This was our first stop in our wine tasting weekend in the Willamette Valley. I've heard great things about this vineyard. They are known for producing world class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Indeed, their 2012 Winery Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir was named the Top Pinot Noir in the World by Decanter magazine in 2016.
Serene provides a luxurious wine tasting experience in their beautiful "clubhouse". The tasting room is perched on a hillside, offering an expansive outdoor patio with a breathtaking view of vines and landscaping.
The "Clubhouse" as they call it, was spacious, bright, and inviting.
We were greeted by a young friendly intern, and quickly offered their multi-vintage "r" Rose v.XIV to start. It was crisp, and refreshing as I would expect for a $44 Rose!
Once we realized the view from the patio, we chose to sit outside, and soak in the "serene" vineyard. At this point, we were ready to begin our tasting; I could tell we were in for a treat.
Domaine Serene takes inspiration from Burgundy Wines. They source from several Willamette Valley AVAs, including Dundee Hills, Yamhill-Carlton, and Eola-Amity Hills.
For $40, we were offered 6 tastings. Although higher than average for a tasting, it was fair, considering the price of their bottles, and the fact we actually were given a few extra bonus side-by-sides. The designated tastings were:
Multi-Vintage "r" Rose v.XIV ($44)
Evenstad Reserve Chardonnay 2019 ($75)
Members' Limited Edition Pinot Noir 2019 ($75)
Evenstad Reserve Pinot Noir 2019 ($95)
Abbey Oaks Vineyard Pinot Noir 2019 ($105)
Grand Cheval Oregon Red Wine (2018) ($85)
Our intern gave us a side-by-side of 2019 Domaine Serene's Evenstad Reserve Chardonnay against their 2019 Chateau de la Cree Santenay Gravieres (member's only).
Domaine Serene's owners, the Evenstads, actually purchased the Burgundy wine estate Cheateau de la Cree. This access to French vines allows production of wines that have an entirely different expression.
Indeed, the terroir was prominent in the Chateau de la Cree. There was a nice earthy minerality to the Chardonnay. I felt this was an apples to oranges comparison, and a matter of preference in how one prefers their Chardonnay. I enjoyed the Cheateau de la Cree and felt lucky to have been offered the tasting.
We then compared the different Pinot, and understood the different vineyards and its effect on the wine. The 2019 Members' Limited Pinot Noir had an interesting nose of woody oak and smoke or flint. Medium body with bright red fruit. Black tea. Gentle, balanced acidity. Smooth tannins.
Our tasting finished with an Enigma: The 2018 Grand Cheval Oregon Red Wine. This unusual mix of Walla Walla Syrah and Dundee Hills Pinot Noir combined to create a fuller "steakhouse" wine. Peppery nose, smooth sweet chocolate balanced with acid from the Pinot. It was decadent.
Overall, Domaine Serene deserves an A+. This is truly a one of a kind winery producing top notch Pinot and Chardonnay. Brilliant wines and stunning venue combine for an outstanding experience.