The 2015 Vintage
These are heady times indeed for lovers of Oregon wine and we feel no area of the Willamette Valley was better poised to make the most of 2015 than the east-facing slopes of the Eola-Amity Hills. 2015 had all the trappings of a noteworthy season: sunshine, drought conditions, a late season heat wave, and a
harvest free from rain. Warm and dry conditions produce wines of opulence and richness. We worked hard to balance these factors with finesse and charm to create age-worthy wines that continue the great tradition of Seven Springs.
With undeniable quality for a second straight year, it's a delight to dig into the differences between the vintages. As we've evaluated the '14s over the past year, the term 'textbook' kept cropping up. Whether tasted blind, with food, in a comparative line-up, or for sheer enjoyment, Evening Land's 2014 vintage is 'classic Oregon' in every sense. The weight, tannin, acidity, finish, and aromatic profile all speak of a sun-soaked growing season in these volcanic hillsides.
The 2015 vintage sees all of the traits of classic Oregon Pinot Noir turned up a notch. The color is brighter, the palate is weightier, the fruit purity more pronounced on both the nose and the palate, and the wines in their youth are - dare we say it - a touch showy and opulent.
For the Pinot Noir, this increased ripeness caused us to dial back the use of new oak ever so slightly in 2015. The purity of fruit shows with tremendous clarity as a result of this decision. For our Chardonnays, we brought the elegant influence of the larger Austrian puncheons to both the Summum and La Source cuvées this year. We were astounded by the 2014 Summum and are happy to confirm that the La Source Chardonnay reacted just as beautifully to these new Stockinger puncheons in the '15 vintage.
The Standard Bearer
The four bottlings which comprise our Reserve Case are all standouts again in 2015. Upon release, the Reserve Case is the only configuration that includes our Summum Chardonnay and Anden Pinot Noir bottlings. These incredibly small production cuvées were both down in volume from the 2014 vintage. It fills us with angst to have less of our best wines to offer, but we are thrilled with the quality across our top tier of wines.
The Estate Wines
Our Seven Springs wines are tradition-bound, classic examples of Oregon Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Gamay Noir. One whiff of the 2015 Seven Springs Pinot Noir and it's understandable why this is our most popular bottling. The bright fruit notes hover in suspension with the savory expressions of forest floor and mushroom, coalescing at the finish with wonderfully integrated tannins.
The Seven Springs Chardonnay had the benefit of being raised in once-used puncheons from the 2014 Summum. This new barrel format, combined with the stellar growing season resulted in a generously textured wine with a bright, racy core. Sadly, as with the other Chardonnay cuvées, quantities are lower in 2015. The Gamay Noir gives us our first peek ahead at the 2016 vintage. What a year it was. Our 3 humble acres of Gamay put on quite a show, offering up a decidedly juicier, weightier, and more unctuous expression of the vineyard.