It was Marcus Goodfellow who first mentioned Evan Martin to us: “if you want a tip for someone making really serious wines, check out Evan”, he said. We had a similar conversation with Grant Coulter (Hundred Suns), with whom he shares 4 acres of Bednarik Vineyard: “Evan is the best” Grant said, “you guys should definitely be working with him”. Marcus did the introductions and a meeting in March 2020 was arranged in McMinnville. You know the rest of course: Covid, the travel ban, and the meeting was scrapped. Instead we arranged video calls with Marcus and Grant to sound them out, should we take a blind punt on Evan and his wines? Both winemakers reiterated what they had said “Evan is a really great dude making really excellent wines, you should definitely be involved”.
Evan is a bright, sensitive guy, making really considered wines from some top vineyards
The Gamay, a blend of two sites: a vineyard in the Tualatin Hills and one farther south, right in the break of the Coast Range (Van Duzer Corridor) where cool air floods in every afternoon. A great example of this little-seen grape in Oregon: candied plum leaps from the glass along with more serious pinotte aromas: earthy beets. The palate is full and rich with just a little of that tell-tale Gamay crunch – brilliant! Evan’s trio of pitch-perfect Pinots are as diverse as they are good. Hyland is a beautiful freak: the ultra-rare Coury Clone (originally from Alsace) grown on Volcanic Jory soils results in a super-light, red-fruited Pinot. The nose is ethereal in the extreme; a potpourri of rose-petal and spice. In contrast, the Bednarik is musky and darkly fruited. Clearly a special vineyard, the nose is simply magic, so complex and pure. In the mouth there’s rich, earthy fruit and gorgeous silky tannins fanning out into the long finish. Finally, the liquorice-scented Jessie James is powerfully structured with melting tannins and sappy acids buffeting the juicy dark blue fruit. This is a set of ‘wow’ wines, an incredibly exciting addition to the A&B portfolio.making really considered wines from some top vineyards