Jun 6, 2012

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Pfeiffer Vineyards + King Estate = Vineyard Designate Divine Wine

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view from the patio at King Estate

King Estate Winery is located in the southern Willamette Valley wine region about 25 minutes south of Eugene, Oregon. Pfeiffer Vineyards is located 30 miles north of King Estate Winery, also in the south Willamette Valley. When King Estate purchases fruit from Pfeiffer Vineyards to create vineyard designate Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris, wine enthusiasts, like me, get to reap the benefits by enjoying the ultimate in small production fine wine.

Founded in the 80′s, Pfeiffer Vineyards is a beautiful 70 acre property that sits on a southward facing slope. This southward facing slope exposes the 28 acres of Pinot Gris and 42 acres of Pinot Noir to long hours of sunshine during the warm Willamette Valley summer months.

Pfeiffer Vineyards | photo pfeiffervineyards.com

King Estate has been purchasing fruit from Pfeiffer Vineyards since 1992, and each year, they purchase over 90% of the fruit grown on the Pfeiffer property. King Estate winemaker, Jeff Kandarian, takes a portion of the purchased Pfeiffer fruit to create exceptional vineyard designate Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir, and King Estate has offered Pfeiffer Vineyard designate wine for many years. In 2010, Kandarian made wine with both varietals, which are truly divine in color, aroma and flavor.

King Estate 2010 Pfeiffer Vineyards Pinot Gris

The 2010 King Estate Pfeiffer Vineyard Pinot Noir is very young, so I plan on shelving my bottle for some time before popping the cork. A cellar worthy Pinot for sure, this wine offers great complexity and structure. Deep ruby red in color, aromas of cherries and strawberries with a hint of peppermint awakened my senses at first whiff. Pronounced raspberry and strawberry flavors were followed by hints of rhubarb and sweet wood. I can’t wait to try this wine again in another 8 to 10 months…and then again in a year from now…and again in a year and a half from now.

The 2010 King Estate Pfeiffer Vineyard Pinot Gris is absolutely one of the best Pinot Gris I’ve had in quite some time. On the nose, generous apple and pear aromas are highlighted by zesty lemon. Green apple, pear and grapefruit flavors are balanced out with crisp acidity. Medium in body, I really love the elegant palate pleasing finish on this summery white wine – one I’ll be drinking on the patio with grilled scallops and shrimp or on the coast while looking out over the beautiful blue Pacific Ocean.

According to Elizabeth Allcott, Tower Club and Direct Sales Manager at King Estate, King Estate has been in the process of elevating Pinot Gris as the premier white varietal for food and wine pairing. As King Estate continues to explore with several vineyard designate Pinot Gris, Allcott says, “How many other wineries do you know that offer single-block or single-clone Pinot Gris?”

That’s a good question. I can’t think of any.

For a list of wine events happening in the South Willamette Valley wine region, visit Wine Down Eugene on Eugene Daily News.

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