Grapelive: Wine of the Day September 10, 2020

2018 Evesham Wood, Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon.
The special nine barrel Evesham Wood Dundee Hills Pinot Noir from Winemaker and owner Erin Nuccio is one of the best hand crafted and small lot Pinots from the vintage, especially for the price, in Oregon, with its beautiful details and texture it is a class act and joins Evesham’s stellar and value priced lineup. For the last twelve years I’ve been following this label after my first visit to the Willamette Valley wine country and the Portland wine scene when a friend up there clued me in on some under the radar wineries, if you are into Oregon Pinot and looking for bargains, Nuccio’s wines are a must try collection, especially the Evesham Wood’s basic Willamette Valley cuvee and this one if you can still find it. With classic Dundee Hills, Jory soil (volcanic and iron rich) influence showing, the Evesham Wood Dundee Hills Pinot delivers layers of dusty red spiced black cherry, plum and strawberry fruits along with a touch of earthy reduction, rose petals, snappy herbs, moro orange tea and delicate wood accents, all of which caresses the medium bodied palate. With air the ruby/garnet 2018 Dundee Hills Pinot gains a darker almost blue fruit tone and becomes wonderfully expressive and pure in a performance that you’d expect from a wine two or three times the cost, I knew I should have bought a few more bottles.

Nuccio says his Dundee Hills Cuvée, which came from a very famous single vineyard, is most likely one-time only wine for Evesham Wood and came about when a friend who is the winemaker this well known, but can’t be named, winery in the Dundee Hills asked if Erin was interested in some Dundee Hills fruit and as she adds, after initially saying he had enough grapes booked, he came back with a price that was too good to pass up. The plan was to have it go into the regular Willamette Valley blend, but when Nuccio started seriously tasting the barrels it became apparent he had some special barrels, so made the choice to do this bottling from those 9 barrels, which in hindsight was an awesome decision. Evesham Wood was originally founded by Russ and Mary Raney in 1986, with a mission based on the idea that small is beautiful and with a desire to create value priced and easy to drink Pinots. To maintain a high level of quality, Evesham Wood, now in Nuccio and his wife Jordan’s hands, rely on two basic principles, as Nuccio notes, to obtaining optimally ripe low-yield fruit from the best possible sites in the Willamette Valley, and using minimal intervention in the winemaking process to express terroir and complexity in each offering. Nuccio, who also has the cult favorite Haden Fig label, took over here in 2010 and has upped the quality in recent vintages even further and I highly recommend his 2016, 2017 and these concentrated 2018s!
($26 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive