Jun 18, 2013

Posted by in Best Case Scenario, Featured | 0 Comments

Best Case Scenario: Union Wine Company Kings Ridge Pinot Noir

Union Wine Co PNBack in February, big news broke in Oregon’s wine industry: Two 40 foot containers, about 27,000 bottles, equaling 2,200 cases of Oregon Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris departed the Port of Portland for South Korea.  Being the largest shipment in Oregon’s history, a door was opened for Oregon to a growing Korean market.  The four Oregon wineries that were chosen by the Korean investors who purchased the wine were Domaine Drouhin, Lange Estate Winery, Willakenzie Estate and Union Wine Company.  When this news broke, it was the first time I had heard of Union Wine Company, and about 75 percent of those 27,000 bottles came from Union Wine Company.  My attention had been captured.

When I received the Best Case Scenario shipment of twelve Oregon Pinot Noirs, provided by Watershed Communications in Portland, imagine my excitement to discover a bottle of 2011 Union Wine Company Kings Ridge Pinot Noir.  Alluring raspberry, cherry and cranberry aromas flowed onto the palate light as air at first sip.  Mid-palate, however, the fruits intensified and were wholly rounded out by a lovely acidic backbone that gave it a long and delicious finish.  I’m not sure of the vintage that went out in Oregon’s largest shipment, but if it was the 2011, I have no doubt  consumers imbibing in the Union Wine Company Kings Ridge will be impressed with Oregon wine.

Making accessible and affordable wine without compromising the quality is what winemakers Ryan Harms (also the founder/owner) and Greg Bauer are all about.  With a focus on efficiency in both the winery and the winemaking, they were able to create a ‘marriage between craft and small-scale manufacturing.’

What is your winemaking philosophy?  Respect the fruit. Make wines that taste of their place and showcase elegance.

Union Wine Co2How has your style evolved over the last 5-10 years?  Less focus on power and more focus on balance and elegance.

What do you love about Oregon Pinot Noir? What makes it unique?  Oregon Pinot Noir is a great intersection of styles, our wines have great balance of freshness of fruit with a tannic structure and acidity that make them wonderfully Oregon. They don’t taste like other Pinot Noir growing areas of the world and I think that is what makes it so fabulous..they are distintly Oregon Pinot Noirs.

Tell us about this 2011 Kings ridge Pinot Noir.  The 2011 Kings Ridge Pinot Noir has great balance of fresh raspberries, blackberries, and hints of bramble and coffee. It shows off some of its silky sweet fruits but then plays coy as the acidity and structure envelope the wine.

What is one non-flavor descriptor to describe this wine?  It’s an American Burlesque show in a bottle.

For the wine geeks, like me:

  • AVA: Willamette Valley
  • Cases produced: 11,500
  • Alcohol: 13%
  • pH: 3.67
  • Acidity: 5.1 g/L
  • Oak treatment: about 20% new oak
  • Retail price: $18

US Markets/Distributors: AL, AK, AZ, AQ, CA, CT, FL, HI, ID, IL, IN, KY, ME, MA, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NV, NJ, NY, NC, OH, OR, PA, TI, SC, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA, WI