A white wine has not won Best of Tasting even once this year in my classes. Except for a few incredible dessert wines, the winnners have been red table wines. Merlot and Pinot Noir garner their share, but Cabernet Sauvignon is the clear leader, winning twice as often as the other two.
The Rest of the Story—Forget Wine H
So there was no way Wine H could win my latest tasting. It was white, and the large, blind tasting included seven reds (mostly Cabs and Merlots) averaging $14 more than the price of Wine H. But the white won, which makes it our.....
Wine of the Day
'98 King Estate Reserve Pinot Gris, Oregon.
Tasting Notes—Between a Chardonnay and a Sauvignon Blanc. Unusually lively and intense, which should hardly be news. Over two centuries ago notes from the celebrated Burgundian village of Volnay stated that Pinot Gris "made the finest and most delicate [white] wine of Burgundy."(see Hugh Johnson's Vintage).
King Estate??—Wine For Dummies says, "The King Estate, owned by multimillionaire Ed King, Jr., (pictured), is a state-of-the-art winery located a three-hour drive south of Portland, Oregon. [Started only a decade ago,] it has already become Oregon's largest producer, primarily of Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris."
Rating of the 1997 Reserve Gris—SUPER.
Food Suggestions—Was delicious with my wife's salmon mousse. The winery suggests tarragon chicken in their King Estate Pinot Gris Cookbook.
Contact—Office of Lauren Trent, Director of Marketing, (541) 942-9874, FX (541) 942-9867
Price—Well worth the $18. (The regular is a good value at $14, too.)
Postscript— You've Come a Long Way, Baby
Leading Oregon wines six decades ago: "Henry's Lowball" and "Rhubarb Rosé." (from WineDay of May 30, 1997 about the King Estate).
About the Writer
Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers. For information about the wine courses he teaches every month at either San Francisco State University or San Francisco City College (Fort Mason Division), please fax him at (415) 567-4468.