Federal Wine & Spirits

29 State Street, Boston, MA 02109

Read about the wines in this tasting

This Week's Tasting

Martin Woods, Willamette Valley, with Owner-winemaker Evan Martin
May 23, 2018

We were as impressed with Evan Martin the day he walked into our store unannounced with a backpack of Willamette wines, as we have been with any previously unknown winemaker. Chardonnay, Gamay, and Pinot Noir, all had a poise and precision and purity that you seldom come across.

Evan Martin

We told Evan that we would be happy to have him come back for a tasting in the store the next time he was in Boston. Fortunately, that is tonight. His measured explanation of how and why he does what he does is as impressive as his wines. No flash, no new oak, no chasing after critics points. Just good, honest, careful viticulture and winemaking. If you are a Pinot fan, we strongly suggest this tasting to you.

Evan did not invoke burgundy, but his wines seem to me to have more of the spirit that currently animates the better winemakers there, one of careful modulation of a wine's elements; fruit, acids, alcohol, sometimes wood, which makes a complex and balanced articulation of Pinot or Chardonnay. We tasted that in his wines and thought they were very fine stuff.

You may not know him but may know his work. For over a decade he was the winemaker-behind-the-scene of the noted Belle Pente winery. He struck off on his own only a couple of years ago to found Martin Woods.

The Yamhill Valley Vineyard Chardonnay, oh so lightly oaked with creamy texture and a delineated acidity, would hold its own against many from the Cote d’Or. His Gamay has the purity of some of the best Cru Beaujolais. The Pinot Noir Yamhill Springs displays a weightless richness and elegance. ThePinot Noir Jessie James Vineyard does also, but with an added dimension of pure soft sexiness.

My notes below are from tasting bottles that had been open for 18 hours. This is encouraging in terms of their potential longevity, but might mean that you would need to decant them to taste the same qualities we did. They show not only a winemaker’s technical ability, but his taste and masterful creativity. I think that their reputation will grow in time. We are in at the beginning. You might well be also.


Martin Woods


2016 Chardonnay Yamhill Valley Vineyard; Aroma: fresh, lighly oaked, rather dense, finely delineated, rather firm, restrained very pure chicle; Mouth: clean pure pretty rather fine precise, elegant, clean rather fine, tight acid, firm; Very Good - Excellent 42; Mixed Case, 37.8; Case, 35.70


2016 Gamay; Aroma: fresh, rather pretty, heady, nice density, full, fresh very pretty; Mouth: clean, very pure, very sweet fruit, linear, finely textured, pure, precise expression of the grape; Very Good Plus29.99; Mixed Case, 26.99; Case, 25.49

2016 Pinot Noir Yamhill Springs; Aroma: deep and firm, plummy, dense, finely delineated, deep & full, very pure elegant, dark fruit; Mouth: smooth dark-hued, smooth textured, clean rather pretty, clean very pure airy light ; Very Good - Excellent 35; Mixed Case, 31.5; Case, 29.75_

2016 Pinot Noir Jessie James Vineyard; Aroma: finely elegant very pure, lightly ripe; Mouth: clean racy fine tannins, very rich, very pure, rather fine again, elegant, fine-grained tannins, very rich, al dente;Excellent 42; Mixed Case, 37.80; Case, 35.70


Martin Woods Visit Case: Special, three each of the above wines - $389

Or you can mix

 any six bottles of the above for a 10% discount

 any twelve bottles of the above for a 15% discount


Order by phone at 617.367.8605, or reserve here: order@federalwine.com


Please pass this on to any friends who are wine enthusiasts!


           - Len Rothenberg