Getting Off the Farm Part 2: Wine and People
We left off our King Estate Harvest Party extravaganza by telling you about all the terrific food we noshed on our special night off the farm. Here we pick up the story by telling you about the terrific wines and interesting people we came across.
First, a mid-evening style check affirms that I'm rocking the house with my gorgeous shoes. Yes, they still are looking good.
Josh, an exuberant and reliable fixture at the King Estate tasting room, came out with beautiful bottles of wonderful wines. "Who is drinking Pinot Gris?" he'd ask, and immediately return with a bottle of my favorite wine of the night, King Estate 2008 Unity Pinot Gris. Unity is made in collaboration with Pfeiffer Winery, whose distinct grapes add a special uniqueness to this wine. The Unity has a tropical, honeysuckle floral quality that is noteworthy, and was a smash with the sea scallops grilled on Himalayan pink salt slabs that wowed me so much. This wine's vibrant acidity is in great balance... just right for me and many of my favorite foods.
To mention King Estate and not mention their quintessential Pinot Noir would just be a sin. Another handsome gentleman poured King Estate Signature 2008 Pinot Noir. What a lovely treat. Silky, with hints of mushroomy forest floor, raspberry and cherry fruit, and a lush smokiness on the finish was positively divine with the mushroom risotto, a favorite dish.
Samplings of King Estate Signature, Acrobat, and Next series of wines, along with the NxNW series featuring many Washington grapes given the King Estate treatment flowed. It felt as though we guests were truly given keys to the wine cellar.
A crackling, cozy fire takes the chill off the early autumn evening.
A warm glow took over the air...
...which grew into sparks...
... which developed into more and more flying sparks.
Latin jazz by Jessie Marquez also warmed the place. Before evening's end My baby and I were dancing. The crowd was thinning, and we weren't ready for the night to end. And then, something really spectacular happened.
We were invited, along with the remaining dozen or so guests, up into King Estate's wine library. Up several flights of wood-paneled staircase we went. Up into the tower.
As we ascended, we passed shelf after shelf of past vintages of Oregon wine history. Literal decades of wine history.
At the peak of the tower, we were lavished with a 1992 (yes, you are reading that right) King Estate Pinot Noir. In fairness, it is a little difficult to explain a wine when the experience is so overwhelmingly special. All I can remember of it is that that it still carried, after 18 years, the King Estate terroir; that indescribable magic from the land and water and air. The fruit had fallen away to some degree, leaving a wonderful essence of place.
While sipping, we had the opportunity to chat with winemaker Bill Kremer, King Estate's winemaker since 1995.
Winemaker Bill Kremer, left, and My Baby, right
With a dazzling experience behind us, we left elated at the great food, fantastic wine, and interesting people we'd had the chance to meet. We extend our thanks to King Estate and its marvelous staff for making an evening we'll long remember.
And, interestingly, the next time we head out that way, it will be to the tune of wedding bells. In less than three weeks, King Estate hosts our nuptial festivities. My Baby and I left once again knowing we'd made the right choice for our special day.
The Morning After