Domaine Serene Evenstad Reserve Chardonnay 2014
The Evenstad Reserve Chardonnay shows complex aromas of citrus blossom, stone fruit, nutmeg and crushed stone. These flavors carry through on the palate to display a balanced and elegant wine that delivers firm acidity, richness and persistence. With clonal variation and site driven diversity, Domaine Serene is able to craft this wine to their precise and exacting standards year after year.
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Ken and Grace Evenstad founded Domaine Serene Vineyards and Winery in 1989 when they purchased 42 acres of just-logged land in the Dundee Hills of Oregon and built a five-level, gravity flow winery to produce ultra-premium Pinot Noir. Today, Domaine Serene produces wines from six individual vineyard estates in the Willamette Valley 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.
The Evenstads now own over 1,000 acres, more than 360 of which are planted to vine in three AVAs of the Willamette Valley and are actively preserving Oregon White Oak trees and the biodiversity of the region. They have achieved LIVE certification, the highest certification in the world for sustainable viticulture. Domaine Serene’s wines have won many accolades and awards, including 200 wines scoring 90 points or higher by Wine Spectator. Their 2013 Evenstad Reserve Pinot Noir was recognized as #3 Wine in the World, while the 2014 Evenstad Reserve Chardonnay received 95 points and was ranked the #2 Wine in the World according to Wine Spectator. Over the years, Domaine Serene has opened three Oregon Wine Lounges in Portland, Bend, and Lake Oswego that offer wine club members, locals, and visitors an elevated wine experience.
One of Pinot Noir's most successful New World outposts, the Willamette Valley is the largest and most important AVA in Oregon. With a continental climate moderated by the influence of the Pacific Ocean, it is perfect for cool-climate viticulture and the production of elegant wines.
Mountain ranges bordering three sides of the valley, particularly the Chehalem Mountains, provide the option for higher-elevation vineyard sites.
The valley's three prominent soil types (volcanic, sedimentary and silty, loess) make it unique and create significant differences in wine styles among its vineyards and sub-AVAs. The iron-rich, basalt-based, Jory volcanic soils found commonly in the Dundee Hills are rich in clay and hold water well; the chalky, sedimentary soils of Ribbon Ridge, Yamhill-Carlton and McMinnville encourage complex root systems as vines struggle to search for water and minerals. In the most southern stretch of the Willamette, the Eola-Amity Hills sub-AVA soils are mixed, shallow and well-drained. The Hills' close proximity to the Van Duzer Corridor (which became its own appellation as of 2019) also creates grapes with great concentration and firm acidity, leading to wines that perfectly express both power and grace.
Though Pinot noir enjoys the limelight here, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay also thrive in the Willamette. Increasing curiosity has risen recently in the potential of others like Grüner Veltliner, Chenin Blanc and Gamay.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.