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This Week's Tasting
Winemaker Visit - Evan Martin of Martin Woods Winery, Willamette Valley Oregon
April 10, 2019
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, and Pinot Noir, all had a poise and precision and purity that you seldom come across.
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 and his wife struck off on their own only a few years ago to found Martin Woods.
The Chadrdonnay, is simple and direct, like a forthright New World Chablis. 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 Gamayhas the purity of some of the best Cru Beaujolais. The Pinot Noir Yamhill Springs displays a weightless richness and elegance. The Pinot Noir Jessie James Vineyard does also, but with an added dimension of pure soft sexiness.
2017 Martin Woods Chardonnay; Aroma: fresh & pretty, firm, a Chablis-like direct mineral thrust, light pear note; Mouth: clean sweet direct,l ight acidity, firm, modulated acidity on a long finish; Very Good Plus 31; Mixed Case, 27.9; Case, 26.35
2017 Martin Woods Chardonnay Yamhill Valley Vineyard; Aroma: on first opening assertive, bright acid, lighty accented by oak, tight ; Mouth: rounded sweet aid, very nicely intense, tight acid, very intense long - it wants air &/or aginging;Very Good - Excellent42; Mixed Case, 37.8; Case, 35.7
2016 Martin Woods Pinot Noir Yamhill Springs; Aroma: deep and firm, , plummy, dense, , finely delineated, deep rather full, very pure elegant, , darrk fruit; Mouth: smooth raer dsark hued, , smootn textured, , clean rathr pretty, clean very pure airy light ; Very Good - Excellent35; Mixed Case, 31.5; Case, 29.75
2016 Martin Woods Pinot Noir Jessie James Vineyard; Aroma: finely elegant very pure, , lightly ripe, ; Mouth: clean racy fine tannins, very rich very pure rather fine, , elegant, fine-grained tannins, very rich, al dente; Excellent42; Mixed Case, 37.8; Case, 35.7
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- Len Rothenberg