kelly magyarics

washington, d.c.-based wine, spirits & lifestyle writer / wine educator

703.203.9463

The *Other* Pinot

While in Phoenix last week for a Convention at the breathtaking mission/art-deco style, Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired Arizona Biltmore, I got the chance to stop by one of the free wine tastings offered at the hotel every Friday afternoon from 5-7 PM (other cool activities included in a hotel stay are make-your-own-s'mores around a HUGE firepit, and "Dive-In Movies" where guests relax on floats in the largest of eight pools and watch movies on a screen suspended by palm trees...)

One of the two wines being poured was the 2006 Valley of the Moon Pinot Blanc. A close DNA relative to Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc is a lovely alternative to other crisp whites like some CA Sauvignon Blancs, Spanish Albarino and Pinot Gris/Grigio. This wine had honeysuckle aromas, along with some lime on the palate, and a crisp apple finish. If you are serving seafood for the fourth, this would be a winner. Grapes are sourced both from the Russian River Valley and the Southern Sonoma County, and the wine is fermented in stainless steel. 10% of the wine sees a bit of new French oak, which adds a bit of finesse and body, but the wine overall is crisp and refreshing. A bottle retails for about $13.