The Seven Springs Vineyard in Willamette Valley's Eola-Amity Hills is one of the undeniable top sites within Oregon. An October visit (pictured above) really confirmed the historical significance of the wines produced here. Ones that have stood as testaments to the heights achieved in Oregon winemaking today. And much of that success is derived from vines originally planted in 1983. Though Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are the focus at Evening Land Seven Springs Vineyard, it's their 1983-planted Gamay that's the real game-changer here.
We aren't shy about our adoration of Beaujolais benchmark wines, like those ofFoillard, Métras, Dutraive, and Lapierre. That's why when I first tasted this rare bottling from Sashi Moorman and Rajat Parr my head was left spinning a bit. Their regular visits and familiarity with these producers in the home of Gamay have clearly left a significant impression. However, impressions are one thing. Execution is something entirely different.
1983 marks some of the oldest plantings of Gamay anywhere in North America. The age is no doubt a huge factor in the wine's pedigree. There's a marvelous texture, with a dizzying array of red fruits, and a finish that's simply unrelenting. Sashi and Rajat employ the same method of fermentation used by the great traditionalists of Morgon and Fleurie. Compounded with organic and biodynamic farming the breathtaking results in bottle shouldn't come as a surprise.
Aromatics are a huge focus of the best wines of Beaujolais, and here too the floral notes are wide-ranging and burst out of the glass. 2015 served as a great vintage for this wine, as the hot and dry temperatures were no threat for these old vines that have grown deep into the jory, volcanic soils below. There's a forward juicy quality here that retains a striking freshness from start to finish.
This special cuvée from an isolated old-vine parcel is a new release from the estate. This small-production gem is exactly the kind of wine we get so excited about opening people's awareness to. I highly recommend you take the opportunity to familiarize yourself with one of Oregon's most treasured estates, and its most rare wine.
2015 Evening Land Seven Springs Gamay Noir
$35 per bottle.
2013 Evening Land Seven Springs Vineyard Pinot Noir
$54 per bottle.
2014 Evening Land Seven Springs Vineyard La Source Chardonnay
$69 per bottle.