2017 Evening Land Vineyards, Seven Springs Vineyard Chardonnay, $39.75
Winery Info: Evening Land was founded in 2005 by a group of investors, with the much-celebrated Burgundian Dominique Lafon as consulting winemaker. The winery has gone through a number of changes over the years and is now headed by Rajat Parr, James Beard award-winning author and celebrated sommelier, along with highly-acclaimed winemaker Sashi Moorman. They are now sole stewards of Seven Springs Vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA, considered by many to be one of the top vineyards in the Willamette Valley.
Winemakers: Rajat Parr and Sashi Moorman
Grapes: 100% Chardonnay, aged for 12 months in once-used French barriques and 500-liter puncheons, followed by another six months’ aging in tank.
Vineyard: Sourced from a rockier section in the south block of their estate Seven Springs Vineyard, in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA.
Flavor profile: This is a very elegant and complex Chard, with enticing notes of orchard fruit, citrus, and a touch of toasty brioche. It has a perfect balance of richness and brightness, with smooth, layered texture and clean, vibrant acidity. The finish is long and refined.
Production: 1,500 cases produced. It is still in decent supply.
Drinkability: Enjoy anytime over the next three or four years.
Food Pairing: Try it with seared scallops, grilled prawns, or roast chicken.
2017 Bergström Wines, Cumberland Reserve Pinot Noir, $44
Winery Info: Founded in 1999 by John and Karen Bergström in Dundee, Oregon along with their son Josh, fresh from postgraduate study in viticulture and enology in Burgundy. Today the winery consists of five estate vineyards in some of the top Willamette Valley appellations, farmed organically and with biodynamic practices. The Cumberland Reserve is their longest standing cuvée, first created in 2001. It is blended from their best barrels of Pinot Noir from their estate vineyards in the Dundee Hills, Chehalem Mountains, Ribbon Ridge, and Yamhill Carlton AVAs. They say their goal with this wine is to express the “regional identity of the Willamette Valley through the Bergström winemaking style.”
Winemaker: Josh Bergström is winemaker, vineyard manager, and general manager
Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir
Vineyard: A blend from their five estate vineyards, Silice (Chehalem Mountains AVA, with sandy soils over sandstone and shale), Le Pré du Col (Ribbon Ridge AVA, with marine sedimentary soil), plus Bergström (Dundee Hills), Winery Block (Chehalem Mountains), and Gregory Ranch (Yamhill-Carlton).
Flavor profile: Their Cumberland Reserve is crafted to showcase the spicy, earthy, fresh fruit character of Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. This vintage is smooth and savory, with complex flavors of dark fruit, and notes of herbs and forest floor. With fine tannins, good minerality, and fresh, food friendly acidity.
Production: This vintage is still in decent supply.
Drinkability: Delicious now or up to 2025 or so.
Food Pairing: It would pair well with earthy, savory foods, such as a hearty mushroom bisque with lots of crusty bread.