward currently showing flavors of guava, mandarin orange, red cherry, red raspberry and Chinese black tea. This is wonderfully structured and shows great mid palate weight. Drink 2017-2029- 94
2014 Domaine Serene ‘Evenstad Reserve’ Pinot Noir- The 2014 'Evenstad Reserve' Pinot Noir is another stunning release from Domaine Serene. This beautiful wine begins with layered aromatics of black tea, wild blackberry cobbler, orange rind, black truffles and suggestions of baking spices. The nose is masculine and dense and there are rich flavors of black tea, blackberry, guava, truffle oil, forest floor and black cherry liquor. This possesses tremendous weight and balance, as this gorgeous Pinot Noir will have an exceedingly long future ahead. Drink 2017-2030- 94