One of the most spectacular settings in Oregon, King Estate not only has a beautiful backdrop but some absolutely stunning new release wines. I recently had the chance to visit the estate and enjoy a fantastic dinner at their restaurant as well as barrel taste with their winemaker, Brent Stone. Founded in 1990, King Estate has gained a worldwide reputation for great Pinot Gris. The massive estate is located just southwest of Eugene, Oregon and their production has grown to 350,000 cases anually. King Estate had a massive 314 acres devoted to Pinot Gris and has 143 planted to Pinot Noir. Brent came to King Estate in 2011 as Lab Manager and has a degree in environmental science from Utah State University. He has also completed the two year program at Washington State University in enology and viticulture.
Their last years set of releases were gorgeous and the new release wines, focusing largely on the 2014 vintage for Pinot Noir and the 2015 vintage for white wines were hugely impressive. A really intriguing white wine out of the Croft Vineyard was the 2014 King Estate ‘Croft Vineyard’ Sauvignon Blanc (WWB, 90) which is probably the best Sauvignon Blanc I have sampled out of Oregon in quite some time. They also make a really nice Rhone style white wine, their 2015 King Estate Marsanne/Roussanne (WWB, 90) which was sourced from the Rogue valley and shows a surprisingly large amount of minerality alongside a silky mouthfeel. Their Pinot Noir releases were gorgeous, none more so than the 2013 King Estate ‘Backbone’ Pinot Noir (WWB, 93) which shows a huge amount of structure and dark fruit flavors that surprise you considering the challenges of the vintage. Even better was the silky and feminine 2013 King Estate ‘Roserock Vineyard’ Pinot Noir (WWB, 94) which is red fruit and structure driven. This wine beautifully showcases this marvelous vineyard. Learn more about this great Oregon winery at www.kingestate.com Here are the great new releases by King Estate.
2015 King Estate Marsanne/Roussanne- The white blend was sourced from the Rogue Valley and has 12% Viognier blended in. This begins with aromatics of white peach, pink grapefruit and vanilla cream. This leads to flavors of white peach, vanilla cream, and cantaloupe. This has lovely texture and a voluptuous mouthfeel. Drink 2017-2022-90
2014 King Estate Viognier- This wine opens with a bouquet of lemongrass, nectarine and green apple. There are flavors of green papaya, starfruit, and banana with a touch of sweetness towards the end. This is a lovely wine made by the talented hands of Brent Stone. Drink 2017-2022- 90
2014 King Estate 'Croft Vineyard' Sauvignon Blanc- This opens with aromatics of white peach, gooseberry and Pazzaz apple with jalapeño pepper. This leads to flavors of vanilla, Granny Smith apple and cut grass with nutmeg accents. This has a lovely texture from the barrel aging. Drink 2017-2022- 90
2016 King Estate 'Mountain Blocks' Rose- This was pressed for 12 hours and is a wine club only bottling using Pommard and 777 clones. This wine begins with aromatics of jolly rancher watermelon candy, starfruit, and guava. There are ripe flavors of guava, watermelon and Bing cherry. This shows wonderful poise. Drink 2017-2022- 90
2014 King Estate 'Hyland Vineyard' Pinot Noir- This excellent Pinot Noir wine was sourced from a block in the lower end of the northwest portion of the King Estate vineyard. The wine has aromatics of red cherry, dill, orange zest and pomegranate seed. This leads to flavors of black cherry, red currant, forest floor and suggestions of baking spices. This has marvelous structure. Drink 2017-2027- 92
2013 King Estate 'Backbone' Pinot Noir- This wine begins with aromatics of black cherry, wild blackberry and black truffle. This leads to flavors of black cherry, black olive, black truffle, red currant and orange rind. This shows wonderful flavor range. The finish is exceedingly long. Drink 2017-2029- 93
2014 King Estate 'Bradshaw Vineyard' Pinot Noir- This wonderful Pinot Noir wine was sourced from 777 clone and then was aged in 35% new oak prior to bottling. This wine opens with black cherry, black olive, wild blackberry and forest floor. This leads to flavors black cherry, loganberry jam, white truffle and hints of peat moss. This has a rich mouthfeel. Drink 2017-2029- 93
2013 King Estate 'Roserock Vineyard' Pinot Noir- The Roserock Vineyard is a highly sought after vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills which is currently owned by Domaine Drouhin. This Pinot Noir wine has pretty feminine aromatics of rose petals, red cherry, red raspberry and hints of white pepper. This leads to bright flavors of red cherry, red raspberry, guava, red currant and orange rind. This is silky smooth and sexy wine. Drink 2017-2029- 94
2015 King Estate 'GSM' Red Wine- This intriguing wine was sourced from the Rogue Valley (Crater View and Carpenter Hill Vineyards), this wine opens with aromas of smoke, bacon fat and red cherry. This leads to ripe flavors of red cherry, red raspberry and teaberry with bacon accents. Drink 2017-2026- 90