2011 Evening Land "Spanish Springs" Edna Valley Pinot Noir (Elsewhere $36)

SKU #1149199 92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Brilliant ruby-red. Pungent, spice- and floral-accented cherry and black raspberry aromas are complicated by notes of spicecake, sassafras and dried rose. Juicy and precise on the palate, offering sweet red and dark berry flavors that put on weight with air. Packs a serious punch but shows impressive balance and finesse, finishing spicy, floral and very long, with sneaky tannins adding grip. This assertively flavored pinot checks in at 12.9% alcohol, by the way.  (12/2013)

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Price: $19.99
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Staff Image By: Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/21/2014 | Send Email
The wines of Evening Land have been on our radar for some time, working with a few wines over the last few years. We’ve always been impressed, as have many critics, with the purity, varietal correctness and energy of the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the winery. Plus they have access to some of the best sites in Oregon and California. One of these sites is the Spanish Springs vineyard in Edna Valley which sits at 900 feet elevation 2 miles from the Pacific Ocean. Sadly this will be the last wine Evening Land makes from this site. Pretty and delicate the nose is full of wild flowers, blueberry pie, sassafras and a lacing of shale like earth. A bit tight currently I found that the wine really blossoms with about an hour or so of decanting. The wine stretches out on the palate after this amount of time and shows lovely layers of mushroom, pork jus, more blueberry fruit, sage and a touch of lavender. Always on the prettier, reserved side of Pinot Noir we loved this wine with simple roast chicken. We believes this wildly over delivers for $20, we hope you feel the same.

Staff Image By: Steve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/14/2014 | Send Email
This is a full, rich Pinot that is not shy on flavor but stays light on its feet and clocks in at a very modest alcohol level. Black cherry and raspberry fruit mingle with subtle vanilla shadings, spice, a hint of wood smoke and sarsaparilla. Flowery aromas and a bold, creamy texture lead to a finish of rounded, firm tannins in this enjoyable and affordable bottle.

Additional Information:


Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Santa Maria/Santa Barbara

- Santa Maria and Santa Ynez make up the two AVAs of Santa Barbara County, an area known for its natural beauty and temperate climate. The best grape-growing areas, however, are located on the very coastal reaches of these two appellations, and are cooled by ever-present fog and ocean breezes (it is even cooler and foggier here than Carneros!). As expected, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir thrive while the more inland zones lay claim to Bordeaux varietals and some Rhône blends.
Alcohol Content (%): 12.9