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Jul 16, 2011 06:01 PM

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.


    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!!