While there are only 346 cases of it, Evening Land’s 2011 Chardonnay Seven Springs Vineyard represents what will henceforth count as their intro-level white bottling, one whose volume will increase as young, newly planted, and about-to-be-planted estate vines (including in a new section adjacent to Bethel Heights) come on-line. White peach, apricot, and quince make for a lusciously fruity impression that is in turn wreathed in honeysuckle and heliotrope; laced with brightly juicy, enlivening lime and orange; bedded on a silken, creamy pillow; and suffused with saliva-liberating salinity in a long, lip-smacking, “could we please do that again!” finish. And this is from young vines (albeit, note, of considerable clonal diversity)! Of course, Dominique Lafon knows a thing or two about Chardonnay. And I have every reason to believe in the special talents of both Isabelle Meunier and Seven Springs terroir. But this wonderful wine is still simply a poster child for something that should by now have become evident, namely that some of the world’s most deliciously distinctive and complex Chardonnays already do – and in future, increasingly will – come from Oregon’s Willamette Valley. What’s more, this represents one fine value by international standards for its cepage, or indeed any other.