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Recs on amazing pinot blanc wines

Over last thanksgiving my father brought out a bottle of 1999 chalone pinot blanc. It was a revelation! An amazing bottle of perfection!

I went online and found that it was impossible to find so I looked for other years and found a 2006 which turned out to be really bad.

My question is, does anyone have any suggestions for a replacement for this wine? It was well balanced, a little fruity, not too oaky, but still bold and beautiful.

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  1. "A replacement for this wine?" No.

    OTOH, there are some very fine Pinot Blancs available. The Chalone Estate Pinot Blanc is a) somewhat unique, and b) an example of a 10+ year old Pinot Blanc is, by far, the exception rather than the rule. It is *not* known as a wine that ages well.

    The problem with California Pinot Blanc is that, historically, it hasn't been Pinot Blanc. As a result, it is difficult to know if the wine LABELED Pinot Blanc is truly MADE from Pinot Blanc grapes, or -- like most CA Pinot Blancs -- is made, in fact, from Melon de Bourgogne.

    So, if you *really* want a Pinot Blanc, my suggestion is to look to Alsace:
    -- Kuentz-Bas Pinot Blanc Tradition
    -- Meyer-Fonne Pinot Blanc Vieilles Vignes
    -- Schlumberger Pinot Blanc “Les Princes Abbés”
    -- Weinbach Pinot Blanc Réserve
    . . . and for something completely different, André Ostertag Pinot Blanc Barriques.

    Chalone is distinctly different. From California, you may want to check out Saddleback Cellars, Arrowood; from Oregon, try Adelsheim, Elk Cove, Eyrie, WillaKenzie -- and others.

    Cheers,
    Jason

    3 Replies
    1. re: zin1953

      Totally agree with zin1953's suggestion of looking into Alsace. On top of his great list, I would add Zind Humbretcht to it. Also, I have tasted some 'Martin Schaetzel's Reserve that has lots of character and Domaine Mittnacht for 'sheer finesse'. If a good 'dry' style is your fancy then Gustave Lorentz might be for you?!
      BTW, if you can find 2000 or 2003 that would be great! If not, 2005,6,7 all produces pretty good wine!
      Jason, please correct me if I'm wrong!

      1. re: zin1953

        So my Valley of the Moon PB I'm about to tuck into is really Melon de Bourgogne? Figures...should've paid a little more and grabbed the Trimbach.

        1. Thank you guys, these are fantastic. It made me fall in love with white wines again and I want to recapture that in a wine that I can find more readily.

          My father ordered 5 bottles from an estate sale and all 5 had turned and were sour.

          1 Reply
          1. re: jameshig

            One word worth repeating: that bottle of 1999 Chalone is the EXCEPTION, rather than the rule.

          2. Also from Alsace: Josmeyer Mise du Printemps. My personal favorite.

            1. Also consider Boxler from the Alsace and Hiedler Weissburgunder Maximum from Austria. Both of their importers claim they are the best pinot blanc in the world.

              1. Best Pinot Blanc is from Lieb Cellars in NY. It is a sustainable vineyard and that wine is the one they are known for. It just won Double Gold. Not sure where you live, but you can either order online or buy it in NY, CT, FL or IL

                1 Reply
                1. re: taboo

                  I second the Lieb!!!!!! Great price too!!

                2. If you ever have the chance, try some of the Pinot Blanc from British Columbia.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Simon

                    I agree with Simon--British Columbia produces some very nice Pinot Blanc. Ontario (Niagara) also produces some very nice ones (Henry of Pelham, Vineland).

                    To put a finer point on zin1953's comments (with which I agree), I think what appealed to you about the wine you loved had very little to do with the varietal. If it really turned you on to white wines, I suspect that you were liking was a fruity, well-oaked (this was 1999, remember), rich, and well-aged white from a warmer region. As such, if you are looking for that taste (which I also like, at least on occasion), I would look for an aged chard or pinot gris from the New World from a good (hot and dry) year. Oregon Pinot Gris might be a good place to try, though finding library whites is always tricky. I think if you go looking for that same "taste" in Pinot Blanc you will be very quickly frustrated.

                  2. I am a red wine drinker. Pouilly Fuse is the only white that I purchase w/my own $$. I recommend it highly. If you like "fruity" whites, this may not be the wine for you. It is v dry w/subtle tannin. I drink it only w/the best white fish eg halibut or hog-fish "bass" etc, not swordfish (flavors conflict IMO). It overwhelms scallops, although it isn't at all a heavy white. I don't serve w/salmon, chicken, bluefish etc Wasted on tilapia etc Would be v nice w/some vegetarian/vegan dishes.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: cbjones1943

                      Pouilly-Fuissé (not "Fuse," or -- perhaps -- did you mean "Pouilly-Fumé," with an "m"?) is produced from 100 percent Chardonnay grapes, from the Mâconnais region just south of the Côte d'Or in Burgundy. Wines here are indeed dry, but can range from *very* fruity and light-bodied, to moderately oaky and medium-full in body.

                      Pouilly-Fumé, on the other hand, is 100 percent Sauvignon Blanc grapes, and originated from the eastern Loire Valley region, across the river from Sancerre. Pouilly-Fumé is very dry, and can range from crisp to silky smooth in texture and body.

                      Since neither wine is produced by fermenting the juice with skin contact -- the primary source of tannin in wine -- neither wine is known for having tannins, save from whatever new oak might be used to age the wine. New oak is virtually unheard of in Pouilly-Fumé, and used only sparingly by the overwhelming number of producers of Pouilly-Fuissé, though certainly some will use more than others -- but lots of new oak, and thus tannins, is the exception rather than the rule.

                      Which producers do you like?

                      Cheers,
                      Jason

                      1. re: zin1953

                        Jason, thanks for the spelling correction. I haven't had P-F (no, I did not mean -Fume) in a v long T. I have had excellent P-F but generally bought supermarket Loius Jadot...do not claim special knowledge; only a good palate. As for "tannin", perhaps I misspoke; however, as I recall, P-F had a slight aftertaste that was not at all unpleasant. As I said above, however, P-F would not be popular with many who prefer white. Currently, I purchase my reds @ Whole Foods/Greenlife & prefer reds from Chile that are not heavy...~13-15$$. Not particular any longer, don't entertain any longer, etc etc. All best.

                        1. re: cbjones1943

                          Eyrie (OR) has an excellent pinot blanc.