King Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2021

Medium ruby color; raspberry, blueberry, dark cherry, cranberry, black tea, vanilla, spice on the nose and palate.

King Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2021

Dry; pleasant tannins, gentle acidity. 100% Willamette Valley pinot noir grapes—26% King Estate, 16% Pfeiffer, 14% Bradshaw, 6% Croft, 6% Kennel, 32% other Willamette Valley vineyards. Whole clusters are destemmed and cold soaked for 48 hours of daily pump overs. Some whole clusters are left intact for added complexity; 10% bled off using saignée method to concentrate flavor and color. Fermented in stainless steel open-top tanks with daily punch downs. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels. 13.5% ABV

The 2021 vintage faced some challenges. Relatively warm for Willamette Valley and below average precipitation, one of the driest on record. The growing season started out cool, followed by wide temperature fluctuations in April and May. In June, a heat dome settled over the vineyard for three days, breaking high-temperature records by as much as 10 degrees. Fortunately, thanks to maturing plants, damage was minimal. The growing season remained warm into October and the harvest. In the end, there was very good to exceptional fruit quality.

King Estate vineyard and winery

Founded in 1991, King Estate is certified organic and biodynamic. The estate vineyard is 1,033 acres in the southern end of Oregon’s Willamette Valley. The family-owned estate is certified by Demeter USA as the largest biodynamic vineyard in the United States and has been certified organic since 2002.

King Estate fermentation tanks
King Estate barrel room

Ed King and his father, also named Ed, founded the winery. Ed practiced law in Alaska, then worked for his father’s company, King Radio—an aircraft electronics firm in Kansas City, Missouri—prior to pursuing his winemaking dream. The younger King owned two small vineyards as part of his timberland and farmland properties in Oregon. When buying hay for his horses, he discovered a 600-acre cattle ranch near Lorane, Oregon he thought would be ideal for viticulture. The purchase would evolve into today’s King Estate operation.

King Estate owner Ed King

King Estate’s key people today include owner Ed King; COO and winemaker Brent Stone; director of viticulture Raymond Nuclo; and vineyard manager Meliton Martinez. They produce a large catalogue of single vineyard and other pinot noir offerings.

King Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2021 has admirable elegance and some complexity. Supple tannins and bashful acidity make it a smooth, easy drinker. Pleasantly earthy without being rustic. Solid pinot with broad distribution at a quite reasonable price for a quality Willamette pinot noir. Pair with salmon and rich seafood—tuna, mackerel, grilled swordfish; light fish—trout; oysters, mussels, lobster, crab—especially with cocktail sauce; lighter meats; pot-roasted beef; lamb; veal; pork tenderloin; chicken and duck dishes with sauces; vegetarian fare. Cheese—sheep’s milk and semi-soft cheeses; gruyère, comté, emmenthal, gouda, abbaye de belloc, zamarano, manchego, roucoulons, aged cheddar, taleggio. $30

King Estate website

King Estate restaurant patio
King Estate COO and winermaker Brent Stone
King Estate director of viticulture Raymond Nuclo
King Estate vineyard manager Meliton Martinez