Wine critic Steven Baker follows the cool climate back roads of Oregon Pinot noir country and shares his journal. His business, Authentica Wines, is a membership based wine club.
~ May 2010
Domaine Comtes Lafon is a legendary producer of some of the world's top Burgundy, both red and white, and winemaker Dominique Lafon is widely acknowledged as a master of pinot noir and chardonnay. His wines routinely command some of the highest prices in the market - if you can even find them.
Seven Springs vineyard in Oregon's Eola Hills has long been recognized as one of the top sites for great Oregon pinot noir and chardonnay since its beginning in 1981. It has supplied top fruit to a handful of Oregon's top winemakers for over 20 years. Put the two together and you have something unique and very special in the world of Oregon pinot noir: Evening Land Vineyards.
When Seven Springs Vineyard came up for sale a couple of years ago, Oregon pinot noir fans were understandably nervous. Then, when it became clear that the new owner would be one of Burgundy's top winemakers, fear turned to joy. The result has been the best of both worlds - a marriage of Lafon's meticulous and fanatical viticulture and winemaking skill with one of the finest pinot noir sites in the New World.
The new vineyard protocols have had an immediate and noticeable effect on the fruit quality. There is no doubt that the Lafon team will raise Seven Springs to legendary status in time.
The 2008 Evening Land Oregon Pinot Noir is a great introduction to this dynamic partnership and a very affordable example of what Burgundian expertise and Oregon soil can bring forth. A blend of 70% Seven Springs estate fruit carefully selected from old vines at the mid-hillside, with the remainder made up from purchased fruit from excellent vineyards nearby, the Evening Land Blue Label is lushly textured, with expressive and exotically spiced flavors of cherry, raspberry and red currant. It is surprisingly deep and concentrated for a wine at this price point, and although it drinks well now after breathing for an hour or two, it will certainly develop further over the near term (2 to 3 years). This a powerful and elegant wine and an absolutely great value.
Note: This is extremely limited and will sell out quickly. 500
cases from the miniscule 2,500 made have already been sold
in the few weeks since its release. Don't hesitate if you want a
piece of Oregon winemaking history in your cellar. ~ Steve Baker
Evening Land Vineyards
Oregon Pinot Noir, 2008
Release Price: $25.00
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