Domaine Serene Evenstad Reserve Chardonnay 2016
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
This has impressively fresh and focused pears and lemons with a palate that holds very appealing purity and good length of fruit flavor. Classy chardonnay.
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 to plant, grow and produce ultra-premium Pinot Noir. They have been involved in every aspect of growing, producing and marketing Domaine Serene wines. Ken and Grace own 462 acres of land in Yamhill County in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, 150 acres of land is planted to vine. In addition to Pinot Noir, which is about 95% of the wine produced, they also make a little Chardonnay and Syrah. Their wines have won many accolades and awards, including over 80 wines scoring 90 points or higher by Wine Spectator.
Home of the first Pinot noir vineyard of the Willamette Valley, planted by David Lett of Eyrie Vineyard in 1966, today the Dundee Hills AVA remains the most densely planted AVA in the valley (and state). To its north sits the Chehalem Valley and to its south, runs the Willamette River. Within the region’s 12,500 acres, about 1,700 are planted to vine on predominantly basalt-based, volcanic, Jory soil.
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 practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.
In the Glass
When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.
Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy sauces.
Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.