Domaine Serene

Owner(s) Grace Evenstad, Ken Evenstad
Web site www.domaineserene.com
 
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Domaine Serene

Ken and Grace Evenstad came to Oregon in 1989. They founded Domaine Serene in the Dundee Hills of Oregon where Oregon Pinot Noir began and where its heart remains. Their initial winery was located in shared space at Ken Wright's winery - a converted glove factory on Main Street in Carlton. Ken Wright made their first wines. They subsequently purchased property in the Dundee Hills near Domaine Drouhin and White Rose Vineyard and built a state of the art winery, one of the most modern and technologically advanced in North America. They planted vineyards on the surrounding hillsides, creating a spectacular estate in the Dundee Hills of 585 acres. Additional vineyards were developed in the Eola-Amity Hills (Jerusalum Hill Vineyard) and the Yamhill-Carlton District (Abbey Oaks Vineyard), bringing total property acreage to 715.

The 250 acres of estate vineyards include the The Evenstad Estate (66 acres of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay planted beginning in 1993 - Mark Bradford, Fleur de Lis, Etoile, Gold Eagle, Clos du Soleil, Grace and Côte Sud vineyards), the Winery Hill Estate Vineyard (32 acres of Dijon clone Pinot Noir and 4 acres of Chardonnay named the Clos de Lune Vineyard all planted in 2000), the Jerusalem Hill Estate in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA (59 acres planted in 2000 to Pinot Noir), the Two Barns Vineyard (38 acres planted to Dijon, Pommard and Wädenswil Pinot Noir in 2000), Triple Crown Vineyard (24 acres of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay planted in 2014), and the Abbey Oaks Vineyard in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA (28 acres of Pinot Noir planted in 2012). The vines are not irrigated, closely planted, and are farmed sustainably under the direction of Results Partners.

French-trained Eleni Papadakis joined the winery in 2009 as winemaker after long-time winemaker Tony Rynder departed. Papadakis was then replaced by Erik Kramer, formerly of Adelsheim.

Several Pinot Noirs are produced all from estate vineyards including blends (the flagship Evenstad Reserve and Yamhill Cuvée), vineyard-designates (Jerusalem Hill Vineyard, Fleur de Lis Vineyard, Grace Vineyard, Winery Hill Vineyard, Two Barns Vineyard, Gold Eagle Vineyard, and Mark Bradford Vineyard), and ultra-premium cuvées (Monogram). The Chardonnays included blends (Evenstad Reserve and Récolte Grand Cru)),and single vineyard wines (Clos de Lune, Clos du Soleil, Côte Sud and Etiole). A unique white Pinot Noir (Coeur Blanc), Rosé (R), a proprietary red blend (Grand Cheval) and a single Syrah (Rockblock SoNo) are also offered. The wines are sold primarily through a mailing list and online.

Reviewed Wines

2013 Domaine Serene Evenstad Reserve Dundee Hills Oregon Chardonnay

13.3% alc., 1,504 cases, $55. Dijon clones sourced from vineyards in the Dundee Hills. This wine is blended for consistency from vintage to vintage. · Moderate golden yellow color and clear in the glass. Engaging perfume of fresh apple, peach, spice, lees and nutty oak. Very polished and slightly creamy on the palate, with vibrant flavors of lemon, apricot and apple that persist through a finish awash in citrus goodness. A very giving wine with plenty of fruit. Score: 90. Reviewed March 12, 2016 ARTICLE »

2013 Domaine Serene Clos de Lune Vineyard Dundee Hills Oregon Chardonnay

13.1% alc., 120 cases, $70. Estate grown, produced and bottled. From a 6-acre, dry-farmed, south and west-facing vineyard situated at 800 to 900 feet elevation and closely planted to Dijon clones in Jory soils. Fermented and aged on the less in French oak barrels. · Moderately light golden yellow color and clear in the glass. Pristine aromas of fresh citrus and sweet nutty oak lead to a discreetly rich palate of citrus, apple, peach, pineapple and vanilla flavors. A crisp wine, with welcome fruit intensity on a finish sporting a robust cut of acidity. Score: 92. Reviewed March 12, 2016 ARTICLE »

