As we edge towards another celebration of Oregon Wine Month we bring you the latest wines from one of the great wineries in North America, Domaine Serene. Initially founded thirty years ago in 1989 by Grace and Ken Evenstad, Domaine Serene is perched atop the Dundee Hills, with absolutely stunning views of the valley. Domaine Serene is an absolute must visit for any Oregon wine lover. I fondly recall my first visit to Domaine Serene in 2002 and was absolutely blown away not only with the sweeping views of the Willamette Valley but the stunning wines.
Winemaker Michael Fay has a great pedigree, having previously served as head winemaker at Goldeneye. He crafted some absolutely stunning Sonoma Pinot Noir down there and has brought his talents to Domaine Serene.
Michael Fay’s new Domaine Serene releases are incredible, coming from another warm vintage, the 2016 vintage. One of the best wines that they make, year after year, the new 2016 ‘Evenstad Reserve’ Pinot Noir (WWB, 95) does not disappoint. Celebrating the 30th anniversary of this wine, the ‘Evenstad Reserve’ has beautiful layers of red and dark fruits with an incredible, silky texture. This is a true heavyhitter of a wine. I was blown away wit the 2016 Domaine Serene ‘Cote Sud’ Chardonnay (WWB, 94) which has an incredible mouthfeel and a seamless quality with intense citrus rind flavors and earthy character. Needless to say, Domaine Serene is on top of their game. Learn more about this famed Oregon estate at http://domaineserene.com/ Here are the beautiful new release wines by Domaine Serene.
2016 Domaine Serene ‘Etoile Vineyard’ Chardonnay- This fantastic new Chardonnay bottling is sourced from the ‘Etoile Vineyard’ in the Dundee Hills and was aged for fourteen months in 43% new French oak prior to bottling. Bright on the nose, the wine delivers wild mushroom, ripe pear and cardamon with damp earth and flinty undertones. The palate is lithe, showing a wonderful sense of tension in this Chardonnay. Bright citrus oil, and Pink Lady apple flavors mingle with minerals and peat moss accents. A delight to savor in its youth, this will have at least a decade left in the cellar. Drink 2019-2033- 94
2016 Domaine Serene ‘Cote Sud’ Chardonnay- The 2016 ‘Cote Sud’ Chardonnay was sourced from the south facing slope of the Evenstad Vineyard which ranges from 510 to 790 feet in elevation. The wine was aged for fifteen months in 40% new French oak prior to bottling. This gorgeous Chardonnay has beautiful orchard fruits woven into minerals and vanilla cream aromatics that all mingle in the glass. The palate has bright melon, citrus rind and wet stone with earthy undertones that all excite. The silky texture really entices here. Enjoy this brilliant new wine over the next fifteen plus years. Drink 2019-2033- 94
2016 Domaine Serene ‘Yamhill Cuvee’ Pinot Noir- The 2016 ‘Yamhill Cuvee’ Pinot Noir is annoteer fantastic bottling from this famed Oregon winery. Aged for fourteen months in 44% new French oak, the nose evokes bright red fruits with toasty oak and light peat moss accents that connect aromatically. The palate has a good sense of poise, weight and astringency with dark and red fruit flavors with orange rind and forest floor undertones. This is about as good as you can find for an entry level Oregon Pinot Noir. Enjoy this expressive effort over the next decade. Drink 2019-2029- 92
2016 Domaine Serene ‘Evenstad Reserve’ Pinot Noir- This is the 30th anniversary of this iconic Pinot Noir bottling. This particular edition was aged for sixteen months in 65% new French oak prior to bottling. The nose here is simply sensational ranging from cardamon accents to peat moss and black truffle shavings to bright red fruits and citrus zest that all amalgamate marvelously. The texture is beautiful as this silky wine effortlessly dances across the mid-palate. The seamlessness of this wine really entices. Dense dark and red fruits pack this incredible new release. I realize that I have written this before but this 2016 ‘Evenstad’ is up there with the best of its kind ever produced. If enjoying in its youth I beseech you to afford at least a two hour decant prior to enjoying this seductive, hedonistic Oregon Pinot Noir. Drink 2020-2040- 95
2016 Domaine Serene ‘Abbey Oaks Vineyard’ Pinot Noir- The ‘Abbey Oaks Vineyard’ is set on marine sedimentary soils, as vines have southern exposure. This Yamhill-Carlton AVA wine was aged for seventeen months in 55% new French oak prior to bottling. On the nose this brings out ripe red and dark fruits that mingle with the earthy undertones in the glass. The palate shows good weight and astringency with an exceedingly long, mineral and dark fruit driven finish. Exceedingly good now, this will continue to cellar well over the next decade or more. Drink 2019-2029- 93
2016 Domaine Serene ‘Cote Sud Vineyard’ Pinot Noir- The 2016 Domaine Serene ‘Cote Sud Vineyard’ Pinot Noir is sourced from this southern facing part of the Evenstand estate as this wine was aged for fifteen months in 56% new French oak prior to bottling. The resultant wine is a downright stunner, unveiling bright red fruits that dance with dark raspberry cordial, cigar ash and suggestions of black tea that all combine on this expressive nose. The palate is plush and layered, creating a seamless experience once in the mouth. Layers of red and dark fruits with wonderful sage and peat moss undertones complete this marvelous new bottling. While delicious and seductive in its youth, this really will benefit from two or three more years of age. Drink 2020-2035- 94
2016 Domaine Serene ‘Triple S’ Vineyard’ Pinot Noir- New to the Domaine Serene lineup of Pinot Noirs, the ‘Triple S Vineyard’ is farmed by Sue and Steve Schneider and is a four acre parcel located in the Dundee Hills. This wine begins with aromas of teaberry with bay leaf, pomegranate seed and wild blackberry. The palate shows good weight and astringency with copious dark fruits that mingle with Asian spices and wonderful peat moss earthy tones. Highly complex and novel, and showing a great combination of weight and tension, this stellar bottling will have a very long life in the cellar. Drink 2020-2035- 94
2016 Domaine Serene ‘Two Barns’ Pinot Noir- The 2016 ‘Two Barns’ is another gorgeous wine by the superstar winemaking team of Domaine Serene. On the nose there is really good range from deep dark fruits to forest floor and shades of dark truffle that all connect in the glass. The palate shows really good weight with a sumptuous mouthfeel. Black tea, blackberry cobbler and earthy tones with light citrus rind accents all collide on the palate. A long-ager, this beautiful wine will cellar well over the next fifteen to twenty years. Drink 2020-2040- 94