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by Fred McMillin
for April 26, 1999

 

Aging Pinot Noir


Prologue

"Pinot Noir ages well for three to four years after the vintage, and in fact is best not consumed very young. But at five years from the vintage, the wine seems to reach an early peak."

...L.A. Times critic Dan Berger

I recall a California winemaker who regarded some in the business as Humbugs, that is, given to empty talk. Is Dan a humbug?


The Rest of the Story

To get an answer, my Fort Mason (S.F. City College) class tasted three King Estate (Oregon) Pinot Noir vintages, three to five years old. Our scoring ranges from 0 to 100, and here are the results.

Age Score
3 years 51.1
4 years 61.4
5 years 70.0

Right on, Dan! It's aging beautifully. Of course, owner Ed King says his Pinot is better than most of the competition, and will not flatten out yet. Why not buy a bottle of the 1993 and check it next year.


King Estate Pinot Noir

Today's Wine

1993 King Estate Pinot Noir, Oregon
100% stainless steel fermentation to maximize fruit flavors, 14 months in French oak barrels to add spice and depth.
Contact—Office of General Manager Sean Minor, phone (8O0)-884-4441, Fax (770) 926-7797.
Price—$18 range


Postscript

Since it's clear that Dan's no humbug, you may want to learn more from him in the Wine Enthusiast magazine.

Note: For more, see the 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.

 
 

WineDay Annex

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