2013 Domaine Serene Clos du Soleil Vineyard Dundee Hills Oregon Chardonnay

13.3% alc., 127 cases, $75. Estate grown, produced and bottled. This vineyard is one of seven estate vineyards. It consists of 4 acres that are dry-farmed and is close planted to Dijon clones in Jory soil at 650 to 700 feet elevation. Fermented and aged on the lees in French oak barrels. · Moderate golden yellow color and clear in the glass. The aromas of apple, baking spice, lemon curd and nut spread draw you into the glass. Fresh and possessing noticeable bounce, with a delicious blend of apple, pear and citrus flavors underpinned with steeliness and salinity. Beautifully balanced, clean and bright, with a refreshingly juicy finish. I like this wine for its freshness. It seems to call out, “Drink me!” Score: 93. Reviewed March 12, 2016 ARTICLE »

2013 Domaine Serene Côte Sud Vineyard Dundee Hills Oregon Chardonnay

13.3% alc., 155 cases, $75. Estate grown, produced and bottled. This vineyard is a top the Dundee Hills and is one of seven estate vineyards. Nearly 6 acres, the vineyard is dry-farmed, south-facing, and situated at 600 to 680 feet elevation. The Dijon clones are closely planted in Jory soils. Fermented and aged on the lees in French oak barrels. · Moderate golden yellow color and clear in the glass. The nose is dreamy, offering scents of lemon creme, Asian pear and wet crushed rocks. Silky smooth on the palate and citrus driven, with the slightest oak in the background. Good crispness with a fresh personality, this wine becomes more enchanting over time in the glass and develops almost a velvety mouthfeel. Score: 92. Reviewed March 12, 2016 ARTICLE »

2013 Domaine Serene Etoile Vineyard Dundee Hills Oregon Chardonnay

13.1% alc., 124 cases, $75. Estate grown, produced and bottled. This wine is from a 3-acre, west-facing, hilltop vineyard site at 750 to 800 feet elevation planted to Dijon clones in Jory soils. Fermented and aged on the lees in French oak barrels. · Moderate golden yellow color and clear in the glass. The aromas arrive gradually over time, offering a fruit mix of citrus, apple and peach, with a compliment of oak. Generous presence on the palate with vivid flavors of lemon, pineapple and apple fruits that arrive in waves. Beautifully composed with steely acidity, a top note of nutty oak, and a lip-smacking finish. A unique wine in that it has almost an ephemeral texture borrowed from Pinot Noir. Score: 93. Reviewed March 12, 2016 ARTICLE »

2012 Domaine Serene Yamhill Cuvée Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir

13.6%, 7,739 cases, $45. A blend of grapes from the Dundee Hills, Eola-Amity Hills and Yamhill-Carlton AVAs, all part of Yamhill County. Aged 13 months in French oak barrels, 47% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. A fresh, forward wine that is eager to please with aromas and flavors of cherry, red berry, spice and a modest grip of oak. Lighter in weight, with lacy tannins, the wine is nicely balanced and offers a burst of cherry on the finish. The least extracted offering in the 2012 lineup, but a solid everyday drinking wine that will please at the table. Score: 89. Reviewed March 12, 2016 ARTICLE »

2012 Domaine Serene Evenstad Reserve Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 7,982 cases, $70. The winery’s flagship bottling that represents a consistent blend from premier vineyards in the Dundee Hills and Eola-Amity Hills. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 65% new. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The spirited berry fruits are overlaid with significant oak top notes of coffee and char more noticeable on the nose than on the palate. That said, the oak is not drying. The majestic assorted red and black berry fruit flavors are offered in a mid weight plus style embellished with pleasing spice notes and framed by integrated tannins. Easy to like, with plenty of swagger, boasting a satiny mouthfeel and some finishing exuberance. This wine will appeal to those who enjoy a prominent, but not overbearing oak influence. Score: 91. Reviewed March 12, 2016 ARTICLE »

2012 Domaine Serene Fleur de Lis Vineyard Dundee Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 132 cases, $85 (member exclusive). Estate grown, produced and bottled. One of seven dry-farmed estate vineyards located on a hilltop at 720 to 740 feet elevation. Closely planted Dijon clones in Jory soil. An important component of the Evenstad Reserve bottling. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 66% new. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Vigorous aromas of cherry reduction sauce, strawberry, earthy flora and oak spice lead off. Very elegant in the mouth, with ebullient flavors of dark red and blue berries accented by a deft touch of sweet oak. Impressive acid-driven juiciness, cashmere tannins and good finishing length. Somewhat delicate yet powerfully flavored, this wine is full of sunlight, and exudes harmony and class. Still exceptional the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, taking on a darker fruit profile and maintaining its regal aura. Score: 94. Reviewed March 12, 2016 ARTICLE »

