As October and harvest come to an end, I am happy to tell you that the grape crop we have just picked is a very high quality one. There is always much that we can do to shape the 2009 wines- starting back in the winter pruning, and coming through to our last thinning of clusters in late summer. Following the fruit into the winery, again- there is much that we do to shape the raw material nature has provided into the beautiful, delicious wines that we will enjoy next year, and for many years after. But still, much is beyond our control. The climate, the microclimate- the long hot days of July and August, the water held and yielded from deep in our Jory and Bellpine soils, and the very DNA of the vine itself- all of these mysteries beyond our control- they are also captured in the wines of the vintage.
So every vintage tells a story. Many stories. And as this 2009 vintage unfolds, we will tell you what we are seeing and tasting, and we can all enjoy the older vintages as we wait. Our very best to you and yours as the holidays roll around.
- ED KING III
Seattle Times. Sunday, October 25th, 2009.
Wine Pick of the Week: Acrobat 2008 Pinot Gris; $12
“Oregon’s King Estate is the country’s largest producer of pinot gris, and this is their newest, a value-priced offering with a slight hint of residual sugar and moderate alcohol (12.2 percent). Its ripe, fresh, spicy pear flavo…rs and crisp natural acids make it a surefire food wine. Turkey anyone?” by Paul Gregutt.”
Bill Daley, wine columnist for the Chicago Tribune, published some great reviews of King Estate Signature Pinot Gris and Acrobat Pinot Gris by King Estate. Two of his 3 “Winning Whites” with 3 corkscrew reviews!
“Winning whites from Oregon
Oregon pinot gris bested its California competition in a blind tasting of seven newly released wines. Indeed, the wine panel gave these whites from the Beaver State the top three positions.
2008 King Estate Pinot Gris Signature Collection : From Oregon, a lively white with a very aromatic nose and softly ripe flavors of pear and honey spiked with a green apple zip. Serve with fried chicken, scampi, seafood quiche. Three corkscrews, $17
2008 Acrobat Pinot Gris: A lower-priced pinot gris from Oregon’s King Estate, this white has a voluptuous profile, with a creamy texture, a buttery peach flavor and a tangy finish. Serve with broiled trout, barbecued chicken, grilled halibut. Three corkscrews, $12″
Patrick Comiskey writes, “Oregon’s excellent Pinot Gris also possesses that unique Alsatian marriage of richness and freshness — these wines tend to be a bit more fruit forward, with a cushiony warmth that complements dishes that include roast chicken and poached salmon. Look to the ever-dependable bottlings from King Estate…”
Alsace and Oregon
Alsace is a warm place in a cool strip of the continent. Nestled on the border of France and Germany and nearly as northerly as Champagne, it is protected on its western border by the Vosges mountain range; foul-humored summer storms pile up on its western slopes, sparing the eastern valleys for a long, radiant growing season.
Setting aside the glorious Rieslings from the area, many of the white wines of Alsace share a limpid golden quality, a late-afternoon richness of color with a corresponding intensity of flavor.
Consider off-the-path varieties such as Pinot Auxerrois, from producers Albert Mann and Domaine Ehrhart — in fact, Adelsheim Winery in Oregon is now making an estimable Auxerrois too. Or grab a lush Alsatian Sylvaner from Albert Boxler or Domaine Ostertag; these wines possess verdant ripe apple flavors that play beautifully against a meal of roast pork or mild wurst.
Alsace is also the French home for the grape Italians call Pinot Grigio; only here it’s called Pinot Gris and it couldn’t be more different. In fact, I’m convinced there should be some white wine axiom akin to the “no linen after Labor Day” rule imposed upon fashion.
To wit, after the first of September it should be forbidden to sip Pinot Grigio; you should be required to pour Pinot Gris instead.