WILLAKENZIE ESTATE PINOT GRIS
PATRICK'S SCORE: 91
VALUE: Outstanding (10/10)
APPROXIMATE PRICE: $30
Oregon Wine with a pedigree: this was a presidential favorite, the 1999 vintage "Served by the Clintons during the Holiday Reflections Concert, 2000; served by President Bush for Tony Blair at Camp David, 2001."
Jake visited WillaKenzie in 2009: it's fully sustainable, a high-quality artisanal winery.
Check out Darren's black cod. Are you kidding me? Add the WillaKenzie to that, the wild rice bison short rib risotto and the flash-fried brussels sprouts, and I was in absolute heaven.
Patrick loved this wine. But it blew my doors off: I normally shy away from the Pinot Grigio grape because most examples of it are frankly uninspiring: flat or flabby—but WillaKenzie does it right. It's Alsatian in character, a steely, minerally, sophisticated wine with complex notes of pear and tropical fruit. It's one of my favorite white wines coming out of Oregon.
As if this wasn't great enough, it was one of the best values on the fine Darren's wine menu in Manhattan Beach! What a treat.