2022 Evesham Wood, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir "Eola-Amity Hills Cuvée"
2022 Evesham Wood, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir "Eola-Amity Hills Cuvée"

2022 Evesham Wood, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir "Eola-Amity Hills Cuvée"

Oregon, United States 2022 (750mL)
Regular price$39.00

2022 Evesham Wood, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir "Eola-Amity Hills Cuvée"

While we’ve never compiled an official list of SommSelect’s most featured wineries, if we did, Evesham Wood would most certainly be near the top. Few other producers in the Willamette Valley (or anywhere else, for that matter) have so enthralled us year after year with their precision, complexity, and sheer beauty. A wine like today’s “Eola-Amity Hills Cuvée” is truly Oregon Pinot crafted in the Burgundian mold, with oodles of floral lift and sapid depth, its drink-me-now charm belying a seriously ageworthy core. We’d happily pour it alongside the most elite Pinot bottlings in the country. Yet, as seems to always be the case with Evesham Wood, the price remains blissfully low. If we had to offer one bottle to back up our conviction that the Willamette Valley remains the best region in the world for Pinot value, Evesham Wood’s “Eola-Amity Hills Cuvée” would almost certainly be it. The winery is a shoo-in for the SommSelect hall of fame, and this cuvée is a shoo-in for the “buy by the case” category!

Erin Nuccio’s story will be familiar to many here, but to catch the soon-to-be Evesham Wood devotees up: Nuccio worked in wine retail in D.C. for years before realizing, along with his wife Jordan, that they wanted to get some dirt under their nails. They first moved out to California, where Erin attended viticulture and enology school, and worked in vineyards there for years. But they wanted a cooler climate, somewhere Erin could craft domestic wines with Old World soul. So they packed up and moved to the Willamette. Erin met with Evesham’s founder Russ Rainey, and Russ offered Erin an apprenticeship. Russ also leant a guiding hand to Erin as Erin launched his own label, Haden Fig (another SommSelect favorite). That was 2007, and over the next few years, the two grew closer, until it became clear to Russ that Erin was an obvious choice as successor. Erin and Jordan took over Evesham Wood in 2010 and have continued the Raineys’ dedication to sustainable viticulture and precise winemaking.

Erin and Jordan took over one of the great Willamette legacies in Evesham Wood. It was founded in 1986 by Russ and his wife Mary. From the get-go, Russ employed techniques common in Burgundy, but then relatively rare in Oregon. He insisted on dry-farming, eschewing any irrigation . He bottled his red wines unfined and unfiltered. And he farmed organically from the jump, achieving certification in 2000. Russ was one of the pioneers of the Willamette, a figure instrumental in establishing the region’s reputation as one still run by small-scale farmers, not just big corporations. Sadly, he passed away in 2022, but Erin and Jordan continue his legacy today, crafting wines from the estate’s signature “Le Puits Sec” vineyard as well as purchased fruit from like-minded growers. 

Evesham Wood’s “Eola-Amity Hill Cuvée” is essentially their de facto village level “reserve” bottling. It’s a step up from their general Willamette Valley cuvée, sourced from their favorite neighbors in their home region–local legends like Koosah, Prophet, and Soujeau. It’s fermented in small open-top fermenters and punched down twice a day, then aged in mostly used French oak for 10 months. It’s a fantastically vivacious, nervy wine, with loads of Evesham’s signature mineral cut and finesse. The nose opens with just-ripe strawberry, sour cherry, pomegranate, and crushed cranberries underlain with struck flint, loamy earth, and sandalwood. There’s a patina of herbaceousness that feels distinctly Pacific Northwest, almost a rosemary or pine note. On the palate it’s juicy, boisterous red fruit is reinforced by succulent acidity, with a barely-there coating of fine tannin. It somehow balances tension and silkiness in equal measure. When the craving for singular domestic Pinot strikes, it’ll pay to have a lot of Evesham Wood on hand!

2022 Evesham Wood, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir "Eola-Amity Hills Cuvée"

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