Tag Archives: King Estate

Thanksgiving wine 2015

thanksgiving wineThis year’s “Why did they bother?” Thanksgiving wine press release offered two roses, costing $65 and $100, as the perfect holiday wines. We’ll ignore for the moment that the point of rose is to cost much less than that; rather, why would anyone need or want to pay that much money for wine for Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving is the greatest wine holiday in the world because it isn’t about money or showing off, but because it’s about being thankful that we can be together to enjoy the food and the wine.

Needless to say, my suggestions for Thanksgiving wine cost much less and almost certainly offer more value. Guidelines for holiday wine buying are here.

King Estate Pinot Noir 2013 ($26, sample, 13.5%): I tasted this Oregon red at an American Wine Society dinner, where we also had a $160 California red. Guess which one I liked best? This is is not to take anything away from the California red, but to note the King Estate’s quality and value, and especially for pinot noir — lighter but with a touch of earthiness, cherry and raspberry fruit, and a wonderful food wine. Highly recommended.

Pierre Sparr Cremant d’Alsace Brut R serve NV ($18, sample, 12.5%): Sophisticated sparkling wine from France’s Alsace that got better the longer it sat in the glass, and which surprised me with its terroir and sophistication. Look for stoniness and minerality with ripe white fruit.

Bonny Doon Le Pousseur 2013 ($26, sample, 13,5%): This California red is my favorite Randall Grahm wine, not necessarily because it’s better than any of the others, but because of what it is — syrah that somehow combines New World terroir with old world style. Lots of black fruit, soft tannins, and that wonderful bacon fat and earthy aroma that makes syrah so enjoyable.

Domaine Fazi le De Beaut 2014 ($10, purchased, 11.5%): A Corsican rose made with a grape blend that includes sciaccarellu, the best known red on the French island. Maybe a touch thin on the back, but an otherwise more than acceptable rose with a little tart red fruit and that Mediterranean herbal aroma known as garrigue. And yes, I’d take 10 bottles of this over any $100 rose.

Muga Rioja Blanco 2014 ($13, sample, 13%): Spanish white made with mostly viura has some oak, tropical fruit, and refreshing acidity, and why the Spanish don’t bother with chardonnay. Muga is one of my favorite Spanish producers, and almost everything it makes is affordable, well-done, and worth drinking.

More about Thanksgiving wine:
Thanksgiving wine 2014

Thanksgiving wine 2013
Thanksgiving wine 2012

Wine of the week: King Estate Pinot Gris 2012

KEPG12_OLOrdinarily, the King Estate would not be a wine of the week, even though it’s one of my favorite wines. But we do not live in ordinary times.

The pinot gris ($12, purchased, 13%), with a suggested retail price of $17, is too expensive for a wine of the week. But it has been for sale around the country for as much one-third less, including Dallas. For a wine of this quality, charging just $12 is giving it away — not much more than the retailer’s cost. That’s the same price as King’s Acrobat, which is supposed to be the company’s less expensive, entry level pinot gris.

So why not take advantage of the price war to write about a wine that is a value at $17?

This is classic Oregon pinot gris — a little rich, clean and crisp, refreshing as can be, and with green apple and a bit of tropical fruit. This is the kind of wine that has helped Oregon make its own way in the pinot grigio/pinot gris debate, offering wine drinkers a more interesting alternative to the oceans of very ordinary pinot grigio most of us buy.

The wine has never disappointed me, and I’ve actually missed getting samples, which stopped a couple of years ago — something I can’t say about some of the samples I get. This is a holiday wine to stock up on, whether for Thanksgiving, for keeping around the house for company, or saving for yourself. Highly recommended.

Expensive wine 25: King Estate Pinot Noir Signature 2008

What's better than an expensive wine that deserves a review? An expensive wine that is marked down from its suggested list price.

The Wine Curmudgeon is a fan of Oregon's King Estate, which makes more expensive wines but almost always does so with value in mind. Its pinot noirs are an excellent example of this. They're not quite as pricey as their California and Oregon counterparts, but always seem to deliver just as much quality. And their Acrobat line is about as close as you'll get to top-notch discounted pinot noir and pinot gris.

The Signature ($29, sample) is no exception. It's classic Oregon pinot noir — some cherry fruit, minimal tannins, enough acid to offset the fruit, and only 13 percent alcohol. In this, it's the way pinot noir should be — lighter and more delicate than cabernet sauvignon and merlot, which is something that too many pinot producers have lost sight of.

And the price? This is a previous vintage, and when it arrived at the end of last year, the wine cost $34. Today, it's listed on the King web site for $29, and a quick Wine-Searcher check found it for as little as $20. Considering the awful, tannic and harsh pinots that cost $20, this is a steal.