2021 Evening Land Vineyards, Seven Springs Estate Pinot Noir, $46
Winery Info: Originally founded in 2005, Evening Land has gone through a number of changes over the years.
Today it is headed by Raj Parr, James Beard award-winning author and celebrated sommelier, along with highly acclaimed winemaker Sashi Moorman. They are also now sole stewards of Seven Springs Vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA, one of the top vineyards in the Willamette Valley.
Winemaker: Raj Parr and Sashi Moorman, with assistant winemaker Damien Lapuyade.
Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir, Pommard clone, aged seven months in neutral barrique.
Vineyard: Sourced primarily from their oldest, own-rooted block of their estate Seven Springs Vineyard, in the Eola-Amity Hills. With iron rich volcanic Jory soil.
Flavor Profile: 2021 was an excellent vintage for Seven Springs Vineyard, producing dark, fresh inviting wines. This Pinot is rich and elegant with flavors of red fruits, black tea, and a touch of forest floor. With bright, food-friendly acidity and well integrated tannins.
Availability: This vintage is still in fairly good supply with the distributor.
Drinking Window: Give it another three years to develop, then enjoy up to 2028.
Food Pairing: Perfect for grilled salmon, or you could pair it with roast pork, coq au vin, or boeuf bourguignon.
2021 Bethel Heights Vineyard, Estate Eola-Amity Hills, Pinot Noir, $35
Winery Info: This winery began in 1977 when Ted Casteel, Pat Dudley, Terry Casteel, and Marilyn Webb left their careers, mostly in academia, and bought 75 acres of potential vineyard property northwest of Salem. It had already been planted with 14 acres of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay cuttings from Erath Winery, and they added plantings over the next few years, making their Bethel Heights Vineyard one of the first in the Eola Hills. They made their first wines in 1984 and the same families still own and manage the winery today.
Winemaker: Founder Ted Casteel’s son Ben has been winemaker since 2005.
Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir, aged eight months in 24% new French oak.
Vineyard: A blend of fruit from different sections of Bethel Heights, Justice, and Lewman vineyards.
Flavor Profile: The winery notes that this wine encompasses the entire breadth of expression at their estate. Their youngest vines, planted in 2002 and picked earlier in the warmer part of the season, add abundant juicy fruit, while the older, more established vines, up to 40 years old and picked in the cooler fall, add savory, earthy complexity.
Availability: 5,262 cases produced. It should be in good supply for a while.
Drinking Window: Enjoy anytime over the next five years.
Food Pairing: Great for salmon, mushroom dishes, roast chicken, or other lighter, savory fare.