2012 Domaine Serene Côte Sud Vineyard Dundee Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

13.7%, 384 cases, $90. Estate grown, produced and bottled. One of seven Evenstad Estate vineyards. 24 acres (19 acres of Pinot Noir), dry-farmed, south-facing, 600 to 680 feet elevation, closely planted in Jory soil. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of boysenberry, blackberry, cardamom spice, and char. The mid weight core of black fruits is complimented by notes of anise, black tea, tobacco and herbs. The fruit has impressive beauty of flavor, although the oak overlay is a bit aggressive for me. The wine finishes with plenty of resonant fruit fragrance. Score: 91. Reviewed March 12, 2016 ARTICLE »

2012 Domaine Serene Jerusalem Hill Vineyard Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 434 cases, $90. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 47% new. Estate grown, produced and bottled. Vineyard is located in Yamhill County’s Eola-Amity Hills. Assorted clones of Pinot Noir are closely planted in sedimentary soil in an east-facing site located at 200 to 300 feet elevation. · Demure aromas of berry jam, exotic tea and sandalwood need time in the glass to emerge. Darker fruits are featured in a middleweight style including blackberry and black raspberry flavors highlighted by a tug of char-driven oak. This wine has noticeably more tannic grip but it is not overwrought. The finish is particularly memorable in this wine for its extended length and opulence. When tasted the following day from a previously opened bottle, the nose was still shy, but the fruit core was even more giving. A good cellar candidate. Score: 92. Reviewed March 12, 2016 ARTICLE »

2012 Domaine Serene Two Barns Vineyard Dundee Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., 422 cases, $90. Estate grown, produced and bottled. Sourced from a 38-acre vineyard located on the west side of Dundee Hills. Dry-farmed, west and south-facing, closely planted in sedimentary soils of Willakenzie series. Aged 17 months in French oak barrels, 60% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The nose presents an inviting marriage of baked cherry and seasoned oak aromas. Impressive depth of fruit, showing flavors of dark red cherries and berries with a touch of spice and oak. Intense attack, attention-getting mid palate presence, and a generous finish that exudes luscious cherry fruit. A dreamy wine with cohesive tannins and acidity and exemplary Dundee Hills character. Score: 93. Reviewed March 12, 2016 ARTICLE »

2012 Domaine Serene Winery Hill Vineyard Dundee Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 314 cases, $90 (member exclusive). Estate grown, produced and bottled. Sourced from a 20-acre, dry-farmed, south and west facing vineyard closely planted to several Dijon clones in Jory soil at 800 to 900 feet elevation (highest elevation on the Estate). Planted in 2000 while the winery was under construction. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 57% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Initial conservative aromas of darker cherry, woodland and musk blossom over time in the glass adding inviting scents of baking spices, potpourri and dark berries. Very enchanting on the palate, with a mid weight core of black cherry, black raspberry and blackberry fruit flavors dressed in subtle oak seasoning. Silky in the mouth, with matched intricate tannins, and juicy acidity that infuses the finish with lip-smacking brightness. Still very appealing the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 92. Reviewed March 12, 2016 ARTICLE »

2012 Domaine Serene Mark Bradford Vineyard Dundee Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 344 cases, $125. Named after Ken and Grace Evenstad’s son and was the first Pinot Noir vineyard planted at Domaine Serene. Estate grown, produced and bottled. Vineyard is one of seven estate vineyards. Dry-farmed, west-facing hillside site at 650 to 750 feet elevation closely planted to several clones of Pinot Noir in Jory soil. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels, 74% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. A slowly evolving, but exceptional nose, offering aromas of cherry tart, raspberry jam, earth and tobacco. The mid weight plus core of black cherry and black raspberry fruits attack with a fury and sustain a presence that really alerts the senses. A somewhat muscular and aggressively styled wine that nonetheless reflects its Pinot Noir genetics and remains silky in its demeanor. The plucky tannins are well balanced as is the smart new oak and the deliciously spicy and berry-fueled finish leaves a memorable impression. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine was notable for its seamless character. Score: 94. Reviewed March 12, 2016 ARTICLE »

