by Fred McMillin
for January 26, 1999

 

Zinfandel in Oregon??


Prologue

Acres of Zinfandel Vines  - California Oregon
1980  - 27,600 0
1990  - 27,900 15

"Zinfandel has just a toehold in Oregon."

...Bob Thompson's Wine Atlas


The Rest of the Story

The King Estate of Oregon (pictured) is expanding that toehold. Ed King puts it modestly, saying we've produced a wine "not commonly associated with Oregon." That's for sure.

King Estate Yet, he's very pleased with his first Zinfandel, since it "shows excellent varietal character and considerable charm." My panel agreed, giving it a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED rating.


The King Zin

1994 Oregon Zinfandel
King Estate, Eugene, Oregon
Alcohol—14.6%
Aging—13 months in French oak
1994 Oregon Growing Season—Vineyard ace Brad Biehl says the season started poorly. Not suprising for Oregon, the spring was cool and wet. Hence, there were not many clusters per vine and "yields were very low at harvest. However, what Zinfandel grapes we had were of superb quality."
Flavors—Blackberry, black pepper, cloves
Contact—Office of Lauren Trent, Director of Marketing, (800) 884-4441, (541) 942-9874
Price—$20 range


Postscript

Ed King's holiday greeting began, "A new vintage rests in our cellar while the promise of another sleeps in our vineyard." My panel hopes it includes more Zinfandel!

Note: For more, see WineDay's May 30, 1997 Winery of the Week article titled, "King of Oregon."

 
About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.

 

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