Next Wines 2016 Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley, $20
King Estate created this direct-to-consumer tier as a tribute to national sales manager Justin King and other third-generation family members who are taking on expanding roles within the Eugene, Ore., company established by their grandfather and his son, current CEO Ed King III, in 1991. Next – as in next generation – is part of the recently launched King Vintners, and its debut Pinot Gris is presented dry, bright and juicy with a structure created via seven months of surlie aging in stainless steel tanks. Mouthwatering aromas of Ambrosia salad, Italian lime soda and dusty Granny Smith apple are mirrored on the palate with a nibble of peach skin in the finish. Amazon’s departure from the online wine retailing business, prompted by its acquisition of Whole Foods, has left the King family searching for a different outlet for these Next wines.
Production: 1,500 cases
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