2012 Domaine Serene Récolte Grand Cru Dundee Hills Oregon Chardonnay

14.2% alc., 144 cases, $125. Estate grown, produced and bottled. Récolte is the French word for “harvest.” A tribute to white Burgundy and is the pinnacle of the Domaine Serene Chardonnay program. Dry-farmed Dijon clones grown at high elevation in Jory soils. Barrel fermented and aged on lees in French oak barrels. · Moderate golden yellow color and clear in the glass. This wine is clearly different from the other Domaine Serene Chardonnays because of its complexity and serious intentions. Multiple aromas emerge from the alluring nose, including citrus, nectarine, cantaloupe, marzipan, garrigue, flint and lemon-infused oak. Richly flavored on the palate, with notes of lemon pie filling, pineapple, grapefruit, lees, toasty marshmallow, and more. Impeccable mouthfeel with pinpoint balance between focused fruit and steely resolve. A special wine that reveals itself slowly over time in the glass, and a keeper that will cellar beautifully long term. Score: 95. Reviewed March 12, 2016 ARTICLE »

2012 Domaine Serene Grace Vineyard Dundee Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 340 cases, $175. Estate grown, produced and bottled. One of seven vineyards of the Evenstad Estate. Dry-farmed, east-facing, situated at 540 to 640 feet elevation, with Jory soils. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The nose extends a number of nuances, including aromas of an array of black and purple stone and berry fruits, spice, bacon and even a floral note. Clearly a classy wine on entry, offering well ripened heady black fruits that are deep on the mid palate, and underpinned by fine-grain tannins, juicy acidity, and compliments of oak-driven toast and black tea flavors. Packed with flavor, but light as a ballerina on its feet, this beauty has a very comforting texture. A very long and expansive finish completes the enjoyment of this majestic wine. Score: 94. Reviewed March 12, 2016 ARTICLE »

2010 Domaine Serene Evenstad Reserve Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Chardonnay

13.4% alc., $55. Inaugural release. Only available through restaurants and boutique wine retailers. Composed of several different Dijon clones from estate vineyards in the Dundee Hills, primarily Cote Sud. Aged 17 months in 72% new French oak barrels. · Light straw color and clear in the glass. Lovely and delicate aromas of lemon curd and jasmine. Soft, even slightly creamy in the mouth, with pleasing flavors of pear and citrus zest with a very subtle oak underpinning. An understated wine of great charm, that teases gently with finesse. Very good. Reviewed May 11, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 Domaine Serene Clos du Soleil Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Oregon Chardonnay

14.6% alc., $45. Dijon clone 76 from a 4-acre vineyard at 650-700 feet elevation. Barrel fermented and aged on the lees. · Light straw yellow color in the glass. Shy but pleasing aromas of apple, lemon zest, and tropical fruit assortment. Crisp and juicy baked apple, citrus and caramel flavors in a delicate style. The oak is complimentary without being indulgent. Very good. Reviewed April 4, 2012 ARTICLE »

2008 Domaine Serene Two Barns Vineyard Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc.. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. A very ripe fruited wine with scents of cherry, sassafras, leather and peppercorn leading to a full-bodied, sappy palate of black cherry and black raspberry fruits accented with a touch of oak-driven spice and vanilla. The tannic backbone is apparent but not aggressive. Enjoyable now or hold short term. Score: 90. Reviewed February 8, 2015 ARTICLE »

2008 Domaine Serene Yamhill Cuvée Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., $32. · Moderately light in color. Very ripe, even roasted berry and stone fruit aromas with accents of spicy oak. Light in weight with a red fruit profile, dominating oak tannins and an herbal oak note on the finish. A simple, tannic wine that is disappointing at this price point. Decent. Reviewed August 13, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 Domaine Serene Evenstad Reserve Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $65. The winery’s flagship wine sourced from estate vineyards in the Dundee Hills and Eola-Amity Hills. First vintage was in 1990. A blend of 40% Pommard, 51% Dijon, and 9% Wädenswil clones sourced primarily from estate vineyards grown in the Dundee Hills (70%) and Eola Hills (30%). Aged 17 months in 72% new French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Upon opening, smoky oak and campfire aromas and flavors dominate the fruit. Tasted later in the day from an opened bottle, the wine had blossomed in an extraordinary fashion, with oak receding to the background as a pleasing mocha note, and luscious black cherry and black raspberry fruit marching to the forefront to saturate the mid palate with flavor. A satiny mouth feel leads to a generous, long, and dry finish. I suggest you decant this wine if opened now, or patiently cellar to allow the oak and tannins to further integrate. A great assembly of Pinot clones that will please any Pinot aficionado. Reviewed May 11, 2012 ARTICLE »

2007 Domaine Serene Evenstad Reserve Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $58. A blend of Pommard, Dijon, and lesser amounts of Wädenswil clones sourced primarily from estate vineyards grown in the Dundee Hills (66%) and Eola Hills (34%). Aged 18 months in 67% new French oak barrels. · A pleasing wine with lovely aromas of savory red fruits, flavors of cherries, cranberries and oak accents, and a smooth finish with plenty of length. Drinking beautifully now. Good (+). Reviewed March 12, 2011 ARTICLE »

