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95-Points: Domaine Serene Delivers a Picture-Perfect Pinot - 01/24/2018 - Pinot Noir (domestic)

While the wines of Oregon have garnered an ever-growing cadre of followers since the late 1980s, the groundswell of interest over the last few vintages has been unprecedented. There are many reasons for this, but central is the stunning rise in quality. Take for example the wines from Domaine Serene, if ever there was a producer who has managed to capture the essence of Burgundy, but with Oregon fruit, they are the one. Their 95-Point, 2014 "Evenstad Reserve" Pinot is pure elegance and refinement in a bottle. From the first sip alone, it is easy to identify it as belonging to a class all its own. Done up in a soft and silky style, it offers all the bright fruit and freshness one expects from an ideal vintage like 2014. The critics were amazed (and were too!) at the impressive breadth and range "Evenstad Reserve" delivers. Skating from notes of wild raspberry, to black cherry, Indian spice, and more, it is an engagingly complex affair, while never coming across as too weighty or ponderous. Proprietors Grace and Ken Evenstad have built a truly world class operation with this brilliant 2014 as wonderful example of the heights they have achieved.

Also not to be missed from Domaine Serene are the 2014 “Yamhill Cuvée" Pinot and the 2015 "Evenstad Reserve" Chardonnay. Both also earned high praise and point, and count among our favorite out of Oregon. The “Yamhill Cuvée" is wonderfully aromatic, focused, and vibrant, while the Chardonnay is generous and giving and very much holds its own against a top-flight Meursault. These are gorgeous efforts that will impress the seasoned collector and casual drinker alike.

There is no doubt you’ll be hearing more and more about Oregon in the coming months and years, so why not pick up these excellent bottlings from Domaine Serene and see what all the hype is about.

Vintage Item Name Score Retail Link
2014 Domaine Serene "Evenstad Reserve" Dundee Hills Pinot Noir 95 $64.89 View
2014 Domaine Serene "Yamhill Cuvée" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 92 $44.89 View
2015 Domaine Serene "Evenstad Reserve" Dundee Hills Chardonnay 94 $59.89 View

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2014 Domaine Serene "Evenstad Reserve" Dundee Hills Pinot Noir ($64.89)

95 points James Suckling: "A soft and silky Pinot with beautiful dried strawberries, blueberries and hints of vanilla to close. Medium to full body, ultra-fine tannins and a fruity finish. This is all about subtlety and freshness. Drink now." (12/2017)

94 points Wine Enthusiast: "There is a darker fruit spectrum evident in the reserve, with notes of coffee, smoke, black fruits, a touch of charred wood all worked through, and without damping the core fruit flavors. Those bright flavors spotlight raspberry, plum and black cherry. A light cola flavor pokes through, with ripe tannins and proportionate acids. The barrel treatment is beautifully applied, adding sweet spice to the finish. *Editors' Choice* (PG)" (07/2017)

93 points Vinous: "Limpid ruby-red. Powerful, smoke-accented dark berry preserve, cherry cola and lavender pastille scents show very good clarity and pick up Indian spice and vanilla notes with air. Sweet and expansive on the palate, offering concentrated black raspberry, cherry liqueur and mocha flavors, along with energizing spiciness and a touch of smoky minerality. Weighty yet surprisingly graceful, finishing with strong thrust, slow-building tannins and lingering florality. (JR)" (01/2018)

92 points Wine Spectator: "Elegant and delicately expressive, with floral cherry and stony mineral aromas and sleekly complex raspberry, tea and spice flavors that build depth. (TF)" (11/2017)

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2014 Domaine Serene "Yamhill Cuvée" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir ($44.89)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Pinot Noir Yamhill Cuvee has a medium ruby-purple color and pronounced black plum, black raspberry and black cherry notes with suggestions of violets, licorice and tar. Medium to full-bodied, with tons of opulent, ripe black cherry-inspired flavors in the mouth, it has a solid frame of ripe, grainy tannins and plenty of vitality on the long finish. (LPB)" (08/2017)

92 points Vinous: "Deep red. Ripe red berry, floral pastille, cola and peppery spice aromas, along with a hint of vanilla. Appealingly sweet and pliant in the mouth, offering supple, smoke-accented raspberry and boysenberry flavors and a touch of spicecake. Velvety tannins give shape to the floral-tinged finish, which lingers with strong, fruity persistence. (JR)" (01/2018)

92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Aromatic and lushly scented with rhubarb, strawberry, cola, root beer and cocoa powder, this is immediately accessible, and yet structured to age if you can keep your hands off of it. Streaks of beet root sneak in around raspberry and cherry fruit, with firm tannins and highlights of toast, coffee, caramel and dark chocolate. This is a very fine cuvée that seems to gain focus as it rolls through the finish. (PG)" (07/2017)

Staff ImageStephanie Vidales | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 23, 2018

This is one of Domaine Serene's entry-level wines that comes from their estate vineyards in Willamette Valley's Dundee Hills, Eola-Amity Hills and Yamhill Carlton. The cuvée is very approachable and intended for near-term consumption. Ripe red fruits, dried herbs and dark chocolate are expressed on the nose while the palate unfolds more layers of spice and coffee. Fresh and silky on the palate, this wine will please many Pinot Noir lovers!

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2015 Domaine Serene "Evenstad Reserve" Dundee Hills Chardonnay ($59.89)

94 points James Suckling: "A beautiful and generous white, as always, with sliced baked apple and hints of pie crust, as well as pralines and vanilla flavors. Full body, lots of fruit yet a vivid and brilliant aftertaste buttressed with lively acidity. Drink now."

93 points Vinous: "(40 percent new French oak) Light bright yellow-gold. Ripe melon, tangerine, vanilla and a hint of smoke on the intensely perfumed nose. A subtle hint of leesiness emerges slowly and carries onto the palate, which offers concentrated Meyer lemon, honeydew and toasted brioche flavors accented by a dusty mineral nuance. Silky and focused on the impressively long finish, which leaves zesty mineral, oak spice and iodine notes behind. (JR)" (02/2018)

93 points Wine Spectator: "Precise and well-structured, with floral lemon and apricot aromas and sleekly complex lime and stony mineral flavors that finish with laser-sharp crispness. Drink now through 2023. 1,431 cases made. (TF)" (06/2017)

92 points Wine Enthusiast: "This is a rich, heavy wine, a Chardonnay on steroids. It's packed with ripe and lush tree fruits, and those flavors are matched with generous barrel toast. Though it feels a bit thick on the palate, it has enough acidity to avoid being flabby and is terrifically delicious. Drink now through 2021. (PG)" (12/2017)

K&L Notes: In 2016, the Wine Spectator bestowed its number two "Wine of the Year" selection onto Oregon's Domaine Serene for the incredible 2014 "Evenstad Reserve" Dundee Hills Chardonnay. Seeing that the top wine of 2016 was the 2013 Lewis Napa Cabernet, the Domaine Serene Chardonnay was in essence the top white wine in the world according to the Wine Spectator. The 2015 edition, while riper than the 2014 from an elongated growing season, is utterly divine. It straddles the line between tropical and cool climate with incredible balance, showcasing creamy textures that are bolstered by acidity and drive.

Staff ImageStephanie Vidales | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 23, 2018

Domaine Serene makes one of my favorite Chardonnays from Oregon, and their 2015 really delivers. Bright citrus, brioche and honey aromas jump from the glass while the palate has melon, lemon and cedar notes. Spent a little over a year in 40% new French oak, but this wine remains incredibly balanced from its crisp acidity. This is a serious Chardonnay that is well worth its price.