Domaine Serene

Owner(s) Grace Evenstad, Ken Evenstad
Web site www.domaineserene.com
Link to this site
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 of 462 acres.

The 180+ acres of vineyards include the Evenstad Estate (Mark Bradford, Fleur de Lis, Etoile, Gold Eagle, Clos du Soleil, Grace and Cote Sud vineyards) planted exclusively to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, the Winery Hill Estate Vineyard (20 acres of Dijon clone Pinot Noir), the Jerusalem Hill Estate (55 acres planted to Pinot Noir), and the Two Barns Vineyard (32 acres planted to Dijon, Pommard and Wädenswil Pinot Noir). The vines are not irrigated, and are farmed sustainably under the direction of viticulturist Joel Myers.

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

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 »