2004 Domaine Serene Coeur Blanc

14.5% alc., 450 cases, $60. Coeur Blanc ("koor blahnk") is a barrel-fermented white wine made from Pinot Noir. It is whole cluster pressed with limited contact between the grape skins and the juice, aged 15 months on the lees and then bottle aged for one year. Packaged in a very, very hefty bottle with a huge punt, it makes quite an impression. The wine has a very pale yellow-orange color. · It is very unusual and I liken it to encountering an exotic fruit for the first time. It has a little bit of a Semillon mouth feel and waxiness. There are interesting flavors of lanolin, white pepper, orange, with faint red fruits in the background. The mouth feel is very soft. No oak is evident. I think the winery should be applauded for striking out in uncharted waters, but the cost and bottle are a little over the top for the pleasure the wine delivers. Reviewed February 12, 2007 ARTICLE »

2004 Domaine Serene Coeur Blanc Willamette Valley White Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $60. · This is a fascinating wine which caused many wrinkled brows. It reminds me of a Pinot Blanc with citrus and sour apple flavors. There are some Alsatian features as well. Reviewed March 27, 2007 ARTICLE »

2004 Domaine Serene Willamette Valley Coeur Blanc “White Heart”

14.5% alc., 450 cases, $75. Barrel fermented white wine from estate Pinot Noir. Gently pressed whole clusters have limited contact with the skins so only the essence or white heart juice is expressed. Aged 16 months on the lees in 30% new French oak and 12 months in bottle. Winemaker was Tony Rynders. Produced in the 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2008 vintages. · Light apricot color in the glass. Potent aromas of gardenias, paraffin, buttered popcorn and marzipan. Rich and delicious flavors of pears, canned peaches, and roasted nuts caressed by gentle oak tannins with an impressive persistence on the pleasing finish. Very good. Reviewed April 9, 2010 ARTICLE »

2003 Domaine Serene Evenstad Reserve Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., $50. This wine is a blend of 7 vineyards of the 142-acre Evensted Estate in the Dundee Hills of Oregon. · This Pinot has a savory perfume of dried cherries and cranberries, toasty oak, and a touch of anise. Softly textured, it is nicely balanced with an appealing kick of spice on the back end. Oak notes in the nose and finish are quite apparent with air time. Decent, but left me wanting more. Reviewed February 12, 2007 ARTICLE »

2003 Domaine Serene Jerusalem Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 695 cases, $75. This is one of three Domaine Serene Estate Vineyards and is located on the east side of the Eola Hills. This 55 acre dry-farmed vineyard is planted to Pommard, Wadenswil, 115 and 777 clones of Pinot Noir. The wine was aged 18 months in 72% new French oak. · The aromatics are shy with noticeable alcoholic heat. Very nice Pinot fruits enhanced by baking spice compose the middle palate and the whole package finishes cleanly. A perfectly decent Pinot Noir but nothing really grabs you. Reviewed February 12, 2007 ARTICLE »

2003 Domaine Serene Winery Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 570 cases, $75. This 20 acre estate vineyard is planted on Jory soil at 800-850 feet. Clones are 114, 115, and 777. · This is a warm and inviting Pinot Noir which starts out with deep dark fruits and toast in the nose and finishes with an aftertaste of stylish dark cherries and spice. The balance is impeccable and the mouth feel is sleek and silky. A Pinot of style and grace. Reviewed February 12, 2007 ARTICLE »

2003 Domaine Serene Marc Bradford Vineyard Pinot Noir

551 cases, $90. This 11 acre vineyard is one of the seven vineyards of the Evensted Estate and is named after owner Evenstad’s son and was planted in 1993 on red Jory soils. The clones are Pommard and Wädenswil. Note: I had the 2000 vintage of this wine 4 months ago and it was everything you hoped to find in a Pinot Noir. This may have been an off bottle. · Aged 18 months in French oak barrels of which 85% were new. The nose takes some coaxing, but with time lovely red and dark stone fruits and spice emerge. The flavors really never deliver and the short finish is tight and acidic. I drank this with another Pinot enthusiast over dinner for a couple of hours and we both agreed it was decent, but nothing to go “ga-ga” over. Hard to justify $90 based on this bottle. Reviewed February 12, 2007 ARTICLE »