Pinot Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc

Value Picks for September 2009

2008 Ponzi Willamette Valley Pinot Blanc • $17 (744 cases)

An opening act for what Oregon’s much-anticipated 2008 vintage has in store, this wine delivers in all departments. Floral, spice and hints of caramel on the nose, round, textured mouthfeel with ripe apple and tropical fruit notes. Fullness balanced by firm acidity throughout.

2007 Winter’s Hill Dundee Hills Pinot Blanc • $18 (1,034 cases)

Yin and yang of juicy, crisp green apple and tangy citrus bring balance and vibrancy to a fresh, mineral-laden wine you can’t stop drinking. It’s bright acidity and tastebud-enticing flavors call out for a plate of fruits and cheeses in an al fresco setting.

2006 Anne Amie Willamette Valley Pinot Blanc • $25 (554 cases)

A forward, floral aroma with hints of clove and honey rolls out of the glass, then leads into a piquant palate impression that is fresh and zesty while at the same time soft and supple. Bright, lively citrus lingers in the aftertaste

2008 Elk Cove Willamette Valley Pinot Blanc • $18 (1,193 cases)

Tending toward the clean, lean side, flavors of zesty green apple and zingy licorice marry with flinty mineral to create a tart and tangy yet satisfying sipper that can go it solo or partner nicely with oysters on the half shell.

2007 Misty Oaks Umpqua Valley Pinot Blanc • $16 (150 cases)

Small winery, limited production, big flavor. Spice, rose petals and vanilla all intertwine in the aroma. Luscious fruit and oak are overlayed with lemon-lime lifting the palate impression to another level. It’s the barrel take on a wine that mostly sees stainless steel.

2008 Chateau Lorane Sauvignon Blanc • $16 (126 cases)

This could be called a classic study in understatement. While light-bodied and delicate, all the varietal components are evident—aromas of wet grass and new-mown hay, touch of apple and citrus complemented by fresh, crisp acidity in the taste. In total, an attractive wine.

The Oregon Wine Press tasting panel has selected the preceding wines based on overall quality and value within their respective categories. To the best of our knowledge, they are currently available in the retail marketplace. But a call to the winery or your favorite wine merchant will best determine where they may be purchased. The above wines have met the following criteria: Produced by an Oregon winery; retail price up to $30 per 750 ml bottle for Pinot Noir, or $25 for other varietals, currently available to consumers. Recommended wines were selected using a double-blind method and a 20-point ranking system for appearance, aroma, taste, balance and finish.

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