What to drink: 2011 Acrobat Rosé of Pinot Noir

In this wide, wonderful world of wine overproduction, conglomerates are continually creating new brands and labels and blends with the emphasis more on eye catching artwork or clever catch phrases rather than what’s actually in the bottle. So, when established brands (like King Estate’s Acrobat) peel off another new wine label, I’m quick to raise the red flag. This year the king of Oregon wineries rolled out a new rosé comprised of Pinot Noir. And after trying it, I promptly lowered the old flag.

The 2011 Acrobat Rosé mirrors the brilliant color of sashimi grade salmon. Not excessively dry, it delivers refreshing summer-inspired flavors of raspberry and ripe strawberries. If they can keep the price and quality in line with the rest of the Acrobat wines, over time King Estate may go three for three with their entry-level brand.

Late summer offers fresh wines

September is one of those transition months where the fresh fruits and vegetables of summer give way to the heartier offerings of fall. Some may think the same is true for wines.

However, one exception is the emergence of interesting and enjoyable white wines. Every year, late into the summer, customers are greeted with new arrivals that typically are reserved for the early warm weather months. Because most of these wines are fresh, they maintain the supply line of summer’s juicy and citrusy fruits while transitioning into the early autumn offerings of apples and pears.

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Oregon’s 2009 vintage of Pinot Gris scores well

If you do a little perusing in the domestic Pinot Gris/ Pinot Grigio aisle of the store, you notice a pattern: the 2009 vintage of Oregon Pinot Gris is receiving commendable reviews from the glossy wine mags. Like many wine writers, I am always on the lookout for a fresh theme, and here was one waving me down like a New York City taxi.

I tasted and reviewed five Oregon Pinot Gris. The results didn’t prove the wines varied greatly, but did reveal nuances worth mentioning.

The lineup included the 2009 Acobat Pinot Gris, the 2009 King Estate Pinot Gris, the 2009 Benton Lane Pinot Gris, the 2009 Solena Pinot Gris, and the 2009 Elk Cove Pinot Gris. Although the Acrobat and the King Estate are made by the same winery, they are worlds apart, and purposely so.

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