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by Fred McMillin
for December 15, 1999

 

A Big Bargain Pinot Vino

 

Prologue

"Wealth amassed from the family aircraft electronics empire funded the investment of millions of dollars in...creating on its own mountain a huge winery (110,000 sq. ft.) overlooking its 550 acres of land in Oregon's southern Willamette Valley...Just to plant the vineyard, a nursery specializing in new Dijon [Burgundy] clones was created--called Lorane Grapevines.

...by Jeff Prather, et. al. in Northwest Wines


The Rest of the Story

All the work has paid off. Those Burgundy clones produced one of the three best Pinot Noirs my panel has tasted this year, the King Estate Reserve Pinot Noir, rated at 92.

The King Estate Winery

The King Estate Winery


Now I have bad news and good news. The bad news is that if your holiday budget is tight, the wonderful Reserve at $35 may be out of your range. The good news is that King Estate has a second brand, Lorane Valley, and that Pinot IS in everyone's price range. I checked my tasting results for the last eight years and the Lorane Valley Pinot Noir at $10 is the highest rated low-cost Pinot of that entire period. It scored an 88, an elevation my panel rarely awards a $10 wine.


Wine of the Day

'96 Lorane Valley Pinot Noir, Oregon
Panel comments:

  • Nice mid-palate tartness, well balanced
  • Fine Burgundian nose and palate; delicate fruit
  • Real strawberry nose, good balance
  • Great value!
    Contact—Office of Marketing Manager Lauren Trent at (8OO) 884-4441, FAX (541) 942-9867
    Price: $10 range


    Postscript—Let's Hear It for Mycorrhizal

    The Lorane Grapevines King Estate Nursery not only supplies vines to vineyards throughout the U.S.A., but also Mycorrhizal??? Modern farming methods have depleted the presence of this beneficial fungus in vineyard soils (it promotes good plant nutrition). Dr. Elaine R. Ingham found the Lorane vines are carriers and re-introduce the fungus into the customer's vineyards.

     
    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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